A Mercy Gunderson Mystery by Lori Armstrong
Review: When an oil company spokesman arrives to promote running a pipeline through Eagle River County and is later found murdered — and the local sheriff seems uninterested in investigating — former black ops Army sniper Mercy Gunderson, who has recently returned to her South Dakota home town, sets out to find the killer in Mercy Kill, the second mystery in this series by Lori Armstrong.
Mercy has been unhappy since returning home, underemployed at a local bar, drinking too much and reliving her days in the service through nightmares. She's recently been seeing Sheriff Mason Dawson on the sly, and is disturbed that he is focusing on his re-election campaign and displaying little interest in the murder of Jason "J-Hawk" Hawley, an officer she knew from her time in the service. True, the majority of the citizens in the county oppose the oil pipeline — and they're all voters — but would one of them take such a drastic measure to stop it? Mercy decides investigate on her own, but is soon ordered to stand down by the FBI agent newly assigned to the case, Shay Turnbull of the Indian County Special Crimes Unit. She never liked taking orders from anyone, even when she was in the Army, and continues to pursue a parallel path to identify the killer.
Mercy Kill is a hard-hitting suspense novel populated with hard-edged characters, the remote South Dakota setting just about ideal. The mystery surrounding J-Hawk — why him, why there, why now — is well-plotted, as is how Mercy goes about determining the truth. And the dead man isn't the only one with an agenda here, a long-playing twist that comes as a surprise to Mercy (and the reader). The most significant draw-back to the book for some readers will be the pervasive use of R-rated language by most of the characters; this may be "real-life" but it's not clear how it adds to their appeal or contributes to the overall storyline.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Mercy Kill.
Acknowledgment: Touchstone provided a copy of Mercy Kill for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Touchstone (Trade Paperback), January 2013
ISBN-13: 9781451625363; ISBN-10: 1451625367
Location(s) referenced in Mercy Kill: South Dakota
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Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong — A Mercy Gunderson Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2011
List Price: $15.00