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In Search of Mercy: A Mystery (Dexter Bolzjak #1)

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Winner of the Shamus Award for Best First Novel

Dexter Bolzjak is an ex–hockey goalie who was abducted and tortured by perverted sports fans eight years ago. Now he’s muddling along in a Pittsburgh warehouse when he meets an old, terminally ill drunk named Lou Kashon. Lou wants to see his lost love, the actress Mercy Carnahan, and offers Dexter a fortune to find her.Dexter
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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This is a fast moving, exciting mystery but it’s marred by its amorality. I loved the Pittsburgh setting and the interplay of the 40’s, 50’s and the present. Film making and film history along with violence and pain ties the two separate plots together. The main character, Dexter Bolzjak, is a 25 year old failed high school hockey star who’s fame from sports is supplanted by the horrible attack he endures by deranged fans and the film they make of their crime. He’s living a half life with a low ...more
Dexter Bolzjak was used to rowdy crowds. Dexter used to play hockey for the Falcons. His position was goalie. After one really violent game against the Blizzards, Dexter was accosted and tortured.

Years later, Dexter is grown up. Dexter was sitting eating lunch at a fast food joint, when a bum comes walking in. The bum starts causing some trouble when he spots Dexter and walks towards him. Dexter thinks the man is crazy but when the bum hands Dexter a hundred dollar bill and tells him there is m
I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this when I started, but ultimately I liked it. First, it's definitely a sort of nouveau noir, so expect a sort-of detective story. And it goes dark; in fact, like Chelsea Cain's _Heartsick_ series, you'll find yourself turning pages to see what exactly happened that night after the hockey game, glimpsing snatches of the protagonist's (Dexter's) ordeal until you see the full scene played out. But, it's not typical noir. The main character becomes mor ...more
This is a dark, powerful, and disturbing book, its 2011 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel well-deserved. Main character Dexter Bolzjak is a broken ex-hockey goalie, survivor of being kidnapped and physically/sexually/psychologically tortured after his last game. Eking out a living working in a warehouse, he meets a terminally ill alcoholic who has just one wish: to see his ex-fiancee one more time. Dexter takes up the challenge of finding the reclusive Mercy Carnahan, learning more hard les ...more
Colleen Hudson
This was a quick read. I thought the characters could have been better developed; the protagonist, Dexter Bolzjak, a high-school hockey star who was kidnapped / abused, tells his story 8 years after his abuse. He's stalled in life, essentially, until an old eccentric hires him to find a lost love - Mercy - and, together with a female co-worker (who has issues of her own) turns into a private detective, of sorts.

Not a very memorable book - I expect that 6 months from now, I'll have nearly forgott
John McKenna
Has more twists than a two-dollar martini bar on Saturday night . . . this mystery is downright irresistible. It's not for the faint of heart however. It contains strong language and graphic descriptions, but if you like 'em hard-boiled then this ones for you.
This book won an award for best private eye novel, but is definitely not typical of that genre. Dark, almost gothic, I was sucked in. However, I was dissatisfied, as the main character's demons, which are a big part of the story, were never fullly explained.
Mike Ayoob's IN SEARCH OF MERCY is a terrific novel that really shows off a love of cinema. It's a mystery set around Pittsburgh, PA, about the disappearance of a legendary screen star. HIGHLY recommended for the mystery lovers out there.
Jackie Trimble
It's been months and still this guy's plight pops into my head every once & a while. That, to me, is the definition of a good book!
I enjoyed the Pittsburgh setting and the story line but weird. Ending was strange.
kept my interest, some parts well written but too much left unresolved at the end.
Nov 16, 2010 Tuck marked it as to-read
winner of the pwa best first novel 2010
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Michael Ayoob is a winner of the Minotaur Books/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel competition. He earned a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Michael lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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