A Mercy Gunderson Mystery by Lori Armstrong
Review: Thirty-nine-year-old Mercy Gunderson is a new agent with the FBI. Though older than the mandated maximum age of thirty-eight for new federal employees, Mercy was given a waiver due to her twenty years of special training in the army. And the fact that there was an opening in the Rapid City FBI division with no one to fill it. While poring over some mundane paperback in the office, she notices that the deaths of three women over a period of three months seemed to have been inadequately investigated. But before she can delve into the cases herself, she's assigned to her first murder case working with the Eagle River tribal police in Merciless, the third mystery in this series by Lori Armstrong.
The victim is the teenaged niece of the recently elected tribal president. When another young woman is murdered, Mercy and her fellow FBI Agent Shay Turnbull differ on the possibilities that the killings could be related. She would like to discuss her theories with Eagle River County Sheriff Mason Dawson, her live-in boyfriend, but she cannot because of their job restrictions. She is torn between her duty to the FBI and safeguarding those she loves. There is a maniac killer on the loose, and it seems it is left up to Mercy to hunt him down before he hunts her down.
It's always puzzling why authors insist on making their stories more "real" by infusing them with a steady — and truly unnecessary — stream of profanity. The plot in Merciless is strongly developed as are the characters and yet these elements are overshadowed by dialog that is embarrassing to read. It might be "real" but it sure isn't enjoyable. Readers willing to overlook the hard R-rated vulgarity expressed by nearly everyone in this book — even children — will find a really good investigative mystery here.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Merciless.
Acknowledgment: Touchstone provided a copy of Merciless for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Touchstone (Trade Paperback), January 2011
ISBN-13: 9781416590972; ISBN-10: 1416590978
Location(s) referenced in Merciless: South Dakota