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A Guest Review of James Pence's Novel "Mercy Killer"

Title:  Mercy Killer
Author:  James Pence
Pages:  333
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Mountainview
Dr. Lori Westlake is a divorced woman who practices medicine as a general practitioner.  She likes the variety of helping different patients with different health issues.  She doesn’t like having to give her patients bad news, but realizes that comes part and parcel with the job.  She just wishes there was a way to legally help her terminal patients to have control of their own lives or have their own choice when their lives are ending.  She is discreetly contacted by a group of other healthcare professionals about joining their secret society that helps patients end their own lives on their own terms.  This is just what she is looking for, right?  She should jump at this chance, but something causes her to waver.
Charles Hamisch has just retired from the police force where he worked as a detective.  He was forced to take early retirement due to his diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  His detective partner and his partner’s wife have agreed to be his caretakers for now.  His partner is the man who led Charles to Christ.  Charles begins to wonder to himself, ”Where is God now when I need him most?”  Charles seems to deteriorate quickly, but meets a man who will change his outlook on life.  Charles has also been recruited by his partner to be a consultant on some cases, one of which involves Dr. Westlake.  Another string of cases finds a small ceramic angel at the scene of some dead homeless victims, but is this linked to Dr. Westlake?  Is she a serial killer?
My favorite two characters in this story were Kate Bainbridge, Dr. Westlake’s sister, and Charles Hamisch.  I loved Kate’s cheerful disposition and dedication to her job as a hospice assistant.  Her treatment of patients with dignity was spot-on.  Reading about Charles’ battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, even though he was a Christian, was eye-opening.  His decision to live the rest of his life no matter his circumstances and to glorify God was inspiring and brave.  I would have liked to have seen Dr. Westlake’s personal life end on a happier note, and I thought the book dragged a little bit with the Jacoby storyline.  I have read this author’s other fictional offering titled, Blind Sight, which has been reissued under the title, Unseen.  This is a great suspense-filled thriller not to be missed.
My rating is 4 stars

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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