cover image Mercy


Michael Palmer and Daniel Palmer. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-03084-9

Boston doctor Julie Devereux, a divorced mother and the heroine of this outstanding second posthumous collaboration (after 2015’s Trauma) between Daniel Palmer and his father, Michael (1942–2013), is on the verge of marrying the love of her life, Sam Talbot. But everything changes when Sam is left a quadriplegic after a motorcycle accident. Sam’s requests that Julie let him die place her in an especially difficult spot, as she has been a passionate advocate of death with dignity. Tragically, just as Sam begins to be receptive to a support group for the paralyzed, he dies from a heart attack. Baffled by this turn of events, Julie turns sleuth, only to find that something disturbing is going on at her hospital, something the reader has known since the prologue, which depicts an unnamed doctor administering a fatal dose of medication to a patient he considers to have “no business living.” Ample, plausible twists combined with well-developed characters add up to a superior thriller that grapples with the ethics of euthanasia. [em]Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (May) [/em]