Mercy, by Julie Garwood

>> Sunday, October 27, 2002

The next one I'm reading is Julie Garwood's Mercy (Pandora's Box on this book). Up to now, I've only read her historicals, and they don't work for me. However, lots of people have mentioned they didn't like her historicals but loved her contemps, so I'm willing to give her a try.

Book description:

"In Mercy, Theo Buchanan, the brother of FBI agent Nick Buchanan from Heartbreaker, Garwood's first foray into suspense fiction, meets surgeon Dr. Michelle "Mike" Renard when he throws up on her designer dress at a New Orleans gala. Dr. Mike saves Theo's life with an emergency appendectomy, enabling him to return to Boston and his job as a federal prosecutor.

But Theo can't stop thinking about Mike and her little hometown on the bayou. After concluding an investigation and trial that brings down a powerful organized crime syndicate, Theo receives several death threats and his boss recommends he keep a low profile. What better place to go incognito than Bowen, Louisiana, where the catfish practically throw themselves at your fishing pole and where a certain pretty young doctor is opening her new practice? But when Theo arrives, he finds life in Bowen isn't quite as idyllic as he thought. Someone has ransacked Mike's new office and seems dead set on harming her. As Theo struggles to protect Mike, he uncovers a ring of upper-crust criminals willing to do anything, even murder, to keep their dirty little secret--all $40 million of it--from being discovered. What connection could they possibly have to Mike? And why does everyone under the age of 18 keep calling Theo "Coach"?"

Posted later...

Finished Mercy, and I enjoyed some parts and hated others. The final grade would be a C+.

The two elements that bother me the most about Julie Garwood's historicals were present here, but were less intense. Her hyper-simplistic style continued to bother me, but maybe because of the contemporary setting, it sounded less out of place and I could tolerate it. The idiotic heroine was a bit more problematic, basically because her episodes of idiocy alternated with episodes of bright intelligence. The woman was a surgeon, for heaven's sake! She's usually extremely capable and smart, but in most of her interactions with Theo I wanted to throw the book against the wall. She becomes 15! Luckily, this improves as the book continues, so ok, I could finish it.

Theo, on the other hand, was really nice. My favourite kind of hero. I especially loved his scenes with Noah and with John Paul. Really funny stuff. He does become a bit to much of a warrior in the final action scenes, which wasn't very realistic (for once, I'd like to read about a hero who doesn't have much physical courage!), but in balance, he was great.

I didn't enjoy the suspense subplot. I was very, very bored by all the stuff about the Sowing Club. It sounded too contrived to me. Near the end, I actually skimmed through the final action sequences. And Monk... I don't see the fascination with him. As I said, all very boring. The only bright spot related to this was the final scene, when John realizes what's happening. That was an excellent ending: suggestive and very appropriate.

Finally, though I liked the swamp as a setting, I hated the parasitic, manipulative people of Bowen. They were users, as was Michelle's dad.

All in all, though Mercy was readable, I don't think I'll try Garwood again. I've given her historical's a chance and no luck. I've given her contemps a chance and no luck either. I give up!

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