MERCY KILL – Lori Armstrong
South Dakota - Present Day
Sergeant Major Mercy Gunderson is not finding civilian life easy. Jobs are scarce, and there isn't much opportunity for an ex-sniper. She lives by herself in the foreman's cabin on the Gunderson ranch in South Dakota . This suits her fine, because she suffers from PTSS and enjoys visits from her secret lover, Sheriff Mason Dawson.
Mercy spent the first six months using alcohol to blot out the world, and usually ended up in bar room brawls. Now she tends bar at Clementine's and for the most part stays sober. One evening, her former commander, Jason Hawley (J Hawk), stops in to talk to her. Mercy hears him out, but has mixed feelings when he tells her about his job with Titan Oil. Land owners don't care about a boon to the local economy. Nobody wants a pipeline through the middle of their property. Tension is high. J Hawk's presence in Clementine's angers the patrons, and a fight escalates into chaos. The next night, Mercy discovers J Hawk's battered body in the bar parking lot.
Sheriff Dawson loves Mercy but doesn't know how to handle her. The sex sizzles, but he wants more. When he arrives at the murder scene, Agent Turnbull of the FBI takes over the investigation. J Hawk was involved in a multi state drug ring. He can't say anything to Mercy, who is furious; not only will she find out the truth, but with elections upcoming, run for sheriff.
J Hawk had secrets, and Mercy is devastated when Agent Turnbull enlightens her about his activities. Mercy tangles with some very dangerous people and puts not just herself at risk, but her family as well.
MERCY KILL is an intense, chilling read. Mercy is a veteran who returns home and can't adapt to civilian life. She is honest and says it like it is. I like Mercy. She is a diamond in the rough. Readers will root for her as she negotiates a wild roller coaster ride with plenty of deadly twists and turns. Will she crash and burn?
MERCY KILL is the sequel to NO MERCY. I am intrigued by the characters that Lori Armstrong has written into her stories. There are plenty of laughs and high jinks that balance the rough talk and violence. The patrons of Clementine's are an eccentric group of folks who add to the realism of the story. Can Dawson and Mercy get past her baggage and see life is good?
Deborah C Jackson