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The Absence of Mercy by John Burley
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The Absence of Mercy

by John Burley

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Wintersville a sleepy town in Ohio, a brutally murdered teenager is discovered. Ben Stevenson the towns medical examiner, father of two tries to find the killer whilst keeping his family safe.

This book I found to be a very slightly below average thriller. The story itself was ok but was at times slow. There is lots of non important elements where I felt the author was perhaps trying to pad the story out.

The story had a few flaws with what I felt was one big one. Without giving anything away to anybody who may enjoy this book, I felt that the one big lead was right infront of Ben the whole time. Ben being the expert should have seen it.

I found myself skipping pages just to see who it was but by this time it didn't matter to me. The story was there but it was missing something to give it that pull. A very average read for me. ( )
  tina1969 | Nov 23, 2017 |
A dead and mutilated child is found. The Coroner has two children, and he wants to protect his children. We follow the Coroner's relationship with is wife and children, whIle we read about teenagers being killed and even can't tell which person is going to fall apart first. I suspected that I knew who did it (and I was right), and I'm not sure this is Burkey's best work, but he is someone to watch. ( )
  minxcr1964 | Oct 25, 2016 |
Oh my gosh this book was bad. Really, really bad. We can start with the continuity error in the first chapter- unacceptable. Then we can move on to the dozens and dozens of peripheral characters. I didn't care about the main characters, let alone all these other people that were thrown in there for filler(?). The pace of this book was soooooo slow. And then we can go to the fact that the author is a doctor and so yes, ok, I get it, you know a lot about medical procedures but this was supposed to be a suspense novel, not a medical textbook. Not to mention, just say you took an aspirin it is not necessary for you to use the word analgesic. Oh yeah and the ending is predictable Ugh. What a complete and total waste of time. I REALLY want someone to investigate how these truly horrible books get all the big time authors' quotes on them saying how fantastic they are! In case I wasn't clear, hated it. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Book Description John Burley’s The Absence of Mercy is a harrowing tale of suspense involving a brutal murder and dark secrets that lie beneath the surface of a placid, tight-knit Midwestern town. When a brutally murdered teenager is discovered in the woods surrounding a small Ohio town, Dr. Ben Stevenson—the town’s medical examiner—must decide if he’s willing to put his family’s life in danger to uncover the truth. Finding himself pulled deeper into an investigation with devastating consequences, he discovers shocking information that will shatter his quiet community, and force him to confront a haunting truth. With its eerie portrait of suburban life and nerve-fraying plot twists, The Absence of Mercy is domestic drama at its best for fans of Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, Jennifer McMahon, and Lisa Gardner. My Review This book is an excellent debut of a psychological thriller. Some of the descriptions of the murders and autopsies are disturbing and very real. The ending was a real shock and one I did not expect. I will be looking forward to reading his next book! ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
From Amazon:

John Burley’s, The Absence of Mercy, is a harrowing tale of suspense involving a brutal murder and dark secrets that lie beneath the surface of a placid, tight-knit Midwestern town. When a brutally murdered teenager is discovered in the woods surrounding a small Ohio town, Dr. Ben Stevenson—the town’s medical examiner—must decide if he’s willing to put his family’s life in danger to uncover the truth. Finding himself pulled deeper into an investigation with devastating consequences, he discovers shocking information that will shatter his quiet community, and force him to confront a haunting truth. With its eerie portrait of suburban life and nerve-fraying plot twists, The Absence of Mercy is domestic drama at its best for fans of Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, Jennifer McMahon, and Lisa Gardner.

My Thoughts:

The solution to the identity of the killer is presented before the ending, and the impact and why of who it is becomes a fascinating study into human normal and abnormal psychology. The fact that it appears prior to the ending is a well thought out sequence and brings Burley's novel to a level more than a little beyond a murder mystery. This is a first novel for this author and I believe that he will learn that ordinary people don't need two pages of medical jargon and he needs to cut down on the descriptions and back histories. They may have been necessary to the story, but it was a little too much. That was the only problem that I had with the book. I look forward to more novels by John Burley in the near future. 4.5 stars for an excellent read. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
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John Burley's The Absence of Mercy is a harrowing tale of suspense involving a brutal murder and dark secrets that lie beneath the surface of a placid, tight-knit Midwestern town. When a brutally murdered teenager is discovered in the woods surrounding a small Ohio town, Dr. Ben Stevenson--the town's medical examiner--must decide if he's willing to put his family's life in danger to uncover the truth. Finding himself pulled deeper into an investigation with devastating consequences, he discovers shocking information that will shatter his quiet community, and force him to confront a haunting truth. With its eerie portrait of suburban life and nerve-fraying plot twists, The Absence of Mercy is domestic drama at its best.--Publisher's description.… (more)

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