Free with 60-day trial

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 60 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $18.74

Buy Now for $18.74

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Is it nature or nurture that drives Adele Baxter Warren's teenage daughter, Mercedes, to become a mass murderer? Town Without Mercy, a complete novella, is contemporary women's fiction dealing with current event drama of mass shootings and gay marriage. Told through the eyes of the mother, a TV news correspondent, Adele must find the answer, even as it takes her away from Mercedes' deathbed where she lays in a coma from the police bullet that stopped the carnage. If Adele follows the leads, the cost could be her 17-year-old marriage to same-sex partner, Jodi Warren. The townspeople of Concord Park wants revenge. They blame Adele and Jodi's lifestyle as the cause of their daughter's actions, but are they innocent of all blame?

©2013 Joanne Simon Tailele (P)2019 Joanne Simon Tailele

What listeners say about Town Without Mercy

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erryn Barratt
  • 2019-06-14

A book you need to read

This book raises many ‘what if’ questions. What if the next mass shooter was a young girl? What if her parents are a lesbian couple? What if the town she lives in is unwilling to forgive? Town Without Mercy tackles all those issues. The book was written in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in which 20 kindergarten children were massacred. I’m sure when Ms. Tailele wrote this book in 2013 that she believed things were going to change after the devastating death of all those children. Well now the audio of that book is available and, big surprise, six years later and nothing has changed.

I’m not American. I don’t understand the obsession with weapons of war being possessed by every day people. Each time I hear of another shooting, my heart breaks. I live in Canada and although we have gun deaths and suicides, they don’t come close to the level of violence in the States. I look at New Zealand and how it took one mass shooting to ban the assault-style weapons. Too late to save the victims, but a way to honor them and to try to make sure it never happens again.

In this book, Adele Baxter Warren is the mother of a mass shooter. She wasn’t even aware her daughter knew how to shoot, let alone is able to fathom why her daughter would do such a horrible thing. As her daughter lies in a hospital bed – shot by a cop in an attempt to prevent further deaths – Adele has to examine both her life and her daughter’s. How did this happen? How did she not see it? Is she a bad parent? Did the fact she’s married to a woman play a part in this hideous event?

Man, she had a tough journey. As a reader, I was pulled along for the ride. I also wanted to understand what could make a seemingly moody but otherwise healthy young woman snap. But is snap the right word? These things rarely come from nowhere. There might be a precipitating event, but the perpetrators often leave behind clues as to why they did this. Not everyone leaves a manifesto, but often, in retrospect, fractures in their lives can be found. My question was, even if Adele finds why her daughter killed all those people, would it really make a difference?

This is a tough book to read. No two ways about it, if you embark upon the journey, you’re in for a tough ride. But I was glad I read the book. Glad I immersed myself in the life of a mother desperate for answers. Glad I asked myself the same ‘what if’ questions she asked herself. We believe we know the people in our lives, but what if we’re wrong? Doesn’t every person have the ability to turn violent in the right circumstances.


This is not a happy book and it does not have a happy ending. How could it? Everyone loses in this situation. Even with understanding comes great sorrow.

I liked how the same-sex relationship between Adele and Jodi just is. They go through all the same struggles as any other couple would but they do have the added question of whether their unconventional family helped lead to the tragedy or was their daughter always destined to be a killer?

Cecilia Marie is a new narrator to me and I loved her. She handled the entire book with grace and her French was bang-on. She brought sensitivity to the story and I appreciated that.

This book is a tough book. It’s also a book everyone should read. There are no easy answers but it does prompt many of the right questions. It makes you think and that’s what all great books do.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Mackey
  • 2019-05-18

Town Without Mercy review

For the first time listening to a book of this type, I actually liked this. The characters and story are interesting, five stars and worth it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie Twitchell
  • 2020-02-21

great read, trigger warning

I received this book for free for a honest review.  I loved the characters and storyline.  it flowed very well and held together.  The narrator did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. trigger warning for shootings reccomend

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-11-20

good

I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. I totally enjoyed reading this book. It’s well written and the characters were fantastic. I would suggest this book to my friends that like this sort of genera. this was a good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Taj-Marie Lingofelter
  • 2019-08-02

Wow

Wow! This one makes you think. Seeing a different side to school shootings. We never really think of the pain the killers family goes through. It was a good one

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catrina P
  • 2019-07-20

A powerful and emotional story

I am still in a heightened emotional state after listening to Town Without Mercy. Such a well written story that deals with many tough situations... I don’t want to spoil anything by even listing the topics here. Just be prepared for a very emotional listen.

Kudos to Joanne Simon Tailele for tackling such sensitive topics. This book will really make you think.

Cecilia Marie really brought out the emotions. Well done.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • dy frame
  • 2019-06-29

Tough subject handled well

I do not live in the US so have little experience with mass shootings, let alone that act by a child of a lesbian couple. Is this a story that needed telling I think yes absolutely, it was a difficult listen and to know it was based on fact made it even harder. For a relatively short audio book this packed some serious punches, like ripples in a pond we never know what triggers an event nor how in trying to make change for good in the eye's of a child that things can go so seriously wrong. Guns kill people it is that simple the ease of sourcing them just as easy, you just pull a trigger right ! but the damage oh I so feel for anyone caught up in such an event. A many layered story, my heart just bled at the powerful words, the narration was excellent conveying the authors words succinctly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. A. G.
  • 2019-06-26

Emotional Rollercoaster

First, I love the play on words with the title. Very clever.
This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. I went through the full spectrum of emotions while listening to this story. Anger, Sadness, Grief, and Joy… I experienced it all.
I loved this story and the topic is more important than ever! With the amount of active shooter situations that happen on a daily basis, I cannot think of a more important story that could be told. On top of this, adding in the aspect of the shooter coming from a household with 2 moms takes the story to another level completely. We are so quick to place blame on the parents when something like this happens… sometimes we forget that those parents are human and hurting as well.
I loved it! Wonderful story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mari Stark
  • 2019-06-25

A very important book everyone should read

This book isn't easy, but it is a very well written one and deserves everyone’s attention. This book is important, very important. Teach us life is never just black and white. The issues mentioned here aren't easy to address, but the sensitive way conveyed by the author and the narrator to do it are very valuable. The author did a great job giving us the other side of the story and opening our eyes.

There were warnings about the triggers in this story, but I decided to go through all the way. That was the right decision. Having a shooting told from the shooter’s parents point of view, gives a complete and different perspective. Also, after knowing the reasons for the girl to do such a horrific act is definitely as I mentioned before an eye opener. Shows how flawed humanity is. Gives us a clear view of how much tolerance is needed. I'm really ashamed of humanity. Hate is a very awful feeling. They said she was a monster. But, who were the real monsters at the end? Ignorance and hate mixed together make a terrible combination.

Is not a read for the faint of heart. But it is something as humans we should be aware of. It's easy to point and judge others, but we never look inside and see our own mistakes and take responsibility for them.

When I finished this book I had to pause and reflect. This book invites to reflection, deep, wholehearted reflection. There are so many lessons to learn. I insist, this is a book everyone should read.

Communication is the key, always. Learn to listen; learn to talk about your concerns.

Narrated by Cecilia Marie, she did an extraordinary job voicing the feelings and what the author meant to transmit. I was moved beyond words and must admit I cried in a number of places.

It is a tough one, but undoubtedly a great one as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Renee
  • 2019-06-17

Intense and Important

In my opinion this is an important novel. It shares a part of living in this day an age which isn't highly discussed. I appreciated the thought provocation and the introspection which followed. Well done, intense and enjoyable.