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This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash Book Review

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash Book Review

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: Oct. 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Mystery or Thrillers
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Source: TLC Book Tours
Your Favorite Indie Bookstore* | Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Hailed as “mesmerizing” (New York Times Book Review) and “as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), A Land More Kind Than Home made Wiley Cash an instant literary sensation. His resonant new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, is a tale of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, a story that involves two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a little town not far from the Appalachian Mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex–minor league baseball player whom they haven’t seen in years, suddenly reappears and steals them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls’ court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking him to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn’t the only one hunting him. Also on the trail is Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, a man determined to find Wade and claim what he believes he is owed.

The combination of Cash’s evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.”

My Thoughts:

What do you look for in a good mystery? For me, it’s about the good guys I am rooting for, the bad guys that get under my skin and the guys I can’t quite tell which side they are on. The suspense as I try to figure out what will unfold, the author one step ahead of my game and me never quite able to piece it together until the fabulous ending is revealed.

Easter and Ruby Quillby are two young sisters who have seen too much tragedy for their age. Their mother’s lifestyle and consequent death causes big sister, Easter, to take on a motherly role to young Ruby. Easter shoulders the brunt of the responsiblity of protecting Ruby both physically and emotionally. Easter remembers little of her father, whom she calls Wade, but remembers the stories that her mother told her of how he’s no good and abandoned them.

Easter’s skeptical and stoic personality is balanced by Ruby’s precocious and sweet disposition. When Wade shows up, Ruby can’t contain the excitement of her father being part of their lives but Easter is not so sure they can trust him. I loved these girls, for their strength, courage and innocence. I wanted to dive into the story, hug them, protect them and bring them home with me.

Wade, the girls’ biological father and Brady, the girls’ court-appointed legal guardian, are the ones who I was not quite sure if they could be trusted. Wade is trying to escape his shady past and stealing from the wrong man and wanting the girls to be a part of his life at the same time. It makes for quite a fast-paced story as Wade takes the girls and they are immediately on the run. Will Wade learn from his past? Does he deserve a second chance to be a father to these girls after all he’s done? Will he be able to protect them from those who are out to get him?

The book is set in my home state of beautiful North Carolina, in small town Gastonia. I live in NC and still it made me crave some Bojangles sausage biscuits and sweet tea just reading about it.

Baseball plays a strong sub-plot to this mystery. Growing up, major league baseball was my favorite sport to watch. I used to watch the Cleveland Indians games on TV and keep the scores/stats and collect baseball cards. This book brought back some of my baseball memories but also delves into the darker side of baseball, the betting, the drugs and the competition of these minor league players trying to make it to the big leagues.

Overall, This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash fit the bill as a perfect mystery for me. Wiley Cash created characters I fell in love with, those I loathed and then still those I hoped (but could not be certain) had the best intentions. The suspense was killing me and my motherly instincts, all I really wanted to know was whether Easter & Ruby would be safe with these questionable and ruthless men looking for them seeking revenge. The writing was concise and powerful, making it a riveting story that I raced through until I found out what would become of much too grown up Easter and sweet little Ruby. Highly recommended if you like a mystery with a whole lot of drama.

Wiley Cash is joining my group of NC authors to watch and support. I need to pick up his first novel, A Land More Kind than Home which I have heard nothing but rave reviews about. I’m hoping one of his speaking events to will be in a town near me so he can sign this wonderful book for me!

Many thanks to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to help kick off the blog tour for the paperback version of This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash! Be sure to visit other blogs on the book tour and see what they have to say about this book.


What mysteries, suspense or thrillers have you enjoyed? What authors are local to you? What sports did you like to play or watch as a kid and/or as an adult?


About Wiley Cash

From author’s website: “Wiley Cash is The New York Times best-selling author of A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME and THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, which are both available from William Morrow/​HarperCollinsPublishers.

A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list in hardcover, paperback, and e-book. The New York Times also named it an Editor’s Choice and a Notable Book of 2012. The novel was included on best of 2012 lists by Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Books-a-Million, and many others. A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME won the Southern Independent Bookseller Ailliances’ Book Award for Fiction of the Year and the John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award from the UK’s Crime Writers’ Association, and it was a finalist for the PEN/​Robert W. Bingham Prize and the American Booksellers’ Association’s Debut Fiction Prize. Wiley’s second novel, THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY, was a national bestseller, an Indie Next Pick, a SIBA Okra Pick, an O Magazine Top Ten Title, a LibraryReads February Selection, and an Amazon Book of the Month. It has been optioned for film.

Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly, and his essays on Southern literature have appeared in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina Review, and other publications.

Wiley teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. A native of North Carolina, he and his wife live in Wilmington.”

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  1. I love reading books that take place near/around where I live! I think you’re lucky to count Wiley Cash as a local author!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

    1. I love reading books about places I’ve been or lived in too. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read this one and find another local favorite author.

  2. I also loved this one and reviewed it back when it originally came out. I’d never read Cash before and now want to read A Land More Kind than Home as well…now I just need to find the time!!

    Incidentally, I started following Cash on Twitter and he’s a pretty funny follow!

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