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Daniel Palmer continues to keep his father's spirit alive. He accomplishes this not only by using Michael Palmer's notes on story ideas, but also by creating new fiction all his own that his father would be proud of. Michael Palmer was the modern master of medical thrillers, and his untimely death in 2013 left a hole. Daniel Palmer is doing an admirable job filling this void and now follows up the first “collaboration” novel, TRAUMA, with this latest medical thriller.

MERCY opens with an elderly man named Walter McKenna, a patient at White Memorial Hospital in Boston. He suffers from serious COPD and barely can get any breath into his lungs. His case is chronic; at this point, the hospital can only attempt to make him comfortable. Walter is surprised when the doctor treating him gives him a dose of some unknown substance that immediately brings on serious cardiac arrest, killing him in seconds.

"Daniel Palmer does fine work here and provides a medical thriller with classic whodunit mystery elements that make for a riveting read."

We next meet Dr. Julie Devereux, a critical care doctor who deals typically with dangerous medical cases and has to regularly apply all of her medical knowledge to keep her patients alive. In addition, she is an outspoken advocate for death with dignity. She believes that self-determination over your own life or death should lie with the individual patient. It is with this quality of mercy that she feels she can do the most good for her patients.

Julie’s beliefs are about to be put firmly to the test through a tragic accident that literally hits home. While riding motorcycles on the highway with her fiancé, Sam Talbot, a tractor-trailer jackknifes in front of them. With impact inevitable, Sam attempts to avoid collision but ends up getting tossed down the highway with his own bike striking him. Rushed to the ER and following several emergency procedures, it is determined that he will have to face life as a quadriplegic.

Sam pleads with Julie to end his life, but she cannot bring herself to do it. Little does he know that an angel of death has been operating at White Memorial and is more than ready to inject a lethal concoction that will bring about death. When this takes place with Sam, Julie is horrified, which leads her to change her views on death with dignity. Moreover, it has pushed her into investigating a series of growing patient deaths at the hospital. The problem is that powerful forces are behind these killings, and they will stop at nothing to keep their personal agenda alive.

MERCY has everything readers would expect from a Michael Palmer novel: deep insight into the medical profession, vivid depictions of hospital life, and controversial dilemmas that will force you to question what side of the line your own personal beliefs reside. Daniel Palmer does fine work here and provides a medical thriller with classic whodunit mystery elements that make for a riveting read.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on May 27, 2016

by Michael Palmer and D.J. Palmer

  • Publication Date: March 7, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 1250030854
  • ISBN-13: 9781250030856