Customer Reviews for

The Absence of Mercy: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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(9)

4 Star

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(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Give No Quarter

Dr Ben Stevenson thought he knew the people in the sleepy Ohio town where he and his wife chose to raise their two children. He was wrong. He thought he knew his wife and children. He was wrong. He thought he knew how far he would go to protect them. He was wrong. If yo...
Dr Ben Stevenson thought he knew the people in the sleepy Ohio town where he and his wife chose to raise their two children. He was wrong. He thought he knew his wife and children. He was wrong. He thought he knew how far he would go to protect them. He was wrong. If you have a family that you have devoted your life to raising and protecting, this thriller will sneak up on you and hit you right where it hurts. If you think this sort of violence would never happen in your neighborhood, you're wrong. If you think you've seen or read it all, you haven't. If you haven't had a chill run down your spine lately, now's the time. If you are a bit put off by pedantic descriptions of extensive autopsy procedures in the early chapters, hang in there, the story gets better.

posted by Ronrose on October 31, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Unfulfilling

I believe this might be a first book by a physician. For that I congratulate him on stepping out of his comfort zone and writing a novel somehow in his spare time. The main character is a a doctor who's the coroner for a small Ohio town. I almost put the book down wh...
I believe this might be a first book by a physician. For that I congratulate him on stepping out of his comfort zone and writing a novel somehow in his spare time. The main character is a a doctor who's the coroner for a small Ohio town. I almost put the book down when the first description of an autopsy had too many medical references that laymen wouldn't know about. The plot was okay, but I was disappointed that there wasn't a sufficient explanation of the villain's motives. But I would encourage the author to try another book now that he's proven that he can do it.

posted by Daniel_Martin on January 20, 2014

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  • Posted October 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Give No Quarter

    Dr Ben Stevenson thought he knew the people in the sleepy Ohio town where he and his wife chose to raise their two children. He was wrong. He thought he knew his wife and children. He was wrong. He thought he knew how far he would go to protect them. He was wrong. If you have a family that you have devoted your life to raising and protecting, this thriller will sneak up on you and hit you right where it hurts. If you think this sort of violence would never happen in your neighborhood, you're wrong. If you think you've seen or read it all, you haven't. If you haven't had a chill run down your spine lately, now's the time. If you are a bit put off by pedantic descriptions of extensive autopsy procedures in the early chapters, hang in there, the story gets better.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    John Burley makes his fiction debut with The Absence of Mercy.

    John Burley makes his fiction debut with The Absence of Mercy.


    In the small Ohio town of Wintersville, Dr. Ben Stevenson wears two hats - that of the town doctor and when needed, that of the medical examiner.


    But rarely is he called to examine violent deaths - Wintersville is a place where the neighbours all know your name - and a lot of times, your business.


    Who then could be responsible for the frenzied attack on a local teenager that left him dead in a field? Suddenly, folks are locking their doors and keeping their kids close. That goes double for Ben. His older son was friends with the slain boy.


    Ben becomes more involved with the investigation, especially when another attack occurs - and the victim is found barely alive.


    Burley explores the reaction to such a crime through the townsfolk, most notably the teenagers in town and through Ben's eyes - both as a father and a coroner. This is a lot of the focus of the book, as there are not a lot of clues to follow. Instead, things ratchet up a notch when the killer's identity becomes known. While I was not overly surprised at this turn, it did raise some interesting questions. I was surprised at where Burley chose to take his story after that - it was a nice twist. I'm not sure if I liked the ending, but again it wasn't nice and tied up with a bow. I like that. And I liked this debut by John Burley - I would pick up his next book without hesitation.


    Burley's background is in medicine. This background certainly gives the medical scenes a ring of authenticity. But, after a few lengthy descriptions it also had me skipping further explanations - they were filled with too much 'technical' jargon.


    The title? "The same was true for the absence of mercy – not because mercy was something such individuals chose to withhold, but because it was a faculty they simply did not possess." Chilling.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Unfulfilling

    I believe this might be a first book by a physician. For that I congratulate him on stepping out of his comfort zone and writing a novel somehow in his spare time. The main character is a a doctor who's the coroner for a small Ohio town. I almost put the book down when the first description of an autopsy had too many medical references that laymen wouldn't know about. The plot was okay, but I was disappointed that there wasn't a sufficient explanation of the villain's motives. But I would encourage the author to try another book now that he's proven that he can do it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    Great book, a thriller

    This is a terrific book. Hard to put down. Fear comes to a small town and suspense builds to a twisted ending. I recommend it to all who enjoy murder mysteries.
    Ron57

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    Absence of Mercy is a compelling medical mystery that I could no

    Absence of Mercy is a compelling medical mystery that I could not put down. Dr. John Burley utilized his vast trauma and
    ER experience to weave this novel with the perfect mix of terror and compassion. This is the best book I have read this year.
    I'm looking forward to more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2015

    Great

    In a few short words this book is fantastic. Author has new one coming in Feb and I already ordered it. Must read!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    A really great mystery, that keeps you guessing till the end. I

    A really great mystery, that keeps you guessing till the end. I couldn`t put it down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Great book

    Great fast pace book. I stayed up well into the night to finish. This is what nightmares are made of!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I really enjoyed the book. It was hard to put down. Surprise co

    I really enjoyed the book. It was hard to put down. Surprise comes to a small town. Suspenseful and with a twist. The very end left me wanting more. Can't wait for the next book!

    Ron57

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A book with a s

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A book with a serial killer with the coroner and his family at the center, what a great change to the normal serial killer book.  I loved having the main character be a different part of the investigation; it gave a different perspective on how the hunt for a serial killer can unfold.

    WHAT a twist!  I have to keep this review brief because I just can't reveal anything that would ruin the spoiler on this one!  The killer came out of nowhere for me, but not too far that I felt annoyed.  It was just out of left field that I wanted to read it again to pick up on any more clues that I think I may have missed!  I absolutely adore being surprised!  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    Uninspired, trite, predictable. Zero character development - the

    Uninspired, trite, predictable. Zero character development - they felt distant and abstract. Had the ending figured out VERY early on, and only finished the book in hopes I'd be proven wrong/caught offguard. I'm amazed there are so many good reviews for this book. To me, it speaks to the dumbing down of our culture. At the end of this book and at many points throughout, I thought to myself, if this man can be a published author, why have I not tried?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2013

    Good read, could have been longer.

    Good read, could have been longer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    AWESOME BOOK

    I could not put this book down! I stayed up all night and finished in one sitting. Never a dull moment and I really was suprised at who the killer was

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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