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Writing is good, but the plot is ridiculous.
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020
David Baldacci is a writer who knows how to engage a reader. He writes vulnerable characters you genuinely like, involved in scenarios that don't scrimp on the action. He has a wild imagination, and in LONG ROAD TO MERCY, it is on full display.
Atlee Pine is an FBI agent, lone wolf, Olympic caliber body builder, who is well suited for her position as the agent in charge of the 2 person regional FBI office located a stones throw from the Grand Canyon.
The investigation into a missing tourist, whose pack mule is found with its belly slit open at the bottom of the canyon, turns into a desperate search for a nuclear weapon.
Atlee's fighting skills are barely enough to save her and her veteran office assistant from a lethal Korean assassin, as the pair criss-cross the country, going full rouge from the FBI, after Attlee is ordered to drop the investigation.
LONG ROAD TO MERCY is a fun action packed adventure, but it gets less and less believable as it goes on, with a wrap-up that is patently ridiculous. I loved Atlee, and look forward to reading more novels featuring her, despite the ludicrous plot.
LONG ROAD TO MERCY is NOT one of Baldacci's better plots, but it is entertaining, and the setting and characters are interesting well written. Unfortunately, for me, nothing is more important than the plot, and this story misses the mark.
OK but not among Baldacci's better novels. The plot improved ( very, very gradually) as one read. The last few chapters were much more interesting. Throughout, there is a lot of 'padding ' with superfluous detail. So annoying !
A long road to not much. A prepostrous plot, and a main character who is a beyond-belief superwoman. Not one of Baldacci's best, by a long shot
This is the first Baldacci I've read and will read some of his writings written prior to 2015 or 2016 to see if he used any of those novels as a platform to make a stand about his political preferences. I enjoyed the plot and the main character Atlee Pine; and also her secretary side-kick Carol Blum, The story line and the author's method of writing held my interest and curiosity. However, it would best serve the diversity and multitude of readers to leave his personal beliefs off the pages.
Lots of comments shows that the author is very popular. Lots of divergent comments show that this novel is not universally loved, or hated. To me, this was an enjoyable, page turning work of fiction, with a current backdrop of politics. Lots of action, more than a few bodies and a likable protagonist has me looking forward to more books in the series. Some might say the plot lacks more than a modicum of believability, but most will have no trouble with the convoluted plot, especially if you read most of Baldacci's work.
Interesting characters but plot too much of a stretch and unbelievable that
the government agencies don't relate better.
Will try one more in the series.
David Baldacci has introduced us to a new character and a new series. Atlee Pine is an FBI agent working in Shattered Rock, Arizona in a one man office. She is a strong and tough lady as demonstrated throughout this book. Some of it was a bit of a stretch but........ True to all Balcacci’s books, it was a great read.
A good book. Some of the story lines were a bit of a stretch, but overall a typical good Baldacci book. Nice to have the start og a new series.
This is the first book in a new Baldacci series. I liked Atlee and her sidekick Ms.Blum. I also liked the Arizona setting. I have to admit I was more interested in the story about her missing twin than the Grand Canyon mystery. But that was just a small part of the book and will most likely be an ongoing search throughout the series. A lot of over the top spy/thriller stuff and Atlee’s ability to handle the situations was a little unbelievable. But overall I liked it and will give the next one a try
The author opens with FBI agent Atlee Pine interviewing a suspect deeply involved in a tragic who-dun-it from her past. On the heels of that conversation, she is then directed to investigate the stabbing of a mule at the bottom of the Grand Canyon but there is more to it than the upper eschelon let on. This story is very up-to-date from the events and plot twists to online tracking with a little humor thrown in when Agent Pine’s cell phone provider is out of range in the bottom of the Grand Canyon just when she needs it the most. Working together with some other unexpected branches of law enforcement, Atlee and her cohort save the day…and the Grand Canyon.
The readers, Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer, well inhabit the characters as they voice this book. Their delivery is well paced to reflect the urgency of the action or tone it down to fit the mood. Their delivery is crisp and clear which adds to the telling.
“Long Road to Mercy” is the first book in a new series for this author and I can hardly wait for the subsequent crimes Atlee Pine investigates. The action is swift and rugged. The author gives us, the listener, a glimpse into Atlee’s thought process as she peels back the layers in this crime thriller.
I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously, I didn't want to put it down. I will admit that the plot was a bit of a reach but that was okay with me. I really, really loved Atlee and Sam (and their burgeoning relationship) but I have to say that Atlee's older assistant, Carol, was hands down my favorite character in the book. What a hoot she is! One of my favorite parts of the book was when Atlee and Carol were on their road trip (which involved one dangerous pitfall after another) and discussed who was Thelma and who was Louise!
I will admit that part of the reason I loved the book so much is because I lived in Arizona for many years, and reading it brought back so many memories. Baldacci nailed the details!
David did it again. I loved this book -- and it was scary in relation to our world today. 'Too close to home' are the words I'm looking for. Others have said it's too choppy - hard to read - hard to follow - obviously they don't live in the real world. Life is choppy - hard to read - hard to follow - never easy! I recommend this to any reader who enjoys thrills, scary, difficult situations. Enjoy!
Complicated story, some plot lines a bit far-fetched. I did enjoy the budding relationship between the two female protagonists, and I look forward to the next story with these two as the way this one ended there definitely will need to be a follow-up. Overall, I do enjoy this author; he may not be in my top five, but surely I can include him in my top ten.
Whew! Long Road to Mercy is a bit schizophrenic!
I think the parentheses of Atlee Pine's back story at the beginning and end of Long Road to Mercy were too forced. I would rather have had it dosed out more slowly as we get to know Atlee Pine, rather than the way Baldacci did it which, in my opinion is "Ok! Here's her excuses for why she is the way she is, now let's move on to the plot line for this book". I think that's lazy and unimaginative writing.
The story itself is schizophrenic starting with mules and ending with ... well read it and find out. Just know it's definitely not a linear journey (which is usually OK), a bit conspiratorially far-fetched and you might need to list the characters to keep track of them all. Personally, I think Tom Clancy, Stephen Coonts and yes, even Baldacci of the 'Camel Club' novels are far better at this type of novel than Baldacci is in this one.
3.5 Stars only because Atlee Pine could be an interesting character IF Baldacci doesn't continue to crib her personality, her foibles, her pain and her traits after other popular novel heroes of other popular authors, including his own.
David Baldacci can so he does. Such cloak and dagger or rather camos, Glocks and unarmed combat. More FBI in the shadow lands, topically with two intrepid female agents saving the US from Russia, North Korea, itself, etc etc. If ISIS and Muslims were in the mix, I missed them.There was the requisite train trip across America with bodies chasing one another up and down the carriages before one inevitably went through the window and disappeared. 007 on steroids. This clearly has the makings of another US TV drama series. Long road to Mercy went full circle without finding Mercy this time around.
A FBI agent, a lone-she-wolf who was a near-Olympic caliber weight-lifter, looked into the connection between a mutilated mule and teams of suspicious men with immense resources. Was it a senseless act or something more sinister? Felt that the story was overly complicated with too many characters in the mix. The extra baggage may be a setup for sequels. However, enjoyed the Grand Canyon trivia and how the central plot ties to current world events.
***Only 7 quotes posted in goodreads, perhaps not Baldacci's best but many more quotable lines as this one (many more in "Quotes"):
Cleveland, sometimes referred to in FBI circles as the “mistake on the lake.
The reviewers of this book seem to be overly critical, but I found the characters well developed, likeable and realistic. Great action packed read. Looking forward to the next installment.
Baldacci has started a new series with 2 females as main characters. Each work for the FBI in a small office in Arizona. The storyline, action, and dialogue remind me of the movies made by Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Perhaps Baldacci did have a movie in mind when he wrote this novel as I skipped many paragraphs of description that set decorators/script writers would probably find helpful. Expect to read detailed descriptions of houses/neighborhoods, rooms and offices, physical descriptions of many characters and their physical strength, their clothing, meals made and eaten with many coffee breaks, blow by blow descriptions of hand-to-hand combat (expected in Baldacci's novels), physical landscape descriptions, and meaningless banter meant to provide background material about the characters. The tease in the book is what happened to Mercy as a youngster, the main female character's twin sister. It most likely seems that plotline will indeed be a long road for readers to find out about Mercy. one which I most likely will not travel. I have enjoyed other Baldacci plotlines to a point, but not this one. No doubt, written for female readers wanting strong female characters.
Is it just me or our thriller writers getting stale? David Baldacci's "Long Road to Mercy," was rather boring for the first 150 pages and then the pace picked up. As is always the case federal agent Atlee Pine had to go off the grid to crack a case involving, to begin with, a dead mule in the Grand Canyon. Relentlessly chasing the case agent Pine uncovers a deadly plot which could even lead to World War 111. After much violence it's a case of all's well that ends well; but the road does not lead to 'mercy.'