Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the Guise of Mercy-Wendy Hornsby

In the Guise of Mercy
Wendy Hornsby
Perseverance Press, Sep 7 2009, $14.95
ISBN: 9781564744821

On Monday documentary editor Maggie MacGowan’s life changes forever because her beloved husband Los Angeles Police Detective Mike Flint killed himself rather than let cancer rot him to death. In his goodbye note to Maggie, Mike asks her to forgive him and to find out what happened to Jesus Ramon, a cold case that always haunted him.

A decade ago, Mike put the diminutive sixteen years old gangbanger drug dealing snitch in his car. When he drops the teen off, he disappears without a trace. Maggie begins to sleuth starting her inquiries with cops, gang members, drug dealers and users as she cannot say no to a dead man she loves. However, one person carefully observes her progress and when she begins to get close to the hidden secrets he conceals, he cuts her brake line.

Although one must wonder why Mike would knowingly endanger his surviving loved one instead of retiring and going out with one last glorious investigation as a civilian, fans will be hooked by this poignant amateur sleuth from the onset when Mike who lived life to the fullest and took charge of his life decides to take charge of his death too. Maggie understands why he committed suicide and honors his last wishes by investigating the disappearance of Jesus. Her inquiry is brilliantly done step by step though she makes missteps along the way. Wendy Hornsby makes an emotional case that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness also by its denotation also includes the ability to choose death in this strong inspirational but mentally draining tale.

Harriet Klausner