This Dark Road to Mercy, by Wiley Cash (Morrow):
Hoping to build upon the renown he already earned with his first novel, 2012’s A Land More Kind than Home, North Carolinian Wiley Cash now delivers this story of love, redemption, and vengeance, conveyed in Southern tones that can be deceptively reassuring. Following their mother’s drug-induced demise, 12-year-old Easter Quillby and her 6-year-old sister, Ruby, have been thrown into a small-town foster care system in the Appalachian Mountains. That is until their peripatetic father, an unsuccessful baseball player named Wade Chesterfield, decides he wants them back. Trouble is, Wade has already foolishly relinquished his parental rights, so the only way he can retrieve his children is by convincing them to run away with him. This turn of events doesn’t sit at all well with the girls’ court-appointed guardian, ex-cop Brady Weller, who defies FBI threats as he searches for Wade and his daughters, and in the course of it all uncovers information linking Wade to an armored car robbery. Raising the stakes further in this tale is the presence of another failed ballplayer, Robert Pruitt, who’s also hunting for Wade--and may have no compunction against killing Easter and Ruby in order to take him down.
* * *Also new is The Dark Palace (Creme de la Crime), R.N. “Roger” Morris’ sequel to The Mannequin House, about which I wrote here last year. Set in the spring of 1914, this yarn finds Silas Quinn, an abundantly troubled inspector with the Special Crimes Department of New Scotland Yard, present for the premiere of a motion picture made by Konrad Waechter, an Austrian filmmaker of great notoriety. When that glittering affair is suddenly interrupted by screams heard from outside the theater, Quinn hies off to investigate, only to discover a young woman injured in a manner very much like one Waechter portrayed on the screen. This book is only available so far in Great Britain, but a U.S. edition is due out at the end of April.