cover image Mercy


Michael and Daniel Palmer, read by Hillary Huber. Macmillan Audio, , unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-3366-0

This medical thriller by the late Michael Palmer and his son, Daniel, centers around Julie Devereux, a critical care physician at Boston’s White Memorial Hospital, who has always been an advocate of death with dignity. That changes when a brutal motorcycle accident leaves the love of her life, Sam Talbot, a quadriplegic. Instead of acting on his plea for euthanasia, she tries to convince him that, even in his condition, life is worth living. When he dies suddenly from apparent cardiac arrest, a bereft Julie discovers that a suspicious number of other patients have experienced fatal heart attacks. She begins searching the corridors for a “mercy” killer, prompting the killer to threaten her. Narrator Huber’s naturally calm, soft, intelligent voice is a splendid match for the thoughtful, empathetic Julie. It’s also ideal for objectively establishing the Palmers’ smartly conceived premise. As the authors tighten the screws, narrowing the distance between Julie and the murderer, Huber reacts with an appropriate increase of tension and intensity, and as the novel races to a dynamic close, she successfully guides the listener through several shattering surprises without overdoing or undercutting the suspense. A St. Martin’s hardcover. (May)