The latest installment in David Mark's internationally acclaimed Detective Sergeant McAvoy series, Cruel Mercy is McAvoy's first adventure on American soil.
In the New York Police Department's 7th Precinct on the Lower East Side, Detective Ronny Alto is investigating a crime that's left one man dead and the other in a medically induced coma after surviving a shot to the head. One hope is that Brishen Ayres, a boxing coach and legend in the gypsy community in England, will wake up and reveal the person—or people—responsible for the murder of his protégé Shay Helden and his own mutilation. Another hope is Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy.
Far away from his home in the U.K., from his familiar Hull, and from the guidance of his boss Trish Pharaoh, McAvoy is flown in to assist with the case, but he has his own motives for the trip: find a man named Valentine Teague—another amateur boxer, a rival of the Helden family, and, perhaps most important, his brother-in-law. But every step toward locating Valentine is a step deeper into a sinister underground network of misguided loyalty, faith, and honor that pulses beneath the streets of New York.
The latest installment of the Detective Sergeant McAvoy novels, and the first to be set in the United States, Cruel Mercy finds Hull's most enigmatic detective treading unfamiliar ground in this wicked stateside thriller.
Mark's absorbing sixth novel featuring Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy (after 2016's Dead Pretty) takes McAvoy from Yorkshire to upstate New York, to help Det. Ronald Alto of the NYPD solve an attack that put revered boxing coach Brishen Ayres in a coma and left Shay Heldon, Ayres's brash young prot g , dead, with a mysterious second young man impaled on a nearby tree branch. McAvoy's task is to track down his troublemaker brother-in-law, Valentine Teague, another boxer and a bitter rival of Heldon's, missing since the ambush. As McAvoy and Alto try to uncover how Ayres and Heldon ended up victims of what soon appears to be a scrambled professional hit, their investigation slides into New York City's world of organized crime: deals made, deaths dealt, power upheld. In the final stretch, the narrative skids between a well-wrought examination of the brutal pragmatism of mob dealings and a macabre vignette of religious fanaticism, bundling an unwieldy thicket of side plots into a satisfyingly melodramatic, if implausible, ending twist.
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Simply the best
Loved this variation on the Mafia