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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

Just one new Netgalley offer to report this week, things have been a little slow … even for me!

This sounds like an excellent debut novel, from a new to the scene author, although just a word of caution! …. If you do decide to add this one to your own reading list, please be aware that this is one of those books which has been released in the USA and the UK, with two separate identities, but are in fact one and the same book!


Just west of the Ohio River lies the peaceful town of Wintersville. Safe from the crime and congestion of city life, it is the perfect place to raise a family – or so they thought. Life as the town medical examiner is relatively unhurried for Dr. Ben Stevenson. With only a smattering of cases here and there – car accident victims, death by natural causes – he has plenty of time to spend with his loving wife and two sons. That is until a teenager’s body is discovered in the woods and Ben, as the only coroner in the area, is assigned to the case. But as Ben uncovers the dark secrets of his seemingly quiet community, he confronts a truth that will haunt him forever and puts those he loves in serious danger.

Image Of Author John BurleyJohn Burley was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up near the Chesapeake Bay.  Following high school, he attended University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and physiology.

During his undergraduate years, John also trained as a paramedic/firefighter and served for many years in that capacity in a busy 911 jurisdiction in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C.  He later completed a Master of Science program in medical pathology at University of Maryland, Baltimore and went on to attend medical school, earning his Doctor of Medicine from Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Illinois.  He then returned to Baltimore to complete an emergency medicine residency training program at University of Maryland/Shock Trauma Center.

After graduating from residency, John moved with his family to California, where he began work on his first novel.  Four years later, the manuscript was purchased by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.  The Absence of Mercy  was published in November of 2013.  It received the National Black Ribbon Award in recognition of an author who brings a fresh voice to suspense writing.

John and his family currently live in the San Francisco Bay area where he works as an emergency department physician.  He is also hard at work on his next novel.

Every day there are countless reasons why it’s not a good day to write. Ignore those reasons and write anyway. Inspiration seldom visits a quiet keyboard.

Visit John at his website

Follow John on Twitter

Like John on Facebook

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … ‘Mailbox Monday’

 Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

 Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

 Vicki of ‘I’d Rather Be At The Beach’

 This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Lucy,

      I don’t think that I shall ever have caught up with my review pile, no matter how hard I try and whilst great sounding books like this one keep landind on my desk, I am never likely to!

      Personally, I think that ‘No Mercy’ is much the better title for the book, although both sets of cover art are pretty equal.

      In this particular case, the titles were so similar that I would have probably automatically checked to make sure that this wasn’t one and the same book. It really does annoy me though, when publishers change the name of a book so much, that without remembering the synopsis for each and every story you have read, it can be so easy to get caught out, especially when different versions might be released so far apart in their designated countries!

      Just another little bee in my bonnet I’m afraid, but it is not going to detract from what sounds like an intriguing storyline for ‘No Mercy’.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to have you visit and I appreciate your comments.

  • Interesting about the different titles. I brought a Harry Potter book back from Ireland for one of my kids. It had a different title in the US so she felt pretty special having one different from her friends. I think she was 12 at the time 🙂 I hope you love No Mercy. Have a good week.

    • Hi Mary,

      I can quite see how under the circumstances you describe, your child might feel special at owning a unique copy of the Harry Potter book. However personally, I simply find the entire exercise futile and confusing. I am guessing that in many cases, it is just that certain words don’t translate very easily between US and UK English, although I can’t then see any reason to compound matters by changing the cover art also!

      ‘No Mercy’ does sound so good and I am almost certain I shall enjoy it, thanks for your comment and kind thoughts.

  • Oooooooo..sounds like a great mystery. Small town but not so safe. You get the most interesting books, Yvonne.

    I just finished reading CROOKED RIVER. It was a small town with a murder, and oh so good. ENJOY the read.

    That is funny about the different titles. Are the covers different too?

    Have a wonderful reading week.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I am always amazed at just how much goes on in some of these small towns, on both sides of the Atlantic! Perhaps small towns are full of people trying to hide from their past and you know how the past has a nasty habit of catching up with you!

      In answer to your question, yes, both the book’s title and cover art are totally different on the US and UK versions. I’m sure the publishers are just out to confuse my poor aging brain, when I can’t quite remember from the written synopsis, whether I have read the book or not, as that is the only real bench mark to go by.

      I checked out your review of ‘Crooked River’ on Goodreads and it is clear to see that you thoroughly enjoyed reading this one, thus confirming my initial thoughts about adding it to my own ‘Want To Read List’.

      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I have enjoyed quite a varied mix of genres just lately, but I have to say that for me, you can’t beat a good crime thriller, or murder mystery. I have a couple of great sounding stories in my review pile, now all I need is the time to get to them!

      I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy the genre soon, meanwhile thanks for stopping by and have a good week (well as good as you can in this sudden and unwelcome deterioration in the weather!)

    • Hi Serena,

      I have quite eclectic reading tastes and will get stuck into whatever is next in the review pile, regardless of genre. I must admit that crime / thrillers and murder / mysteries are my most favourite genres, so I don’t mind how often they are next on the list!

      I hope that you have received some great titles, which are screaming ‘Read Me!’ and that enjoy them all.

  • This sounds like it would be good, especially coming from the viewpoint of the ME.

    It’s bad enough when publishers use different covers for the same book, but even worse when it’s a whole different title!

    I’ve added three books to my Kindle: Dance the Moon Down by Robert Bartram (thanks to your excellent post last week) and the second two titles in Rebecca Hazell’s “The Tiger and the Dove” trilogy.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Now I have got wise to the UK / US name and cover change game, I will always generally check just to make sure, as I have been caught out by it before and it is so annoying!

      The ‘Wintersville’ from ‘No Mercy’, is an actual village in Ohio, of less than 4,000 people, so the fact that they have a handy ME around, is quite amazing. The fact that there could ever be any unsolved or violent crime, when surely everyone would know everyone else, even more surprising. I shall be looking out for the writing technique which is going to take this scenario into account!

      Although the Rebecca Hazell trilogy is probably just a bit too heavy going for me, with my fledgling interest in the genre, I do hope that you enjoy it.

      ‘Dance The Moon Down’ was much more manageable a size for me and thanks for being so trusting of both my own and Tracy’s praise of this one. Once again, I hope that it turns into a great read for you.

      Thanks for stopping by and I apologise for the delay in replying, technical logistics will play a big part in my online activity this week, I’m afraid!

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      I must admit that I do enjoy a good crime / thriller, or murder / mystery story, although I will read just about anything and everything which comes my way, with the exception of science fiction stories, which I confess I neither enjoy, nor understand!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your taking the time to comment and wish you a ‘Happy Reading Week’.


    • Hi Vicki,

      I so often wonder when an author specifically mentions a location in a story, whether they are real or imaginary places, and I am sad enough that sometimes I will actually look up the name to double check!

      It was good to have your first hand knowledge that in fact Wintersville is a real place, and I was even further surprised that it is described on all the websites as a ‘village’, as I thought that to be a typically English expression and not one I have heard before in relation to somewhere on your side of the pond!

      Village is probably a very apt way of describing Wintersville, as at the last census in 2010, the population was 3,924, with only 1,740 individual houses. How does John describe Wintersville …. ‘The Peaceful Town’ …. and yet there is still murder and mayhem? Surely everyone would know each other in such a small place?

      Looking forward to reading this one and thanks for your interesting comment.

Written by Yvonne