Review: Forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton, a Professor at the University of Tennessee, investigates a most gruesome brutal murder in Without Mercy, the tenth mystery in this series by Jefferson Bass.
Brockton and his graduate assistant, Amanda, have worked at quite a number of murder scenes, but none as dreadful as this. For most of their studies there is a body, or at the very least, a skeleton, but here there are just scattered partial bones. There is no skull, nor are there hands or feet. There is part of the spinal column, a partial leg bone and other small bones. The bones were found in a remote part of the county. The initial examination indicates the victim was male, near twenty years old and had been dead for a few months. With further tests at the Body Farm and the police lab, they were able to determine that the victim was a young male of Middle Eastern ancestry. The few clues indicate that he was a Muslim mercilessly chained to a tree. There was evidence left showing he had been fed pork products and his naked body smeared with bacon to lure the bears that would kill him. They are now very certain of the fact that this was a hate crime.
While his and Amanda’s thoughts are filled with many questions and very few answers, news comes to Brockton that a serial killer, Nick Satterfield, whom Brockton helped to incarcerate more than twenty years ago, has escaped from prison and is said to be on his way to the University to make Brockton suffer as he has suffered while in prison. Now that Satterfield is on the loose, Brockton knows the he is the bait as well as his son and family, and even Miranda. Knowing the police and others cannot protect them from the psychopathic killer, Brockton may very well have to take the law into his own hands.
This is a gripping entry in this series with a story about cruelty, violence, revenge and murder. It is a chilling mystery dealing with racial intolerance and associated hate crimes. The fact that this crime of torture and murder was based on an actual crime similar to the one in this story is frightening, realizing what the human mind is capable of. While there are some very dreadful and distasteful facts in this story, there are also bits of humor and a budding new relationship for some narrative balance. Typical of the series there are excellent examples of forensic science and the supporting cast is strong. Equally interesting and disturbing, Without Mercy is recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Without Mercy.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Without Mercy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2018 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Bone Yard
William Morrow (Hardcover), March 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061806780; ISBN-10: 0061806781
Location(s) referenced in Without Mercy: Tennessee
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Without Mercy by Jefferson Bass — A Body Farm Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: October 2016
List Price: $26.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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