"The Absence of Mercy" by John Burley (William Morrow, 339 pages) is a tense thriller that has an eerily realistic element in its description of the lone sociopathic killer.
The story centers on the family of Ben and Susan Stevenson.
On the surface, they are the perfect family. The parents are successful doctors, have two attractive sons and live in a beautiful home complete with their lovable great dane in a quiet city.
Everything seems perfect for the Stevensons.
But there is one dangerous imperfection which affects their family. Their first born son is missing a conscience. Their good looking and intelligent teenager is a true sociopath.
When a number of brutal murders threaten their community, their lives are turned upside down as the frightening truth concerning their son's character dawns on the parents.
The author ponders the dilemma of what parents might do to protect their child. Written by a medical doctor, the book is a contemporary horror story that will keep the readers on pins and needles until the very last page.