Merciless by Lori Armstrong
Merciless is the third novel in the Mercy Gunderson mystery series by Shamus Award winning author Lori Armstrong. Readers have waited two years for this book and Merciless does not disappoint. Mercy has returned to her home in South Dakota that she is now sharing with Sheriff Mason Dawson and is trying to find her way as a FBI agent fresh from the Academy. Paired with secretive Senior Agent, Shay Turnbull, Mercy is assigned a murder case on the Eagle River Reservation. She must skirt the political intrigue between local law enforcement (Sheriff Dawson), the Tribal Police and the Tribal Elders. There are also many deeply hidden secrets and gossip among Mercy’s friends and extended family that seem to impede the progress of the case.
Assigned to do research, Mercy soon learns that there are more victims of the killer and he has become more brazen. Mercy soon becomes his next target and engages in a game to the death. Mercy has never backed away from a challenge and soon the killer is hunted my Mercy at her darkest and most ruthless.
Adding to the pressure of working a high profile murder case, Mason’s eleven year old son, Lex, moves in with the couple. I loved the glimpse of domestic Mercy and how she is discovering her deep love for Dawson.
The Mercy Gunderson series is not for the faint of heart. Mercy is a trained killer, a former Black Ops Sniper who prefers a good fistfight, a smooth whiskey and a new gun over candlelight and flowers. She is a strong female who has a take no crap from anyone attitude. Merciless, is fast paced with a tightly woven story that has a great balance between crime and personal life. You can read Merciless as a stand-alone book but to fully understand Mercy’s growth, the family intrigue then read the great series in order.