1.5 star, adult

Review: Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

Introducing a remarkable new character from #1 New York Times bestselling writer David Baldacci: Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States who must confront a new threat . . . and an old nightmare.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So when one of the Grand Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she’s abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it…



Oh man. For what is supposedly a mystery book, I had such a hard time reading through this. It also had elements of suspense and thrillers but it was just….so boring. And the title and backstory don’t even really make sense to me? Let’s just say I borderline didn’t finish it. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

Long Road to Mercy follows an FBI special agent, Atlee Pine, who specializes in the rural part of West America. Her tragic backstory includes a twin sister who was kidnapped at age 6 from their own house – a man had snuck in and spoke a nursery rhyme to choose which sister he would take. 30 years later, Atlee is still on the hunt for what happened to her sister.

Or so you’d expect.

In actuality, almost nothing in the book is related to the disappearance of her sister. I was so confused. It wasn’t about going back to her hometown, or revisiting that night with new evidence, nope. The whole mystery simply revolves another threat that is completely irrelevant to the kidnapping of Atlee’s sister. I suppose this is just supposedly book 1, but for a book literally named after her sister, she is almost irrelevant.

There were also a lot of details in the book that I felt like were completely unnecessary, or just little thoughts and tidbits given that I felt were also out of place. This book gives me some “woman POV clearly written by a man” vibes, and truly all the extraneous details through me for a loop and bored me.

Many, many things happen in this book as Atlee travels all of America to essentially fight a conspiracy. I will admit that Atlee is a pretty cool and badass character, but that was probably the only redeeming quality of this book. Sure there was a lot of action in our classic “lone wolf” FBI investigation, but I thought we were here to uncover the truth about her lost sister? That whole part was apparently just a bit of tragic backstory (and motivation), and not much else. Truly not what I expected.

I had a very hard time reading some parts as it seemed incredibly long and boring. Multiple times I even thought about just stopping and giving up, but there was one short part in the middle that I actually found quite thrilling so that gave me just enough energy to just go right through to the end.

But barely.

I would have a hard time recommending this book. There are so many names, so many characters, and we wonder how they’re all connected – it was a bit confusing to keep track of all of them as we just kept meeting more and more people to add to the mess of a situation. I suppose you might like this book if you like an almost-Olympian, big and strong female lead?

The number of unanswered questions left hanging in this book just really stings. After how hard I worked to read through it, there weren’t even any satisfying answers. After writing this review, I am beginning to think that I really should have just given up on it – even though it’s not my normal mantra to stop reading a book halfway.

Let me know below what tips you guys have for books you don’t really wanna finish, do you just power through? Or is it better to give up?

Overall Recommendations

Long Road to Mercy is a double entendre in the fact that it refers to Atlee Pine’s long road to find her sister, Mercy. Atlee is an FBI special agent who lost her twin sister at a young age and never knew what happened to her. This is a mystery of a missing person’s case which actually doesn’t have much to do with the title and Atlee’s sister’s disappearance at all. Atlee is a very muscular and built (and tall) woman who tackles many (and I mean many) challenges thrown her way. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t really recommend this one, as it just dragged on too much for my liking.

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