- File Size: 2998 KB
- Print Length: 164 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Close To The Bone (May 26, 2018)
- Publication Date: May 26, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07C4WDY2H
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,199,599 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Her Name Is Mercie Kindle Edition
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When a routine traffic stop leaves Mercie Hillbrook’s parents dead, she’s inconsolable.
Shortly after their funerals, she learns her home has gone into foreclosure… and she has no recourse.
The cops who shot her parents get a slap on the wrist, the bank gets her home and Mercie is left with nothing.
She has rage that cannot be contained and is in no mood for anyone’s thoughts and prayers.
Seeking vengeance—or revenge—Mercie’s mini-crime spree and high-speed chase land her in jail facing a good portion of her life in prison.
Mercie has lost all faith and she doesn’t have much hope left when the street-smart homeless teen she encountered during her brief run-from-the-law literally becomes her get-out-of-jail-free card.
Still facing a jury trial and prison time, Mercie finds things are not as they appear and soon learns her parents’ deaths may not have been an accident.
Mercie Hillbrook is a great character. She’s a college-educated convenience store clerk who lives a very underwhelming life. The deaths of her parents devastate Mercie and she has little time to mourn them. But it’s the apathy of the police department—standard procedure, rules were followed, the officers used the appropriate response to a ‘threat’… nothing to see here, folks—and the insouciance of the bank—you’re not named a successor and have no legal standing—which turn her grief into Terminator-size anger.
Yes, yes, she broke laws… I’m over it. I don’t believe Mercie snapped, had a mental break, lost touch with reality or any of the polite terms for going batsh!t crazy. She was simply fed up. (And I was too!) Responding violently to the unethical and unprincipled bureaucracy doesn’t necessarily make you a criminal. Sometimes, extreme measures are needed to bring attention to injustices. So, uh…go, Mercie!
Kermit is a delight and has Mercie’s back! It isn’t disclosed how or why the Vietnamese teen lives on the street, but it’s more than obvious he’s learned to survive and has a fondness for tacos… and car stereos! Police Chief Perez gets a nod… even though he’s too white-headed and too wrinkly, I’m satisfied with how he covered the bases.
Page MacIntyre and her cohorts? Ugh! That is not the proper procedure for foreclosing on a home.
Someone is willing to kill (again) to keep the truth from being revealed and Mercie and Kermit find themselves fighting for their lives with only their wits to help them… and admonishments from Merci’s mother.
This short read is suspense at its best and will have you cheering for the protagonist… even as she’s breaking the law.
Kudos to the author for delivering a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Let’s start with the obvious: Chris Roy can really write. All five of these stories are impressively written, compelling, clear-voiced and psychologically engaging. You’re not going to start any of them and go to bed before the end. What’s less obvious is why the four short stories are being served on the same plate as the novella. If I were to take a star away from this collection (and I got very close), it would be for this: they are all great stories but they aren’t enhanced by being dished up together.
The four short stories form a clear set – short, dark, macabre, violent and unsettling; (reminiscent in some ways of Ian McEwan, albeit with different preoccupations). Each of them explores a chilling interface between familiar and aberrant states of mind, posing questions about where madness comes from, where evil comes from, how close these are to us - always there, waiting, in the background of our ‘safety’.
The Novella that opens the collection is a very different creature. It is a fast-paced, action packed, picaresque romp of a story, tracing its central character through a rollercoaster of adventures that hurl her in and out of the criminal justice system via various encounters with increasingly unappetising ‘law-enforcers’. The female central character is cheerfully piratical, her side-kick familiar but welcome, the villains (and some of the action) straight out of a Marvel comic. Pitch this against some grittily realistic depictions of life in a women’s prison, some sharp observations of the politics of ‘bad luck’ and a satisfying wish-fulfilment of an ending…
Stop there. Go to bed. Sleep happy. Don’t start the four short stories till the morning…
This short book is a fine collection of tales dreamed up by Chris and made so realistic that we wonder if they border on reality! That is a signal of how well this boxer writes. The book contains five works by Chris - Her Name Is Mercie, Re-Pete, Hunger, Libby’s Hands, and Marsh Madness.
The brief plot line for the title story is as follows – ‘Mercie Hillbrook lives a simple, quiet life working as a gas station attendant. Then her parents are killed. Her home is taken. The people responsible are excused for just doing their job. When an attempt to get justice her way lands her in trouble with the law, Mercie realizes she still has something to lose: her own life. Then she finds reason to believe her parents were murdered… and she doesn't care anymore……’
In addition to Chris’ fine stories there are additional suggestions of other books by other authors from Near to the Knuckle Press – looks like they have the corner on stimulating short stories. Grady Harp, June 18
Top international reviews
But there is always a price to pay, and what follows for Mercie, at least in the immediate aftermath, is a prison stay that captures every iota of the hopelessness and despair of that other world in excruciating detail. Those scenes are impactful, powerful, and mind-numbingly bleak, but you can be assured that they are as real as you will ever find anywhere.
Her Name is Mercie could easily stand alone as a novella, but there are four more short stories to round out this book, and all of them are considerably darker than Mercie. Being a lover of all things horror, I should probably focus on the wonderfully bizarre Libby's Hands or on the creepiness that is Re-Pete, but when all is said and done, it was Mercie who won my heart.
Mercie is no traditional action hero. She is unexceptional, right up until she has to be exceptional. And her under-aged cohort is smart, resourceful, and a bit of a smart-ass. In short, the perfect sidekick. I loved the pairing, and I can only hope that this isn't the last we've seen of these two.
I'm not entirely sure how I'd categorize this collection of stories, but I loved them all, and that's all that matters. Five big stars for Her Name is Mercie, and a huge thank you to author Chris Roy!