Author: Gearoid O’Neary
Format: Paperback and Kindle
Synopsis: (partial, from Amazon) Where’s Merrill? is a uniquely crafted mystery thriller based upon real life historical events. In fact, it is two inter-related stories in one novel set in different time-frames, namely the past and the present. An Irish genealogist called Jed is commissioned by Tim, an American client, who needs to understand more about his mysterious maternal ancestry. Fate had dictated that Tim never got the chance to meet his grandparents, and he didn’t even know the name of his mother’s father. She refused to tell Tim, even on her death bed. Why? That was a question which troubled Tim as he witnessed his mother’s melancholy throughout his adult life, and after her death he resolves to find some answers – and some peace of mind. A web of worrying deceit woven by Tim’s ancestors is gradually unraveled. Once hidden family secrets are exposed, Jed turns from genealogist into cold case detective as he comes to the conclusion that multiple criminal misdeeds have been covered up … but where is Merrill?
Similar to other genealogical mysteries, including those by Steve Robinson and Nathan Dylan Goodwin, Where’s Merrill? has two storylines: one in the present and one in the past. The difference however, is that this book’s past storyline bounces around the time continuum, sometimes making it hard to follow along. I know it was deliberately presented this way, based on the actual progression of the research, but wonder if it would have read better if told in a linear manner.