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Long Road to Mercy

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#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine. Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .


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#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine. Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .

30 review for Long Road to Mercy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    The prolific thriller writer David Baldacci begins a new series featuring female FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine, with quite a backstory. At the age of 5 years old, Atlee was left seriously assaulted after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted from their bedroom. Plagued by survivor's guilt, and feeling the wrong sister was taken, Mercy was the good girl, not Atlee, Atlee's memories of what happened that long ago night have only recently returned. She is convinced that convicted serial killer, 57 ye The prolific thriller writer David Baldacci begins a new series featuring female FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine, with quite a backstory. At the age of 5 years old, Atlee was left seriously assaulted after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted from their bedroom. Plagued by survivor's guilt, and feeling the wrong sister was taken, Mercy was the good girl, not Atlee, Atlee's memories of what happened that long ago night have only recently returned. She is convinced that convicted serial killer, 57 year old Daniel James Tor, was responsible for taking Mercy, and although Tor's patterns of behaviour make this a possibility, there is no proof. With tattoos on her body that serve as constant reminders of Mercy, Atlee visits Tor in ADX Florence high security prison in Colorado, aware that it is highly likely he is going to play mind games with her, but she doesn't care, she has to find out what happened to her sister. With Tor being less than helpful, this is going to be an overriding storyline in this series. Atlee is a loner, she is close to nobody, and she is not ambitious, she has no interest in living and working in a city and has sought to be placed in remote locations as the sole FBI representative in the area. She is a physically strong woman who just missed out in being on the US Olympic weightlifting team. She has been at the Grand Canyon placement for a while and has spent some time getting to know the communities and people in this stunning location. A mule has been mutilated and savagely killed, and his rider, Benjamin Priest is missing, a disturbing set of facts that has Atlee investigating with the help of the Park Rangers. She can have no idea as to how deeply this will blow her world apart as she is warned off looking further into the case by her superiors in the FBI or face suspension. Atlee is not a woman to give up, no matter what the cost to her career and job. Aided by her able assistant, Carol Blum, Atlee finds herself in a world gone crazy as she is faced with desperate danger, horrifying murders, Russians, Chinese, Koreans and where she can trust no-one, not even the FBI. Baldacci's plotlines here might sound a trifle far-fetched here, until you look at the gloomy and dangerous state of US politics and the global machinations at play in the world today, at which point it all seems scarily possible. The central protagonist here, Atlee Pine, is a heavyweight as a character, you get a real sense of her as a rounded character, vulnerable but spectacularly good at her job, unafraid of doing what has to be done even when her life and those of others is on the line. Baldacci gives us a gripping thriller and the beginnings of a great series here. The book is fast paced, highly entertaining and full of suspense and tension. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Panmacmillan for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    After reading the Long Road to Mercy, I felt in need of some myself. It started off well in the first chapter but became a big mess that was devoid of any tension but chockful of all possible action-thriller tropes possible. WTF? David Baldacci has been losing his touch in his recent books and LRtM doesn't change this pattern. Now, I hope Mr. Baldacci continues the thread in Chapter 1 in his next book, since that was the only original plot point that actually interested. The rest of it was BS.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 intriguing stars to Long Road to Mercy! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ It’s a shiny new series from David Baldacci with a fierce female main character! Meet Atlee Pine. She’s a tall, muscular, no nonsense FBI special agent, and she’s assigned to the most remote areas of the west. What inspired her to join the FBI? Her twin sister was abducted by a serial killer, but not before assaulting Atlee, and her life mission has become putting offenders behind bars. Atlee is a top profiler with the agency, and she keeps to he 4 intriguing stars to Long Road to Mercy! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ It’s a shiny new series from David Baldacci with a fierce female main character! Meet Atlee Pine. She’s a tall, muscular, no nonsense FBI special agent, and she’s assigned to the most remote areas of the west. What inspired her to join the FBI? Her twin sister was abducted by a serial killer, but not before assaulting Atlee, and her life mission has become putting offenders behind bars. Atlee is a top profiler with the agency, and she keeps to herself working on lone missions in her vast assigned territory. Her current mission: investigating a missing person from the Grand Canyon. This is not the only person missing from the area, so one could could lead to another for Atlee as she profiles the crime. Startlingly, she is told not to investigate further by her superiors, but she does not not heed their orders. Atlee as a character is well-drawn. I have a sense of her as if she is a real person. I admired her morals and assertiveness. There’s also something soft and vulnerable about her balanced with a hard, strong exterior. She’s going to do what’s right regardless of what anyone else thinks. I found Long Road to Mercy to be gripping and intense. It stars strong and never lets go of the pull. The pacing is on point, and I was entertained from start to finish. I’m really excited for the next installment because I have to see what Atlee is up to. I think she has quite a story to share with us. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. If you are interested, I’m giving away finished copies on my blog and instagram page. Www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Gardner

    Was very excited to receive an Advance Reading Copy of Baldacci's new series starring FBI agent Atlee Pine. All action and attitude. Plus, I learned so much about the Grand Canyon. Great thriller!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Long Road To Mercy, the first thriller to feature FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine, begins by introducing us to our new protagonist, and we learn all about her formative years spent with her family and the troubles that have plagued her ever since, saying more would spoil it for potential readers. As her life is shaped by happenings of the past I have a feeling that this will be a recurring theme that Baldacci will continue to use throughout this brand spanking new series. I can very much relate to A Long Road To Mercy, the first thriller to feature FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine, begins by introducing us to our new protagonist, and we learn all about her formative years spent with her family and the troubles that have plagued her ever since, saying more would spoil it for potential readers. As her life is shaped by happenings of the past I have a feeling that this will be a recurring theme that Baldacci will continue to use throughout this brand spanking new series. I can very much relate to Atlee Pine and her attitude and tendency towards being an introverted loner, but there is no doubting her ability to get stuck in and once she gets her teeth into something, even where she has been warned off it by her superiors, she still continues to follow her heart with no qualms about the possible consequences whether personal and/or employment-related. She is both physically and mentally strong and reminds me of the type of women guys are often intimidated by. Whilst I did appreciate her tenacity I did feel she was being a little foolish and naive at certain points. What she lacks in terms of social skills and ambition she makes up for by her don't-mess-with-me nature and her investigative skill. The Grand Canyon was a stunning location for the book to be set and Baldacci's descriptions were wonderfully vivid. I remember thinking that the story was more than a little far-fetched, but after taking a step back and looking at it against the current political backdrop, I realised just how plausible it actually was! You recognise that Mr Baldacci has taken inspiration from the state of world politics but in particular those in the US. It's well written, with plenty of FBI action, a fast-moving pace and a suspense and tension-filled plot that will have both long-time Baldacci fans and those new to him devouring this captivating tale. This series appears to have opened with a cracker - roll on book two! Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for an ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Terence M

    Audiobook - 11:10 hours - Narrated by Brittany Pressley, Kyf Brewer 4.0 stars out of 5.0 I have been brooding on "Long Road to Mercy" since I finished it early yesterday. In my judgement, Atlee Pine is a true "action hero" moulded from the strengths and weaknesses of a multitude of such characters as John Puller, Kim Stone, John Rain, Jack Reacher, Will Robie, John Milton and the like. Because of her back story and the great set of characteristics attributed to her, including her FBI badge and "cr Audiobook - 11:10 hours - Narrated by Brittany Pressley, Kyf Brewer 4.0 stars out of 5.0 I have been brooding on "Long Road to Mercy" since I finished it early yesterday. In my judgement, Atlee Pine is a true "action hero" moulded from the strengths and weaknesses of a multitude of such characters as John Puller, Kim Stone, John Rain, Jack Reacher, Will Robie, John Milton and the like. Because of her back story and the great set of characteristics attributed to her, including her FBI badge and "creds", I liked Atlee Pine. What had me hovering between 3.0 and 4.0 stars was the plot - hardly credible - and the storyline - which seemed to wander the entire USA and back again. The action stuff was pretty good but was a bit 'filled out' by the addition of some unnecessary and irrelevant writing. For example (not a spoiler), on their cross US journey, Atlee and her side-kick stop at a deserted, barely lit rest area with not another vehicle or person in sight. They both go to the 'ladies bathroom' and are immediately confronted by three young, hulking, tough dudes wanting a bit of "you-know-what". Of course, Atlee dealt them her brand of "you-know-what", leaving them all cuffed together, each suffering his own brand of pain. Atlee dials 911, gives them some details and drives off into the sunrise. Aside from reinforcing Atlee's previously demonstrated fighting abilities and her willingness to use them, plus her FBI badge and her gun, to beat guys bigger and stronger than she is, the anecdote had no bearing on the plot/storyline whatsoever. The rest of the story required a significant suspension of a reader's/listener's credibility particularly in regard to the alleged activities of various branches of USA armed forces, USA Homeland Security and the FBI. The resolution of these, umm, 'conflicts', the apprehension of the bad guys, and other stuff of an "International" nature, pads out the final story leaving a "what was that all about" taste in the mouth. I hummed and hawed about 3.0 stars or 4.0 stars, but in the end I decided that David Baldacci's creation of Atlee Pine is a good thing, particularly since I read that he has decided to develop this character as the long-term basis of a future series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Intriguing Start that Goes Down the Absurd Conspiracy Trail Review of the Audible Audio edition narrated by Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer The opening set-up, which was also well-telegraphed in the title, and then even the mysterious death of a mule in the Grand Canyon promised a lot here but it all got side-tracked into a totally absurd conspiracy plot where each plot twist was more unbelievable than what came before. Baldacci introduces a new series here with FBI agent Atlee Pine and the wester Intriguing Start that Goes Down the Absurd Conspiracy Trail Review of the Audible Audio edition narrated by Brittany Pressley and Kyf Brewer The opening set-up, which was also well-telegraphed in the title, and then even the mysterious death of a mule in the Grand Canyon promised a lot here but it all got side-tracked into a totally absurd conspiracy plot where each plot twist was more unbelievable than what came before. Baldacci introduces a new series here with FBI agent Atlee Pine and the western outdoors locale and accompanying characters are well utilized at the front and back end. The actual conspiracy that is finally uncovered is just far too absurd to hold the plot together but it does provide occasions for some well-written action set-pieces. I hope for something a bit more realistic and down-to-earth from any future entries in the series. The narrations by newcomer Brittany Pressley (female voices) and veteran Baldacci-reader Kyf Brewer (male voices) were both excellent.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I usually love listening to audiobooks, however, this book would I have rather read. Or waited for the Swedish audiobook. Brittany Pressley voice was kind of OK, a bit robotic, like narrators to express more emotions. However, Kyf Brewer, GAh, very robotic voice and he voiced EVERY male character in pretty much the same way. Also, I have no problem with different voiced when there are different POVs. In this case, did Kyf Brewer voice every line that a male character speaks. And it irritated me I usually love listening to audiobooks, however, this book would I have rather read. Or waited for the Swedish audiobook. Brittany Pressley voice was kind of OK, a bit robotic, like narrators to express more emotions. However, Kyf Brewer, GAh, very robotic voice and he voiced EVERY male character in pretty much the same way. Also, I have no problem with different voiced when there are different POVs. In this case, did Kyf Brewer voice every line that a male character speaks. And it irritated me quite badly. As for the story, well, to be honest, I've read better books by Baldacci. Much, much better books. I was actually surprised to find this book to be so bland. I picked this book as Baldacci is a safe card when it comes to a great reading experience. This time, well it was OK, and I will pick up the next book in the series. Just not the audiobook version...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Finder

    Getting to read great books early is one of the best perks of being an author. This book is great fun, and a real blastoff for what promises to be a spectacular series. You're going to like Atlee Pine.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Great read, love David Baldacci's writing. Special Agent Atlee Pine is a troubled but steadfast officer of the law. Her past is her nightmare and it does disrupt her rationale at times. One thing is for sure, you want her on your side! She teams up with her office assistant - they refer to themselves as Thelma and Louise! One of the National Park Rangers becomes a personal friend of Atlee's, which is a good thing because he also carries baggage from his past. The one thing that seems to be the n Great read, love David Baldacci's writing. Special Agent Atlee Pine is a troubled but steadfast officer of the law. Her past is her nightmare and it does disrupt her rationale at times. One thing is for sure, you want her on your side! She teams up with her office assistant - they refer to themselves as Thelma and Louise! One of the National Park Rangers becomes a personal friend of Atlee's, which is a good thing because he also carries baggage from his past. The one thing that seems to be the norm for a lot of writer's is if the character has served in the Middle East, it's always the same story: A kid from the village makes friends with the troops, then tries to kill them off - it's been done too many times now and one of the reasons why I can't give 5 stars. I so hope Mr. Baldacci continues with this series! From the blurb: Her name is Atlee Pine, the latest creation from bestselling author David Baldacci. She has unstoppable tenacity, always a fighter who is unwilling to cede any ground. She has endured real nightmares and she has the emotional and physical scars to show for it. And she got that long before she became an adult. She is a FBI Special Agent assigned to the wilds of the western US. She has to cover, often solo, vast tracts of area: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona. Small towns, impossibly long distances in-between, isolation like most on the East Coast have never experienced, and an environment where anything can and does happen. Working with the locals who respect, and also sometimes fear her, and have never really been allowed to know her, Atlee Pine turns her vast investigative skills and unmatched drive to find out the truth. Along the way she will revisit painful memories of her own, come to grips with what she is and what she might one day aspire to be. But in the end, she will have to confront not only a new monster, but also the old one of her nightmares. 4.5 stars and 2 thumbs up

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Spreen

    Baldacci has created a fine new character in Atlee Pine. She's a bit too superhuman, but her emotional vulnerability balances it out a bit. Her sidekick, an older woman secretary who is more than she seems, creates an interesting dynamic. Pine is smart and funny, although both she and Carol Blum, the secretary, come off as more masculine than feminine. Speaking as a woman and a writer, I'd suggest he run his drafts past some female readers before the next book comes out. Still, what a gripping s Baldacci has created a fine new character in Atlee Pine. She's a bit too superhuman, but her emotional vulnerability balances it out a bit. Her sidekick, an older woman secretary who is more than she seems, creates an interesting dynamic. Pine is smart and funny, although both she and Carol Blum, the secretary, come off as more masculine than feminine. Speaking as a woman and a writer, I'd suggest he run his drafts past some female readers before the next book comes out. Still, what a gripping story! You're not sure who the good guys are, and the premise is really believable, unfortunately, given the current political situation in America and the world. I think the book is about 50-75 pages too long; I skimmed some details of overly-detailed scenes, but overall a very good read. I'll look forward to Book #2 in this new series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Terrie

    I like David Baldacci. I feel like he didn't write this book. That he got someone else to write it and he just edited, added or told the story and someone else ghost-wrote it. Atlee was very unlikable for me. She's a mess and it's not working in a way that I have empathy for. Add to that incredible details of.... restoring a mustang, bench pressing/weight lifting, Grand Canyon trails... too many pages of info that didn't add to this story except for page counts. I will read more of the Memory Man I like David Baldacci. I feel like he didn't write this book. That he got someone else to write it and he just edited, added or told the story and someone else ghost-wrote it. Atlee was very unlikable for me. She's a mess and it's not working in a way that I have empathy for. Add to that incredible details of.... restoring a mustang, bench pressing/weight lifting, Grand Canyon trails... too many pages of info that didn't add to this story except for page counts. I will read more of the Memory Man series, but not going to follow Atlee around again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hanlie

    Fast action. Well written and good storyline. Main character reminded me of a female Jack Reacher

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Started really good but then got a bit slow, then picked up again about 3/4 into the book. I like the characters and the back story of her looking for her twin’s killer. I think that will be a huge plot to come in this series. My quick and simple overall: a good start to a new series by Baldacci with really interesting characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    Ive only read a few Baldacci novels because I know they're easy reads. And I also like to break things up with a crime action style book. The premise sounded cool. Pines twin was murdered or has disappeared when kids, she visits the notorious killer in prison and demands to know where she is and what happened. This arc really only consists of about 40 pages so less than 10%. The second arc consists of Pine working for the FBI in a murder/disappearance investigation amongst the Grand Canyon. I wa Ive only read a few Baldacci novels because I know they're easy reads. And I also like to break things up with a crime action style book. The premise sounded cool. Pines twin was murdered or has disappeared when kids, she visits the notorious killer in prison and demands to know where she is and what happened. This arc really only consists of about 40 pages so less than 10%. The second arc consists of Pine working for the FBI in a murder/disappearance investigation amongst the Grand Canyon. I wasnt overly excited about the sudden change and reliance on this plot without ever returning to the original plot until the last couple of pages. Here we get a over the top action thriller. I felt like previous novels by the author were very strong on the plot front however this seemed a little weaker. It also felt a little too heavy on the description on the scenes and very light on the action sequences. The action seemed to start and finish very quickly. Not sure if I'll continue this series. Hopefully he revisits the twin sister thread more closely though in the near future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    Review to follow shortly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sally Channing

    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy. When it arrived in my in box I was so excited, and started reading it straight away. I love all David Baldacci books, they are so varied and different. OK so they may all have a little bit of Washington DC in them, but that is the only similarity between them. I really liked Atlee - she seems a great character, much in the way of Michelle King. I don't want to give the story away, but the email characters are well drawn and the sort of people you want to kno Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy. When it arrived in my in box I was so excited, and started reading it straight away. I love all David Baldacci books, they are so varied and different. OK so they may all have a little bit of Washington DC in them, but that is the only similarity between them. I really liked Atlee - she seems a great character, much in the way of Michelle King. I don't want to give the story away, but the email characters are well drawn and the sort of people you want to know, whereas most of the men and awful (but brilliantly written). I just hated most of those in power and was really glad when Atlee stuck it to them. Now just a long wait for the next Atlee Pine book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good Thriller/Mystery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    It’s that time of year – Fall – when two of my favorite mystery/suspense writers, Lee Child and David Baldacci, publish new books. As I side note, I find it interesting that Child has publicly made negative comments about Baldacci’s writing, when I find them to be rather similar writers in several ways. Anyway, I just finished Child’s new Reacher novel, “Past Tense”, and have now turned my full attention to Baldacci’s new adventure, “Long Road to Mercy”. For the last couple of years, Baldacci ha It’s that time of year – Fall – when two of my favorite mystery/suspense writers, Lee Child and David Baldacci, publish new books. As I side note, I find it interesting that Child has publicly made negative comments about Baldacci’s writing, when I find them to be rather similar writers in several ways. Anyway, I just finished Child’s new Reacher novel, “Past Tense”, and have now turned my full attention to Baldacci’s new adventure, “Long Road to Mercy”. For the last couple of years, Baldacci has been producing two books a year, and focusing most of his attention on his series characters of Amos Decker (Memory Man), Will Robie, and John Puller. However, “Long Road to Mercy” introduces a new lead, Atlee Pine, a female FBI agent with a chip on her shoulder. Agent Pine is 35 years old, at least five feet eleven inches tall, and in fantastic physical shape (as most of Baldacci lead characters are). She’s competed in MMA fighting and kickboxing, and is a serious weightlifter. Serious enough to have barely missed qualifying for the 20014 Athens Olympics. But Pine also has a dark past. She had a twin sister, Mercy, who is no longer around. When the two were both six years old a stranger snuck in their bedroom window, played eeny, meeny, miny, moe with them, and snatched her sister away, never to be seen or heard from again. Atlee was left behind, traumatized for life. When “long Road to Mercy” begins, Pine is now an FBI agent, assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona town near the Grand Canyon National Park. She has never given up looking for her sister and is currently using her FBI resources to interview a death row inmate that might her sister’s abductor. The story is kicked off when local forest rangers find a mule stabbed to death at the bottom of one of the Grand Canyon trails and discover the rider is missing. Pine is called in to investigate this unusual mystery. It doesn’t take Pine long for Pine to put the clues together and surmise the lost tourist is not who he says he was. However, when she finds out who he really was and tracks him down, she finds out there is a potential international conspiracy, most likely involving members in high government offices of the United States. Before she can take any next steps, they are attacked. Pine watches a helicopter arrive and a group of commandos in body armor and combat helmets with M16’s abducts her witness. The next day, higher levels of the FBI demand that she stop her investigation immediately and take a week or two to rest and recover from her injuries in the attack. Pine knows that if she refuses to obey those direct orders and searches for the missing man, her career in the FBI will be over. However, if she stops now this conspiracy severely damage the democratic government of the United States. As Pine moves forward in her secret investigation, the storyline includes an undercover investigative trip to the East Coast; plenty of action with henchman and false security guards, and a very deadly South Korean named Sung Nam Chung, who brings back memories of Bruce Lee; and plenty of international intrigue with South Korean and Russian influences. There are a several good things about Baldacci’s new character and her first outing. It’s nice to see a female lead, especially one that is smart, has depth, yet has some weaknesses. Pine certainly has a strong chip on her shoulders which drives the strengths in her character. Yet, I appreciated that she wasn’t superhuman and did everything herself. Too many times we see male lead characters in books who perform such herculean feats that are just unrealistic. I appreciated that Pine succeeded most when she let her secretary and team mate, Carol Blum, and potential love interest, Sam Kettler, help her out and they worked together. I also think that the supporting character of Carol Blum – secretary, partner, single mom, and actor extraordinaire – was an absolute scene stealer. She added a unique voice and strength that balanced Pine’s physical prowess and subtly persuaded Pine to listen and trust her. That strength comes from her many years of working multiple jobs as a single parent, raising six children on her own. Carol has earned her proverbial PhD in the harsh realities of life, which helps her character bring lessons of wisdom to Atlee. Their Thelma and Louise exchanges were a nice touch. I would love another Pine & Blum cross country road trip. The only thing that I didn’t really care for was that some of the bad guy plot details were left vague and unexplained. I know that some readers will say that is on purpose, and I wouldn’t disagree. It’s just that I was left a bit unsure of certain plot connections, who some of the bad guys really were, and their motivations. Some of it felt a little weak and unclear compared to reading other Baldacci books. Still, it wasn’t enough to ruin a good story. To me, there is a certain smooth rhythm to Baldacci’s writing style. He connects his plot, characters, and style together like the lyrics of a good Eagles hit song that you just sing along with and get lost in the music. (Note – I was already thinking this before Baldacci references one of their hits). His books are a smooth and fluid read. There are no disruptions or hiccups in the flow of words. His language is descriptive, but focused on moving the story forward with high and lows in both action sequences and moments of discovery. As Pine works through the clues and interactions with bad guys, important information is revealed step by step, like peeling away the layers of an onion. For an author that produces two books a year, Baldacci shows that he is still capable of intricate plotting and pacing. Overall, “Long Road to Mercy” is an enjoyable journey for the reader, allowing you to try to solve the mystery before Pine does. It is not his best work, but it is still good. It is another solid example of Baldacci’s fast-paced plotting, vigorous elements of mystery, and strong multi-dimensional characters you can appreciate. I definitely interested in reading another Atlee Pine adventure (with sidekick Carol). One last side note. It’s a good Fall when two of my favorite writers – Child and Baldacci – publish good books. Yes, it is.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan MacMillan for an advance copy of Long Road to Mercy, the first novel in a proposed series to feature FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine. Atlee Pine is called to investigate a murdered mule and a missing person in the basin of the Grand Canyon. Not one to shirk her duties she starts to investigate tenaciously and soon uncovers more than she bargained for, putting both her and her assistant Carol Blum’s lives in danger. I thoroughly enjoyed Long Road to Mercy which I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan MacMillan for an advance copy of Long Road to Mercy, the first novel in a proposed series to feature FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine. Atlee Pine is called to investigate a murdered mule and a missing person in the basin of the Grand Canyon. Not one to shirk her duties she starts to investigate tenaciously and soon uncovers more than she bargained for, putting both her and her assistant Carol Blum’s lives in danger. I thoroughly enjoyed Long Road to Mercy which is a convoluted tale of governmental chicanery and good triumphing over evil. I would love to say that the plot is absolute nonsense but with the current administration nothing is completely beyond the unimaginable so Mr Baldacci has taken recent events and created a scenario that could arise, complete with some very nice touches, and produced a well written and imagined thriller. It held my attention from start to finish with some good action scenes, some very scary scenes of government agencies in action and a plot that encourages the reader to keep turning the pages to see what is coming next. Atlee Pine is a kickass protagonist with great skills. An interest in weightlifting and MMA gives her physical strength and survival skills and being 5’11” she is as strong as any man. Mr Baldacci writes that he wanted to create a strong female protagonist but is making her some kind of Amazon the right way to portray a strong woman? I don’t know but it doesn’t seem quite right to me, the couch potato, fortunately she is also smart and resourceful. At the same time as investigating the mule she is dealing with her own problems. Twenty nine years ago her six year old twin sister, Mercy, was abducted from their home and Atlee was left seriously injured. Recently Atlee has recovered her memory of those events and suspects that serial killer Daniel James Tor was the perpetrator so she has started visiting him in prison to find out what happened to her sister. This will be an ongoing thread in the series or to quote the title, a “Long Road”. Long Road to Mercy is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    David Baldacci has become so prolific, I sort of mentally discounted some of his books the last few years. I took a shot here and was happy I did due to the introduction of his new protagonist FBI Resident Agent Atlee Pine. She's kind of a bad ass weight lifter who takes her low key position in the FBI hierarchy very seriously while haunted by the kidnapping of her twin sister years earlier. Much of the setting takes place in and around the Grand Canyon which is always a welcome break from NYC a David Baldacci has become so prolific, I sort of mentally discounted some of his books the last few years. I took a shot here and was happy I did due to the introduction of his new protagonist FBI Resident Agent Atlee Pine. She's kind of a bad ass weight lifter who takes her low key position in the FBI hierarchy very seriously while haunted by the kidnapping of her twin sister years earlier. Much of the setting takes place in and around the Grand Canyon which is always a welcome break from NYC and LA. An auspicious start on a new series that I plan on reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I have yet to find a series by this author that didn’t make me want to read more. David Baldacci’s new characters of Atlee Pine and her secretary, Carol Blum are going to be a force to contend with if future books are anything like this one. Atlee is a woman that the bad guys want to think twice about messing with. The only thing that I found a little difficult to make sense of was the past story line in the beginning and the rest of the book in the present. Give this one a try if you liked any I have yet to find a series by this author that didn’t make me want to read more. David Baldacci’s new characters of Atlee Pine and her secretary, Carol Blum are going to be a force to contend with if future books are anything like this one. Atlee is a woman that the bad guys want to think twice about messing with. The only thing that I found a little difficult to make sense of was the past story line in the beginning and the rest of the book in the present. Give this one a try if you liked any of Baldacci’s past series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Strong first book in a new series, this time featuring a tough-as-nails female protagonist. Atlee Pine is an FBI agent in a solo office that covers the Grand Canyon and nearby areas. As a child, she lived through an attack by a serial killer but lost her twin sister. As a teen and adult, she has honed her body and skills so that she never again would be a helpless victim. She has ample opportunity to put those skills to the test when a dead mule and missing person case in the Grand Canyon turns o Strong first book in a new series, this time featuring a tough-as-nails female protagonist. Atlee Pine is an FBI agent in a solo office that covers the Grand Canyon and nearby areas. As a child, she lived through an attack by a serial killer but lost her twin sister. As a teen and adult, she has honed her body and skills so that she never again would be a helpless victim. She has ample opportunity to put those skills to the test when a dead mule and missing person case in the Grand Canyon turns out to be part of a conspiracy that would endanger millions. Atlee is an engaging character, and her skills and smarts pitted against the bad guys make for an entertaining read. A scene in a highway rest stop was one of my favorites. Baldacci includes some strong secondary characters, especially Atlee’s middle-aged secretary Carol Blum, who add a lot to the story. The characters and how things are left at the end promise some interesting stories to come.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Great new strong heroine in FBI Agent, Atlee Pine. Agent Pine joined the FBI because she believed in truth and justice, but when she stumbles into something huge she begins to wonder whom she can really trust. When we find out what is really going on it is so mind boggling and frightening. Could this really happen? For mankind’s sake, I hope not. But in the crazy world we live in now, with powers that be that want to control the world, anything is possible. I hope there are more people like Agen Great new strong heroine in FBI Agent, Atlee Pine. Agent Pine joined the FBI because she believed in truth and justice, but when she stumbles into something huge she begins to wonder whom she can really trust. When we find out what is really going on it is so mind boggling and frightening. Could this really happen? For mankind’s sake, I hope not. But in the crazy world we live in now, with powers that be that want to control the world, anything is possible. I hope there are more people like Agent Pine in all walks of life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Greg Markwardt

    I was hoping for better. I prefer Baldacci’s less political thrillers. This starts ok but devolves into an espionage thriller with a pretty ridiculous plot. I few decent moments and the characters are well written but overall I’ll pass on the next Atlee Pine novel if it’s remotely political or involving espionage. 2.5 rounded down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dwight

    David Baldacci introduces his first solo female lead character and FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine is a force to be reckoned with. Typical Baldacci fare - fast-paced, full of action, intriguing plot. Another enjoyable thriller. I look forward to reading more of Atlee Pine's adventures and more delving into her traumatic past.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    David Baldacci's newest book, Long Road to Mercy, introduces us to a new protagonist - Atlee Pine. (love the name!) Pine is a kick butt female FBI agent - the sole operative in the remote Shattered Rock office near the Grand Canyon. The past is what has driven Atlee to the career she has today. Pine had a twin sister. When they were six years old, Mercy was kidnapped from their bedroom. She's never been found and no one has been arrested. Atlee is determined to find answers. But, right now she ha David Baldacci's newest book, Long Road to Mercy, introduces us to a new protagonist - Atlee Pine. (love the name!) Pine is a kick butt female FBI agent - the sole operative in the remote Shattered Rock office near the Grand Canyon. The past is what has driven Atlee to the career she has today. Pine had a twin sister. When they were six years old, Mercy was kidnapped from their bedroom. She's never been found and no one has been arrested. Atlee is determined to find answers. But, right now she has a crime at the Canyon to attend to. A slaughtered mule and a missing rider. But what seems to be one thing is quite different from what Atlee finds as she investigates. I like this new character a lot! Baldacci has crafted strong female characters in other series, but I like that this time she's the lead. The sidekick in this series is also female, but older. She too is appealing. Baldacci is an inventive plotter. I did find some of the developments to be a bit over the top. But, hey, whose to say this isn't or couldn't happen. I'm being a bit obtuse so as not to provide spoilers, but national security often figures into the series that he writes. The other thing that you can count on is that justice will prevail. Good and evil are clearly defined and you'll find yourself rooting for Atlee Pine. This and more are wrapped up in a healthy dose of action making for an entertaining read. The search for Mercy is going to be an ongoing thread in this series, woven through the main plot. I am quite intrigued by this plot line. Baldacci has found a formula that works for him and he's good at it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Val

    4 1/2 Stars, rounded up to 5 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 anoth 4 1/2 Stars, rounded up to 5 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! For what it's worth, I feel that the reason for the negative reviews on this book is because of Baldacci’s commentary on the political situation in the U.S., and discussion around the lack of trust that many Americans currently have in their own government agencies, which seem to be above the law. My reason for the 4 1/2 star rating, rather than five, is because at times there was too much detail for my taste. Atlee almost made it to the Olympics as a weight-lifter and her weight-lifting routine, etc, was a bit of a snore for me. Probably readers who lift weights will love that part, though. I am waiting anxiously for the next book to be written!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci Long Road to Mercy is the first book featuring Atlee Pine, a FBI agent with a tragic past, a past that haunts her. Atlee was five years old, when her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer. Atlee was left behind, seriously injured, alone and bereft. Atlee is a puzzle with a vital piece missing. Atlee's twin Mercy was never found and the killer has never claimed responsibility for it even though Atlee remembers him clearly. She's n Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci Long Road to Mercy is the first book featuring Atlee Pine, a FBI agent with a tragic past, a past that haunts her. Atlee was five years old, when her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer. Atlee was left behind, seriously injured, alone and bereft. Atlee is a puzzle with a vital piece missing. Atlee's twin Mercy was never found and the killer has never claimed responsibility for it even though Atlee remembers him clearly. She's never had closure so now she hunts the monsters. Because of her past Atlee prefers to work out west away from the cities and bureaucracy that goes with it. Atlee is asked to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon and look into the disappearance of its rider. Slowly she unravels the clues and discovers that the killing of the mule and its riders disappearance are covering secrets that could affect America's reputation on the global stage and the fallout could change the world as we know it. Atlee reminded me of Baldacci's Amos Decker character, she's tenacious and an almost unstoppable force. 4 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Mullan

    David Baldacci introduces a new series with a head-strong, kick-ass likeable female protagonist, FBI agent Atlee Pine. The complexity of her character is cleverly woven into this first instalment and my desire to see what, where and who she will track & trace to find the answer to the abduction of her twin sister is just one reason I’ll keep reading this series. Set mainly in the Grand Canyon National Park, Baldacci has certainly ‘done his homework’ and the setting makes for an edge of your s David Baldacci introduces a new series with a head-strong, kick-ass likeable female protagonist, FBI agent Atlee Pine. The complexity of her character is cleverly woven into this first instalment and my desire to see what, where and who she will track & trace to find the answer to the abduction of her twin sister is just one reason I’ll keep reading this series. Set mainly in the Grand Canyon National Park, Baldacci has certainly ‘done his homework’ and the setting makes for an edge of your seat read. The plot, and one must consider the insanity of current world politics, reaches a little too far but is not entirely implausible (considering those who run the show nowadays). The intriguing developments, fast pace and clever twists don’t allow one to dwell on these issues. It is definitely a page turner. I’m really looking forward to the next Atlee Pine, hopefully featuring both Carol Blum & Sam Kettler. Serial murder Daniel James Tor will definitely be back.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This book is the start of a new series by David Baldacci. I was excited to listen to this one. When I started this audio though, I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish. The audio was not my favorite. I struggled with the beginning. I wasn't sure if it was entirely the narration that was at fault, or if it was the clunky dialogue, but whatever it was, it wasn't working for me. Overall, I like this new MC, Atlee. She seems perfectly imperfect, and I like that she has a brain. Her journey was well pac This book is the start of a new series by David Baldacci. I was excited to listen to this one. When I started this audio though, I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish. The audio was not my favorite. I struggled with the beginning. I wasn't sure if it was entirely the narration that was at fault, or if it was the clunky dialogue, but whatever it was, it wasn't working for me. Overall, I like this new MC, Atlee. She seems perfectly imperfect, and I like that she has a brain. Her journey was well paced. Some of it was kind of absurd, but I liked that the author created a back drop where at least it fit. He really can weave an interesting story that ebbs and flows well. I also liked Atlee's secretary. I wanted to like this one more, but I admittedly had a problem with separating the story from the narration. So three stars.

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