Followers of David Baldacci’s Atlee Pine novels will know by the title that Mercy is a significant book.

Tall and muscular Atlee Pine is a crack FBI agent. She has a twin sister who she hasn’t seen in years. The loss is gut-wrenching. It is sometimes the only thing Atlee can think about.

When they were children, it was only through the luck of the draw that her other half was kidnapped and Atlee was only injured. Now, she is looking for Mercy.

With her twin never far from her mind, amidst a tangled web of unanswered questions and snippets of information, Atlee is determined to surmount all obstacles and finally unearth what has disturbed her for years: What happened to Mercy? Is she even alive?

With the knowledge that years ago Mercy escaped her captors and disappeared, Atlee and her colleague and friend Carol Blum travel to Georgia where they recruit help to retrace what is known about Mercy’s life and find answers so that Atlee can finally have closure.

There is a lot of history here, with kidnappers, mob ties and family secrets. Baldacci does a great job of presenting the complicated backstory in a concise understandable manner which provides an excellent and interesting recap for those of us who know the tip of the iceberg of the Pine sisters’ story, and brings up to speed those who don’t.

Still, there are many shocks and surprising details that are new to even the most seasoned fan.

It is interesting, too, that in Mercy, Atlee shares the spotlight with another prominent character. The contrasts and comparisons are quite compellling.

Gritty and at times intense and physical, the strength and determinism of the main players is palpable. They are the very definition of toughness and tenacity.

Atlee Pine fans will want to get their hands on this one.

Note that although the back story is laid out well enough for Mercy to stand alone, it is highly recommended that those new to this Baldacci series read the other Atlee Pine novels first.

Mercy just might be the series finale.

David Baldacci
An Atlee Pine Mystery
Grand Central Publishing 2021

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