Excerpt: 'Dying for Mercy' by Mary Jane Clark

PHOTO The cover for the book "Dying for Mercy" by Mary Jane Clark is shown.

Author Mary Jane Clark dropped by "Good Morning America" to give us a sneak peek at her new book "Dying for Mercy."

Click here to enter Clark's contest for a free signed book.

At Pentimento, a renovated estate in wealthy Tuxedo Park, N.Y., the host of a gala is found dead in an apparent suicide. Attending the event is Eliza Blake, co-host of the morning TV show KEY to America, who's determined to get to the bottom of the crime.

She and her colleagues, producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman B.J. D'Elia and psychiatrist Margo Gonzalez realize that Pentimento holds the key. The mansion is full of clues hidden in its fireplaces, fountains and frescoes that all lead to the killer's victims. As Eliza keeps digging, it seems that no resident in the tony town is safe.

Read an excerpt of "Dying for Mercy" below, and head to the "GMA" Library for more good reads.

Visit Mary Jane Clark's Web site at www.maryjaneclark.com. You can also browse inside her new book HERE.

Prologue

A few hours from now ... The moonlight trickled through the glass roof. He pulled a large clay pot from the corner of the room and sat on the cold ground beside it. Then he removed his shoes and socks.

To be accurate, he would have had to use thick nails and a lance to make the wounds—but how would he be able to hammer the nails into both his hands or maneuver the long spear into his own side? The hunting knife would have to do.

He held the blade in his right hand first. He drew up his knees so that his feet would be as close to the rest of his body as possible. Leaning forward, he positioned the point of the knife over his foot. He closed his eyes and pushed.

He let out a long groan while pulling out the knife. Then he quickly repeated the motion on the other foot. He tried to block his mind from the searing pain, directing his thoughts instead to the greater good that would come from this act.

Turning his left palm upward, he held the back of his hand against the ground to steady it. The knife found its mark in the middle of his lifeline.

He must act quickly, not knowing how rapidly he would bleed out or if he would lose consciousness. He transferred the hunting knife to his left hand, opened his right hand, and stuck the blade into his palm. There was only one thing remaining to do.

Sunday October 4

Ch a p t e r 1

You look pretty, Mom."

Facing the mirror, Eliza stared at the reflection of the child standing behind her in the middle of the bathroom floor.

Janie was wearing her soccer uniform. One kneesock was bunched around her thin ankle, dirt smudged both her knees, and more wisps of brown hair sprang free from her ponytail than were caught up in it.

Her cheeks were still slightly flushed from running up and down the school field. Turning, Eliza bent and kissed her seven-year-old daughter on the top of the head.

"Thank you, sweetheart." Eliza held herself back from gathering the child in her arms and holding her close. It was a familiar urge now, the desire to hang on to Janie and not let go. Almost three months since the kidnapping, and Eliza still woke up in a cold sweat many nights. How close she'd come to losing her only child, the daughter whose father had tragically died before she was even born, the little girl who was at the center of Eliza's world.

"I want to come with you," said Janie.

"I wish you could, honey, but it's a party for adults. There won't be any children there."

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