Finding Mercie is Blaine M. Yorgason's newest release and is a captivating story. It begins with the discovery by Hector Lopez of a little girl covered in blood near a dumpster in Chicago. When no one responds to his calls for help, he gathers up the child in his coat and runs with her nearly three miles to the closest hospital. The medical staff examine her and learn her only injury is a bullet wound, though she is dehydrated and suffers from hypothermia.
The police question Hector and the medical staff while the child lies in the hospital unconscious and crying. One detective, a recently disbarred psychiatrist, is convinced Hector is responsible for the little girl's wound. The other detective believes Hector is truly a Good Samaritan.
As the story unfolds, we learn Hector is a widower who owns a great deal of property and runs a little bistro. He's also the father of a seventeen-year-old son who is in love with the bistro's waitress, Consuelo, and he is angry with his father over his father's secrecy and has unresolved emotional issues concerning his deceased mother. The boy is also saddled with a terrible secret of his own. Hector becomes convinced that by keeping secrets from his son, from a woman he loves, and from his loyal employees, is, in fact, the same as lying to them and that he must repent. As he embarks on a campaign to be honest with those he loves, he meets one obstacle after another.
Raul and Consuelo have their own problems. Their plans and dreams for the future are jeopardized by a careless night of passion, leaving them struggling to face a much-too-soon marriage and impending parenthood. They too, face an agonizing repentance process. Added to their load of premature responsibility is the little shooting victim who awakens and is convinced they should be her new mommy and first-ever daddy.
Along with a journey of self-discovery for Hector and his son, Raul, there's the constant threat that hangs over them from the police and the return of Hector's cancer. When Raul sets out to follow a lead that might expose the shooters, he finds himself in more trouble than he can get himself out of.
Finding Mercie is a compelling novel, one that cannot be easily set down. Though it is a mystery and in some places highly suspenseful, it is also a love story, but its most powerful message is one of repentance and forgiveness. Yorgason relies a little too heavily on small miracles or coincidences in the story and he gets a little preachy in some passages. I found the child, Mercie, too precocious and unrealistic. There's also a matter of a hit list that makes no sense because there's no way the person drawing up the list would have access to the names on it until after the fact and there's insufficient motivation for the third name.
Racial bigotry is a strong element in the book and Yorgason does an excellent job of dealing with this issue and pointing out that bigotry comes in all colors as do good, decent people, both rich and poor.
Even though I found some points in this book to be what I consider small flaws, I'm aware they are the same points that will make the book particularly endearing to some readers. I don't consider those flaws of significant enough importance to detract from my overall enthusiastic approval of this book. In fact, I highly recommend Finding Mercie to readers of all ages and both genders. It's a book that won't be quickly forgotten and may enrich the life of the reader.
Blaine Jorgensen has authored or co-authored in the neighborhood of forty books and has received prestigious awards for many of them. It has been ten years since his last novel. He has served as a bishop and he and his wife presently serve in the St. George Temple. They have seven children and twenty-seven grandchildren.
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FINDING MERCIE by Blaine M. Yorgason, published by Covenant Communications, hardcover, 406 pages, $24.99