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In the Guise of Mercy: A Maggie Macgowen Mystery    by Wendy Hornsby order for
In the Guise of Mercy
by Wendy Hornsby
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the Guise of Mercy by Wendy Hornsby is the sixth novel in the Maggie McGowan mystery series. Maggie's husband, Mike Flint, is no longer in the picture, but he leaves behind a request that Maggie find a boy who exited Mike's police car and was never seen again. Maggie takes on this task unwillingly but gives it her all.

She is aided in her quest by Mike's police buddies. In the commission of this investigation, Maggie finds her next door neighbor to be surprisingly helpful. So too are several of Mike's good buds, although some feel she should stay out of police business. In spite of adverse advice, Maggie gets deeper into the disappearance which involves drugs, dealers, ex-cons, a taxi dancer, the missing youth's gang members, his mother and crippled aunt.

This novel rocks. The action slides from page to page, never breaking the suspense. Just when you think you can take a breath, another surprise pops up and you're off and running again. Hornsby has mastered her genre. I like her protagonist very much. Maggie, although mourning her dead husband, throws herself into his last request one that had haunted him in the ten years since the boy was last seen. A request that comes close to claiming Maggie's life. This is a very good read.

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