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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Prison (Mercy's Prisoner 1) by Dusk Peterson, October 23, 2008
This review is from: Life Prison (Life Prison: Mercy's Prisoner #1) (Kindle Edition)
Life Prison is a tale on the Mercy's Prisoner series; it's setting in a fantasy world which resembles the Victorian period. In this world, life in prison is regulated as in the Dante's Inferno, every circles (prison's level) hides an atrocity for the prisoners who deserve to be there. Mind this last point: the prisoners are not innocents hold in captivity for some unbelievable injustice, they are guilty and sometime of an atrocity maybe even worst of what they now suffer in prison.

Merrick is a murder of the worst type: he consciously killed his three years old niece. He didn't act on the spur of the moment, he planned the kill; and now he replies it in his memory as the best moment of his life. In prison Merrick is not thinking at freedom, he is thinking at death; he wants to die but the only rule the guards have is to not kill the prisoners, or to not help them to kill themself. Other than, guards can do whatever they want, and they have no problem at follow this rule. Prisoners are no more than free whores for the guard who have them in hold.

To Merrick is assigned a new guard, Thomas. Thomas is young and idealist and the truly thinks that life in prison, even if a forever captivity, could be dignified for the prisoners. The initial incredulity of Merrick turns at first in opportunity: maybe Merrick can manipulate this man, maybe he can reach his purpose. But Thomas, for how young he is, it's not so naivee as he seems. Merrick will learn that a firm hold can be more tight than a strong one.

It's not a romance what happens between Merrick and Thomas, but it's a relationship. They build something together, even if it's not love. Reading the play of minds is almost as good as reading the sexual interaction between the two.

Life Prison is the tale of what the title tells right: the life in prison; it's not a journey toward freedom, or better it's not a journey toward the freedom outside the prison, but it's the journey of a man who learns to "live" in prison. Till he meets Thomas, Merrick is not living, he is waiting to die. Merrick is not a man who can live outside: he finds in prison, and in the confinement of prison, a suitable environment for him; outside he would be a criminal, a reject of the society; inside he is a man.
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