Thursday, July 10, 2014

REVIEW: Mercy Row Clann (blog tour)

Mercy Row 2:
Mercy Row Clann
Author: Harry Hallman
Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime
Publisher: Octane Interactive LLC
Publication date: 5.21.2014
Pages: 295

Date read: 7.7.2014
Recommended by: Sage's Blog Tours, Read 2 Review

Summary: The Bryne family fights two wars. One for the freedom of the world and the other for the survival of their family. It's 1943 and America and its allies are at war with Germany and Japan. As World War II rages, the Byrne family must send their sons to war in Africa, Europe and the Pacific, while they fight a war at home instigated by old enemies, internal greed and new foes.
     The Byrne children's ability to protect and grow the family, and the North Philadelphia K&A Gang, is tested with violence, sorrow and love.

Just like most families who survived 1943 America, The Bryne family had members of their family fighting overseas – some came home, others did not, none of them would ever be the same. But unlike "most families," they also had to do a lot of fighting on the home front too – not for the world, not for their country, not for greed, but to survive. Their enemies weren't always known until it was too late – and some of their enemies used to be trusted friends. This is 1943 Philadelphia … and this family is the head of the Irish gang that controls the north.

This was a good story – so much happiness and so much sadness. I read the whole book in one sitting, not able to put it down and not realizing just how long I had been sitting there. I want to know more about this family and their lives and I can't wait until I can read book 3 (book 1's review will be coming soon). I really got into the characters and their lives – crossed my fingers, hoping this situation would turn out good, that they would succeed, that he (or she) would make it out alive, that they would survive this attack and that attack – I cried at the sad moments, laughed at the funny, felt happiness when good things happened to them, and cheered when they did come out on top.

Parts of it felt like I was reading a novel and parts of it felt like I was reading a true crime story, like the script to one of those true crime news shows that are so popular on TV. BUT at some spots I felt like the ball had been dropped, like it could have been written a little better, and some of that I blame on the editor. There were quite a few editing issues in the book (i.e. missing words and at 65%, Sally calls Jimmy Charlie, which may not be a big thing, but it should have been caught); the switching back and forth between full name and nickname, especially in the same paragraph, can get a little confusing (i.e. Jake and Jakey, Franklin and Frank); the story was a bit all over the place and at times felt like there was no organization, sometimes it was like the next day and sometimes it felt like a vast amount of time had happened between two events, and some things were hard to connect.
     My main two problems with the book were: 1) The story with one of their enemies just stopped after they "took care of the problem," which was weird because I would have expected some form of retaliation from that group. Instead it went on to dealing just with the inside problems. (I'm hoping that this may get picked up again in the third book.) 2) There were two parts that I felt were just NOT necessary: the fooling around in the hospital (32%) and the whore house (66%). They took away from the story, in my opinion, and felt awkward, like they were forced in. I disagree with the whole thing about people loving sex in their stories – I feel like TV shows and books (when they are not romance or erotica) slip sex scenes in thinking it will help their story when, in reality, if it ain't broke, don't fix it – sex is a cop-out and when you have a really good book already, it doesn't make it a really good book.

My favorite character: This is always a hard one for me, but I add it to my reviews when there is ONE or TWO characters that REALLY stand out to me. This book has a lot of good characters, but Willy, well, he's not the brightest crayon in the book and he cracks me up.

My favorite parts: The naming of the baby, when they saved the dogs, ordering the hoagie at the Jewish Delicatessen in New York, and the very end.


Sage Adderley said...

Thanks so much for hosting a stop & writing such an in-depth review!

Meghan H said...

You're welcome, Sage. Let me know if you get book 3 - I'll host that one as well :)