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Armstrong, Lori: "Merciless"

Lori Armstrong Books

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by Lori Armstrong
2012 Touchstone For Simon & Schuster
Available January, 2013

Thank goodness Mercy is back!!! Armstrong had left her fans waiting for two years between Mercy Gunderson novels BUT it was worth the wait! When I started the book I was wondering if this Mercy had softened a bit when she complained about how boring and mundane her life had become but a few chapters later, Mercy is back and "merciless" as she never has been before. Fans will be surprised that Mercy has changed her career and become a new FBI agent, which I thought would be hard for our justice-driven but more of a maverick kinda South Dakota gal. Having lived for years now with her soulmate, Dawson Mason, the Sheriff, Mercy has for the first time begun making long range plans with Dawson and his preteen son Lex to build a stable and secure new life for all of them. They have much in common especially this intense passionate draw to each other, a love of guns, with Mercy having been a Sargent Major 'sniper' in the Army, a love of the ranch she had inherited, horse riding, justice seeking and ice cream. My kinda folks. But things do not stay boring or mundane long.

As if in answer to her need for something challenging to come her way, Mercy is suddenly faced with a seemingly unsolvable murder mystery. Armstrong does some of her best writing to date as she takes the reader on a frustrating but fascinating travel through an intense 'house of horror ride' and leaves the reader exhausted but very satisfied. I loved this one. I hesitate to give too much away but like you, I love a good mystery and I always want to know a little about what is the basic plot. So as briefly as I can just to "wet your whistle" here goes.

Mercy is called to a truly grisly murder scene where a young woman has been seemingly sacrificed and staked to the ground. Later, another young woman is found murdered and mutilated. Both were from "the rez", the Reservation, which brings in the very uncooperative and territorial Tribal Police, her lover's Police Department and herself with her FBI partner. Mercy tries very hard to accept all the "toes she needs not step on" but every woman has her breaking point when her family is put in danger. Mercy discovers leads that show a pattern to years of this psychopath's slaughters. Now she has to get the others to take her seriously, which is no easy task in this male driven group where egos and territorial rights just might let this horrific killer go on for more and more years of murders to come.

Mercy is determined she will do whatever it takes to stop these grisly killings ... whatever she has to do! Hang on to your seat after more slaughter of women and the closing in on this deranged, serial killer. Once he sets his sight on Mercy herself, I swear you will not be able to put this book down. Yes, at first its a slow-moving, well written mystery but once Mercy finds the maniac ,it's a full on page turning thriller ... a fear fest until that last page!!

About the Author:<

Lori Armstrong, is the author of "No Mercy", the first in the series, and "Mercy Kill" followed by this book "Merciless". You can read my other reviews of these two here on Mystery Net. I highly recommend her books! Lori's background is impressive and qualifies her to write these very descriptive stories that bring out the best in her strong female characters and make you feel as if you are there in South Dakota. She is a fourth generation South Dakotan. She and her family live in Rapid City. She is also the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of Americas. She has won the Shamus Award twice. I eagerly await her next mystery with Mercy!

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Mystery Books & Authors  / Book Reviews  / Armstrong, Lori: "Merciless"

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