Book Review: This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley CashThis Dark Road to Mercy: What it is about

The publisher says: “When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a little town not far from the Appalachian Mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex–minor league baseball player whom they haven’t seen in years, suddenly reappears and steals them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls’ court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking him to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn’t the only one hunting him. Also on the trail is Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, a man determined to find Wade and claim what he believes he is owed.

The combination of Cash’s evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

This Dark Road to Mercy: What I thought

Do you like to watch road movies? This Dark Road to Mercy is a road movie. It’s just all words rather than pictures. But the words are very evocative and the movie played in my head as I was reading.

It’s not easy for two girls to be in foster care after their mother dies. Their estranged father is happy enough to take them away, but can only do so under cover of darkness, as he signed away his parental rights years ago. The reader knows he’s being chased because he has taken crime money that doesn’t belong to him.

Wade, the father, may have some fatherly feelings for his daughters, but I just thought he was a totally irresponsible piece of *&#%, who should leave those girls in peace and not get them involved in his flight. Easter, the oldest daughter, was wise, and didn’t trust her so-called father at all. Her sister was glad to finally have her Dad and was loyal to him, creating conflict between the sisters when they should be relying on each other. Baseball is a topic that runs through the novel and plays a big role in the final resolution. I’m not a baseball fan, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying this book.

Like Cash’ previous book, A Land More Kind than Home, this one is also very well written. The story is very engaging. I didn’t care about the father, but I hoped the children would be found really fast by their guardian.

This was a fast read, and that’s my only complaint: the book is short. I would have loved to enjoy the writing for a bit longer.

Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Number of pages: 240

First published: 2014

I got this book: received for review from William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins)

Genre: contemporary fiction

Have you read this book?

What did you think?




About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

9 Responses to Book Review: This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

  1. Teresa says:

    I’ve really enjoyed both of his novels. His writing has a very cinematic quality and yes, I agree, I wish this book was longer…unusual for me these days!

  2. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea says:

    This sounds like a story that I would love. Thanks for sharing

  3. bibliosue says:

    I enjoyed this book, though not as much as A Land More Kind than Home. I wanted to know more of the backstory of the father and of Robert Pruitt — why were they so flawed?

  4. trish422 says:

    The cover is very atmospheric in a dark and gritty sort of way. I like it.

  5. I so want to read this one!

  6. I’ve got this on my Kindle waiting to be read and I think it’s going to be my next read 🙂

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