Thanks to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 17th, 2016
Synopsis: FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land–and off the grid–in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.
Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…
While the plot of Merciful Death is enjoyable, what truly drives this book are it’s characters, particularly Mercy Kilpatrick, who is one of the most unique heroines I’ve come across. While unsurprisingly, given her occupation, she’s a kickass character and her prepper childhood has had a profound effect on her and adds to her complexity. She has so many layers and secrets, that I think there will be even more revealed in ensuing books. As for Truman, well, I have a new book crush. He’s also a strong personality, but there’s a vulnerability to him which comes from an incident which took place when he was a police officer in a large city. He’s instantly attracted to Mercy, but this is written in a realistic manner. His loyalty to her, and some of his admittedly stalker-like yet adorable behavior towards her in the middle of the investigation makes him that much more endearing. The chemistry between them steadily grows throughout the story, yet is light on actual romance, so I’m excited to see how things turn out for them in the rest of the series. The mystery itself made for a fun read and it kept me guessing as to who the killer was right up until the very end. I had to suspend belief at times regarding some of the events that take place, but it wasn’t that difficult to do. I highly recommend Merciful Death to fans of mystery and suspense, especially if you’re looking for a story with unusual characters. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series, Merciful Truth, which is coming out on June 6th.