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This Dark Road to Mercy: A Novel Paperback – September 23, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: This Dark Road to Mercy is equal parts family drama, Southern Gothic thriller, and road trip novel. Actually, it's more of a chase. After the sudden death of their mother, young sisters Easter and Ruby are sent to a foster home. Their long-absent father Wade appears and takes them in the middle of the night. As Wade and his girls travel west, to a destination unknown even to Wade, the three are being tracked down by their legal guardian, an ex-cop named Brady, and an ex-con named Pruitt, who has sinister intentions for Wade. Like Cash's terrific debut A Land More Kind Than Home, Mercy wrestles with themes of redemption. The perspectives alternate between Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, each with a unique view of Wade, whose own secrets slowly unravel throughout the course of Cash's dark and delicate novel. When all three characters converge--at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, no less--we discover Wade at his most honest self: a father who turns out to be too little, too late. --Kevin Nguyen

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

When 12-year-old Easter and six-year-old Ruby’s mother dies from an overdose, the two young sisters are put into a foster home. Their father, Wade, who had given up legal rights to the girls, finds them there and kidnaps them. Suspected of also having stolen a portion of the take in a multimillion-dollar theft from the man who masterminded the heist, Wade is being pursued by a psychopathic hit man determined to retrieve the stolen money. Also in pursuit is Brady Weller, a former policeman who is the girls’ court-appointed guardian. Who will find Wade and the girls first is clearly a matter of life and death. Cash (A Land More Kind Than Home, 2012) tells his fast-moving, suspenseful story from three points of view: Easter’s, Weller’s, and the hit man Pruitt’s. Both Wade and Pruitt are former baseball players, and Cash has cleverly folded another chase into their story: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s pursuit of a new home-run record. Set in the Carolinas, Cash’s novel is a fine example of reader-pleasing southern storytelling in the mold of Ron Rash and Tom Franklin. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062088262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062088260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gayla M. Collins VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read "A Land More Kind Than Home" by Wiley Cash I anxiously chose his brand new offering, "This Dark Road to Mercy." I made a stellar choice. That southern grit, colloquial dialogue, acute descriptions, and flowing, purposeful plot is right here again in "The Dark Road to Mercy.

Easter and Ruby, two young sisters in foster care are awaiting a home because their mother overdoses and their father, a wayfaring drifter whose scope is aimed at an easy dollar, left years before. One night he kidnaps the girls from their bedroom and Easter, 12, is a prominent narrator of the debacle she and Ruby find themselves in. Though the police give a half-assed look into the case, their ex-partner, Brady Weller, now turned guardian ad litem, grabs up the case in a fire's flaring hurry. He's aware that Wade stole something that belongs to a criminal. A ruthless, soulless hit man, Pruitt, is hired to find Wade and his kids; leave the first dead and return the latter. Such enthralling suspense occurs that your skin is actually crawling; your brain is embedded with the characters and the plot line. I read it in one day. I tried putting it down, but my mind was hooked till the last word.

Though a bit dark at times, this reads more gently than one would think.

Cash deserves all the favor that is befalling him. His southern writing cohorts must be proud to gather round in praise.

P.S. As a sideline this author, Cash, could be writing book titles...it is what caught me the first time and I admired this title too. :-)
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is a strikingly original and powerful novel that embraces suspense, emotional loss and the human need for love with sympathetic arms of mercy. What beautiful and compassionate insights grace this novel and yet how thrilling it is too, and even dangerous and frightening! Wiley Cash proves to be an author possessed of a generous wisdom and a humanitarian spirit of benevolence, forgiveness and kindness. Yet he is equally adept at portraying a vengeance and violence that can transform the heart into a cold, blackened ember.

This is the second novel of Wiley Cash but only the first one I have read and it is already clear to me that he is a writer at the top of his form.

This is masterful storytelling that crackles with a tactile tension that immediately pulled me into its narrative power and held me captive in its sure, dramatic clutches. The narrative voice alternates between three of the story's main characters, people who are brought so fully alive in only a few quick pages that I quickly felt familiar with each of them and especially endeared to the youngest ones.

The novel's main character and deeply affecting heroine is a baseball-loving twelve year old girl on the cusp of womanhood, Easter Quillby.
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This year, I spent Easter Sunday with Easter. Easter Quillby, that is, the 12-year old protagonist of Wiley Cash's novel, This Dark Road to Mercy.

It's quite a heavy sounding title and as you might expect having seen the book's cover, this tale is somewhat stormy. Easter and her sister Ruby are living in foster care, after the sudden death of their mother. Easter is used to caring for herself and her sister, but when her father Wade returns, she apprehensively follows his lead. In the middle of the night, he takes the two girls, fleeing those whom he owes money, and trying to provide his daughters with the father they deserve. Ultimately, it is not only the police who are trying to hunt down the trio, but also more sinister and vengence-motivated forces who threaten to destroy the lives of all three.

The world that Cash conjures is irrefutably gritty, yet it also bears a Southern gentleness. The book strikes a delicate, yet poised balance between the dark characteristics of its antagonist(s) and the innocence of Easter and her sister. Easter's voice shines from within the recesses of this otherwise overcast world. It was her story that caught me from the start, and despite the shifting narration from chapter to chapter, it was Easter who propelled my reading of the novel forward.

I think the categorization of This Dark Road to Mercy by critics as a work of the Southern Gothic genre is spot on. It might take a little thinking back to earlier school days to recall this genre. His work evokes the aspects of the writings of historical greats, including Truman Capote, Harper Lee, and Cormac McCarthy. It's a bit of the setting of Capote's In Cold Blood, mixed with the dangerous undertones of To Kill A Mockingbird, and the love amidst desolation of McCarthy's The Road.
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