“Where’s Merrill?” is a uniquely crafted mystery thriller based upon real life historical events. In fact, it is two inter-related stories in one novel set in different time-frames, namely the past and the present. An Irish genealogist called Jed is commissioned by Tim, an American client, who needs to understand more about his mysterious maternal ancestry. Fate had dictated that Tim never got the chance to meet his grandparents, and he didn’t even know the name of his mother’s father. She refused to tell Tim, even on her death bed. Why?
That was a question which troubled Tim as he witnessed his mother's melancholy throughout his adult life, and after her death he resolves to find some answers - and some peace of mind.
It was also a question which intrigues Jed after he learns that Tim’s grandfather simply “disappeared”. No death record, no burial - nothing. Jed identifies the “missing” grandfather to be Merrill Harrison. Within weeks, Jed becomes obsessed with Merrill’s life, as he embarks on a personal crusade to find Merrill’s resting place on Tim's behalf. More fundamentally, Jed needs to fully understand the complex twists and turns linked to Merrill’s existence and eventual disappearance which take the Irish researcher on a fascinating trail stretching back to the pioneering immigrants of Midwest America all the way to the White House during WWII.
A web of worrying deceit woven by Tim’s ancestors is gradually unraveled. Once hidden family secrets are exposed. Jed turns from genealogist into cold case detective as he comes to the conclusion that multiple criminal misdeeds have been covered up … but where is Merrill?
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About the Author
Gearóid O'Neary is a genealogist and writer, based in County Sligo, Ireland.
Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Gearóid is a writer, and the nom de plume and the alter-ego of Gerard Neary, the genealogist.
Gearóid would prefer to while away his days writing stories about all manner of things he observes, some daft and some with serious overtones. On the other hand, Gerard gets emotionally engrossed in researching our ancestors, and then compassionately distributes his findings in private. Gearóid gives him a break now and again, usually dragging him off to the village inn to partake in parish gossip, or to put the world to rights in mildly-heated political debates. Both of them have a sense of humour.
Gearóid is a dreamer. Gerard pays the bills.