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Cry Mercy (Mercy Hollings) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2009
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Anyway. Mercy Hollings is back as potentially the world's most effective psychotherapist (even if she cheats a bit by using the "press"). After dealing with a murderous drug dealer (Beg For Mercy) and a child porn ring (Angel Of Mercy), here we have her getting involved in Balboa's gang wars, and finding out a little bit more about herself and her past - including one or two things she'd rather not have learned.
Sukey, her redheaded best friend, is as irrepressible as ever, pushing Mercy to practice her newfound telepathic skills, and still finding time to pet Cupcake (what a name for a 135-lb Rottweiler!). Mercy's angst and self-doubt are as strong as ever, but her walls are coming down under her friends' relentless onslaught, on the eve of her big three-oh.
The writing is as tight as ever, the characters colourful and well-drawn. Here's hoping that in the next book Ms. Andrews takes pity on her poor beleaguered heroine and lets her (and us) find out about herself.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I really want to like this series. Good points:
- The concept is intriguing, enough so that I keep coming back
- Mercy is a great character, full of human flaws and inhuman potential
- A couple of the supporting characters are well developed and engaging, such as the love interest. Though, not all of them are- one or two are annoyingly shallow.
- The ongoing subplot around the mystery of Mercy's heritage is highly compelling.
All of that not withstanding, I have to concentrate in order to make it through the book. The plots seem, frankly, weak and provincial. There just isn't that much at stake and there are never any surprises. The stories are highly predictable and lack luster.
I can appreciate the way Ms. Andrews is humanizing the stories, but I think she is trying too hard- or perhaps hard enough. This story in particular centered around the adversity faced by a supporting character that I had never developed more than a superficial affinity for in the first place. Tino is a gang leader of questionable moral values- I never really found myself identifying much with him. It was very hard to really CARE all that much about the outcome. Even as he struggled to raise himself out of his criminal life, he never acknowledges it as being wrong and even works to MAINTAIN his lucrative connections. Tino works as a supporting character to lend color to the books. Using his life as central conflict was a mistake.
So, either the tales are too dependent on these characters or not enough has been done to create characters the reader can identify with.
With such a creative paranormal concept, it is almost painful to watch our main character struggle with such dull conflicts. She never manages to face anything more challenging than maintaining relationships and the basic crime you would find in any urban setting.
In addition, there is little "fantastic" about this urban fantasy other than Mercy's special talent. If the plots were more engaging this would be enough, but as it stands, it lacks spice. If there were additional paranormal elements, I think the lack of high stakes and complex conflict would be less important. A good example of this would be Patricia Briggs' 'Mercy Thompson' series. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) Here we have fantastic writing filled with lots of intricate magic and relationships which are explored through conflict that, in the end, often just has local implications (though not always). If there was more to Mercy Hollings' world, then perhaps I would be more absorbed.
Ms. Andrews writes well, but doesn't plan well, in my opinion. The stories end up reading more like human interest than urban fantasy. The plots are nothing more than loose strings allowing her to move from one relationship to another, one personal interaction to another. In addition, there seems to be a TON of irrelevant background information on the setting- when buildings were built, how the towns have changed- none of it has any bearing on the story. Often the environment is more developed than the characters and the plot.
One or two action and suspense-filled moments, sprinkled with tantalizing glimpses of real risk around Mercy's gifts just don't add up to making a good book.
Mercy wants to know why her adoptive parents eventually abandoned her. At the same time she wants to help former gangbanger chief Tino who wants to become a realtor. Tino also needs Mercy to help get his younger brother out of the gang lifestyle, but not all the punks are normal members as some come from the dark places where souls dare not go.
CRY MERCY is as always with this saga a fun but odd paranormal Mercy Hollings thriller (see BEG FOR MERCY and ANGEL OF MERCY). The story line is fast-paced but owned by the heroine who rips skin with her sarcastic retorts. Fans will enjoy the latest antics of Mercy as Toni Andrews provides an amusing refreshing beach fantasy.