The year is 1934, and disgraced federal agent Nathan Devereaux is escorting convicted felon John Banks to visit his dying mother. Banks is despondent, miserably ill with a heavy cold, and unenthusiastic about traveling by plane. It isn't a responsibility Devereaux wants, but something about the prisoner’s plight resonates with him.
Devereaux charters a plane to Wisconsin, hoping to get there before Banks's mother breathes her last. But a routine journey swiftly turns into a sojourn in hell when a violent winter storm forces the plane miles off course, and Banks’s seemingly bad cold turns out to be diphtheria.
Stranded many miles from the destination, Devereaux must find a way to save Banks's life without compromising the mission. Like Banks, Devereaux has secrets of his own, and the scope and purpose of his mission don't quite square with the stories he tells. Making matters worse, he is the only one standing between Banks and certain death, but even a federal agent can do only so much—especially an agent with blood on his hands.
When tasked with taking a prisoner home to say goodbye to his dying mother, what could go wrong? Quite a lot probably but in 1934 Illinois, illness and Mother Nature has their own plans for Federal Agent Nathan Devereaux and prisoner John Banks. Will they walk away with their lives? And most importantly, will they walk away with their hearts in tact?
As you may have seen me say a few times, I am a huge fan of historicals and although I would have liked to have seen a bit more between Nathan and John or a glimpse ten years down the road, this look at 1934 made for a perfect short story/novella. Once again, Mother Nature plays a huge part in a story and seeing how I am born and raised in Wisconsin where winters can be particularly brutal, I found this a wonderful use and portrayal of her wrath. Yes, she can be dangerous but she also has no concept of or care for whatsoever of people's plans or time tables and the author uses this factor very realistically.
JS Cook is a new author for me, even though some of her work has been featured on my blog I never had the opportunity to read her before. If The Quality of Mercy is anything to go by, this will definitely not be last time she graces my Kindle. Simply put, The Quality of Mercy is a brilliant blend of historical, drama, romance, with just the right amount of mystery that Mother Nature likes to bring to the table. Whether you love or hate historicals, Quality is a lovely tale that entertains and certainly worth the read.
J.S. Cook was born in a tiny fishing village on the seacoast of Newfoundland. Her love of writing manifested itself early when her mother, impressed with the quality of a school assignment she'd written, sent it to the editor of the local paper - who published it. Since then she has written novels, short stories, novellas, plays, radio scripts and some really, really bad poetry. She has worked as a housekeeper, nanny, secretary, publisher, parliamentary editor and a university lecturer, although this last convinced her never to step foot inside a classroom again. She holds a B.A. (Honors) and an M.A. in English Language and Literature, and a B.Ed in Post-secondary education. She loves walking and once spent six hours walking the streets of Dublin, Ireland. She maintains she wasn't lost, just "looking around". She makes her home in St. John's, Newfoundland, with her husband of 26 years and her spoiled rotten 'dogter', Lola, who always gets her own way.