Author: Abbie Roads

Saving Mercy by Abbie Roads

Saving Mercy by Abbie RoadsSaving Mercy by Abbie Roads
Series: Fatal Truth #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 4th 2017
Pages: 320
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three-stars

Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past-and only one woman could know what it means.
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful-and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he's the one who can save her. He also knows he's beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood-but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?

A unrelenting undertone of horror accompanies every Abbie Roads’s story especially in the beginning—no one is spared their nightmares, no saviour that comes in the nick of time before someone is brutalised or irretrievably lost—after which the slow climb upwards from rock-bottom begins…and back into the metaphorical light. Much of the plot is more concerned with the journey towards redemption and healing, rather than the search for a killer; throw in the paranormal elements and ‘Saving Mercy’ gives a twist to paranormal suspense that takes it into thriller territory. But after the very exciting first quarter, I thought the story lost its steady pacing for a while as it focused on building character and atmosphere. The break was disorienting to say the least, when I was actually expecting the action to ramp up and not slow down.

But the long and short of it is, I’m not entirely sure how to rate a story that goes past what I’ve encountered so far on my paranormal reading jaunts.

Both Cain and Mercy are very badly damaged characters in some way or other, but their connection is (perhaps unbelievably) instant, bound by tragedy and horror—in the worst possible way. But because the paranormal realm does permit logic to be defied to some extent and Roads tries convince on more than one occasion, that it’s a pairing of soulmates or at least star-crossed lovers, not just of compatible individuals because of their shared history. Yet the tragic element seems overplayed at times and their being drawn to each other did seem at times, far-fetched.

The lean towards the occult, the blend of psychology and para-psychology—it’s all very well done here. Though Roads does skirt several taboo topics, and that definitely adds to the dark allure of the story: Cain’s paranormal ability to tell a story from spilled blood, Mercy’s the perception of intentions as well as her ability to foresee a few seconds of a future action and the strange sense that all this are possible in this realm that goes beyond quantitative means of writing. But ultimately, it becomes a huge mind fuck that made me think the end was quite a batty one when the twist finally arrived and a prominent thread was left hanging loose.

three-stars

Hunt the Roads by Abbie Roads

Hunt the Roads by Abbie RoadsHunt the Dawn by Abbie Roads
Series: Fatal Dreams #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 6th 2016
Pages: 352
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two-stars

You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery—he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain that brings him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.
Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death—if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.

I found this an odd one – odd enough that writing a review about this well-written but truly bizarre story is ten times more difficult precisely because it stands out for the strange gifts that its lead characters have, rather than the type of crazy romance that comes with the paranormal bond.

Evanee and Lathan are the unlikeliest pairing – the former’s strange gift manifesting without satisfactory reason – and they seem to function mostly based on an inexplicable bond after Lathan rescues her. But the paranormal label certainly paves the way for the unacceptable to be made more ‘acceptable’ in any case: the instant love, the blitz-speed connection formed through some kind of compulsion, the sudden manifestation of creepy dreams and the constant walk in the grey areas where logic finally gives way to parallel realities.

‘Hunt the Dawn’ is good speculative fiction; that much I can say though, but I’m not too convinced of the love story that’s written into it. Evanee is a little too needy (yet flares cold and hot) for me, while I couldn’t quite get a grasp on Lathan despite Abbie Road’s persuasive attempt at framing him as an unusual hero with a stricken past. That they needed to be together forever to make each other better was even less convincing and I finished the book feeling somewhat unsatisfied after the anti-climax, even if it definitely pushed my fiction boundaries.

two-stars