Mercy House Author: Adam Cesare Publisher: Hydra, June 9, 2015 Format: eBook, 280 pages List Price: $5.99 ISBN: 9780553392807 Review Copy: Provided by the Publisher
Welcome to Mercy House, a state-of-the-art retirement home that appears perfectly crisp, clean, and orderly . . . but nothing could be farther from the truth. In Adam Cesare’s thrilling novel, the residents will find little mercy—only a shocking eruption of unfathomable horror.
Harriet Laurel notices the odor at Mercy House as soon as she sets foot inside, brought there against her will by her son, Don, and his wife, Nikki. In the early stages of dementia, Harriet has grown resentful of Nikki, blaming her daughter-in-law for failing to supply grandchildren. Yet even Harriet must admit that her mind becomes clearer as soon as she crosses the threshold. If it wasn’t for that annoying smell.
Arnold Piper is an eighty-five-year-old ex-Marine, a proud man who has cared for himself his whole life. But no longer. Betrayed by his aging body, Arnold is learning that the trials he survived long ago in war-torn Korea pale beside the daily indignities of growing old. Little does he know that his greatest nightmares are still ahead of him.
Sarah Campbell is an idealistic nurse whose compassion has been stretched to the breaking point at the chronically understaffed facility that is Mercy House. But now Sarah’s list of unpleasant duties is about to take a terrifying turn. For something wicked is brewing in Mercy House. Something dark and rotten . . . and deadly.
Mercy House harkens back to the era of "splatterpunk" of the 1980s with very descriptive gore without limits and a lot of it. In addition there is sexual behavior that is over the top and bloody and the complete loss of anything resembling societal mores. Cesare makes this tale his own by providing deep insights into the elderly and those trying to survive via Arnold Piper, Nikki Laurel and Susan Campbell as well as providing backstories that are intriguing and distinct for may of the characters those three encounter. None of these viewpoints are comfortable places to spend time though as the events taking place in Mercy House unfold and people discover just what they will do to survive.
The story moves at an astonishing pace as things bloodily devolve inside Mercy House. Who, if anyone, will survive was constantly on my mind. There are interesting subplots including that of Harriet and her extreme dislike of her daughter-in-law Nikki. Arnold Piper seems almost reasonable is his behavior throughout which makes the story all the more chilling.
My only issue with the novel is that there is no reason given for what happens to the elderly residents of Mercy House. I really would have like to have known that. Chalk it up to a catalyst that sets off the cascade of events in a horror novel.
Mercy House is filled with bone-jarring action. To top off all the gore, violence and depravity, the novel ends on a very chilling note. Horror fans who like a lot of blood, gore, some sex, and more blood and gore will be in for a treat with Mercy House.