THE MERCY OAK by Kathryn R. Wall


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The accidental death of a teen embroils Bay Tanner (Sanctuary Hill, 2007, etc.) in a case that will test her detective and survival skills.

Together with her associate, computer wizard Erik Whiteside, Bay is trying to breathe new life into their inquiry agency after the brutal death of ex-cop Ben Wyler, the agency’s prime investigator. The sometimes testy relationship between Bay and her brother-in-law Red Tanner, a police officer, has led to Red’s spending most nights with Bay, who’s often annoyed by his attempts to keep her out of harm’s way. When a Hispanic girl is killed in a hit-and-run, the son of Bay’s beloved housekeeper Dolores Santiago calls to hint that her death was murder. As Bay begins to investigate, Dolores and her son disappear, leaving behind a stonewalling husband and a lot of unanswered questions. A series of robberies in the area may be tied to illegal residents, forged papers and coyotes—a problem Bay never thought existed in South Carolina’s sleepy lowlands. As the case develops, telephone threats and surveillance leave Bay and Red angry. When both the FBI and Homeland Security tell her to drop the investigation, she digs in her heels and tries to figure out what knowledge makes her a threat to so many people.

A topical tale full of tension that should please old fans and new.

Pub Date: May 6th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-37534-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2008


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