I woke up to a nice surprise this morning after checking my emails. The Readfreely May 2020 Book of the Month review was one of them. It was my book Mercy: Book One in the Detective Matt Deal Thriller series, so as I read their review and keeping my fingers crossed it would be a good one, I realized it wasn’t good … it was fantastic!
One of the other nice things about receiving this award, it’s voted on by the site’s thousands of subscribers and the general public. The site’s owners then buy the winning book and review it. All the monthly winners are automatically entered into their ‘Best Book We Have Read This Year’ competition.
What it’s about
The 15 year old girl tells her father a small white lie: I’m going into town with my friend Mary. The truth is that she’s meeting up with a boy, a cute boy she has just met. She gets into his car, smiles shyly at him, and lets him kiss her as she enjoys the thrill of the adventure.
A few hours later that girl – Mercy – is next to dead. She has been drugged and very brutally gang-raped. The four young men had planned to leave her there, by the beach, to die.
What we love about it
Stephen Bentley is not a writer who pulls his punches. His book opens with this brutal attack; his writing is pared back and unfussy, and you feel as if you are at that beach, helplessly watching the child being torn apart. It is brutal, but you can tell that you are in the hands of a masterful thriller writer. You can tell that the book in your hands will be unflinching and ferocious. You can tell that you’re in for a 100-miles-an-hour ride. Strap in.
If you have read a Jack Reacher novel, or even seen either of the (not as good) Tom Cruise movies, then you know stories of this type. The violence is red, savage and instant. The bad guys fight dirty, and the good guys are even dirtier.
Matt Deal is our Jack Reacher. He is a British businessman married into a wealthy Florida family. Mercy, the girl assaulted in the opening pages, is his daughter. And when he learns that she may never come out of her coma, his life is torn apart. He leaves justice to the cops, but when it never comes he knows that he has to take matters into his own hands.
Mercy is a book that never lets up. In Matt Deal we have a hero that we can root for – he’s handsome, likeable – and, when he needs to be, extremely violent.
There you have it. If it sounds like your kind of read, it’s on a discounted price promotion right now at all digital bookstores, not just Amazon.
Mayhem, Book Two in the series is likely to be released later in 2020. You can stay in touch with that and other developments by signing up for my newsletter.