Jim Short doesn’t want any trouble. Unfortunately, trouble tends to lurk everywhere. Even quiet towns like Hethering, Nova Scotia. Lately, seventeen-year-old MacKenzie White has been hanging around Jim’s bookstore, and if small town gossip is to be believed, she has a knack for finding trouble wherever she goes. Sure enough, on the same night Jim makes the biggest sale of his career, he’s held at gun-point by a stranger in black, and is robbed of all the cash in his register. Suddenly, MacKenzie’s mischievous familiarity seems a useful resource. Jim’s description of the thief bears a resemblance to a certain notorious criminal in the area, and MacKenzie claims to have an intimate knowledge of that same figure.The unlikely duo take each other on as road trip partners, in an effort to track down the crook and gain redemption. Along the way, they swap origin stories and impart the wisdom of their respective worlds; he is loath to live a little, and she’s a born disruptor. But countless hours of Maritime highway travel helps them to discover that more unites them than divides.
This book delivers a series of clues about the backgrounds of its characters and the relatives that helped shape them. As more is revealed, the clearer it becomes that many of us are upholding the very same airs, but in different ways. With getaway cars, ineffectual police, and the heavy pressures of family history, Short Mercy is for anyone who knows small towns on the East Coast are as rife with mystery as anywhere.