Merciless: A Mystery

Merciless: A Mystery

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by Lori Armstrong
     
 

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In the spirit of J.A. Jance, Nevada Barr, and C.J. Box comes Shamus Award-winning author Lori Armstrong’s sharp and gritty Merciless, about Black Ops army sniper-turned-FBI agent Mercy Gunderson and her quest for vengeance when a killer narrows his sights on her and her family.

Torn between her duties to the FBI and her need to keep her

Overview

In the spirit of J.A. Jance, Nevada Barr, and C.J. Box comes Shamus Award-winning author Lori Armstrong’s sharp and gritty Merciless, about Black Ops army sniper-turned-FBI agent Mercy Gunderson and her quest for vengeance when a killer narrows his sights on her and her family.

Torn between her duties to the FBI and her need to keep her loved ones safe, former black-ops army sniper Mercy Gunderson must unleash the cold, dark, merciless killer inside her and become the predator . . . rather than the prey.

Newly minted agent Mercy Gunderson is back and ready for action— unfortunately, she’s stuck doing paperwork in an overheated government office building. But she gets more than she bargained for when she’s thrown into her first FBI murder case, working with the tribal police on the Eagle River Reservation, where the victim is the teenage niece of the recently elected tribal president. When another gruesome killing occurs during the early stages of the investigation, Mercy and fellow FBI agent Shay Turnbull are at odds about whether the crimes are connected.

Due to job confidentiality, Mercy can’t discuss her misgivings about the baffling cases with her boyfriend, Eagle River County sheriff Mason Dawson, and the couple’s home on the ranch descends into chaos when Dawson’s eleven-year-old son Lex is sent to live with them. While Mercy struggles to find a balance, hidden political agendas and old family vendettas turn ugly, masking motives and causing a rift among the tribal police, the tribal council, and the FBI. Soon, however, Mercy realizes that the deranged killer is still at large—and is playing a dangerous game with his sights set on Mercy as his next victim.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gruesome murders on South Dakota's Eagle River Reservation confront novice FBI agent Mercy Gunderson. Though recently enrolled as a tribal member, Mercy is unfamiliar with some customs and beliefs. This, in addition to conflicts with tribal and county law enforcement officials as well as with her agency coworkers, leaves Mercy in a state of confusion and turmoil. Nonetheless, her determination, attention to detail, and gut instincts lead Mercy to discover how the killings of three women are related. Clues lead to an unexpected culprit who has Mercy pegged as his next victim. She'll need to use the nerves of steel and discipline that made her a top army sniper to evaluate the evidence and escape the killer in this action-packed mystery. VERDICT Armstrong's third series outing (after No Mercy and Mercy Kill) is a gritty who-done-it that will appeal to mystery readers who enjoy contemporary Western settings.—Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Coll., Mt. Carmel
Publishers Weekly
FBI special agent Mercy Gunderson gets her sternest test yet as her high-octane third adventure (after 2011’s Mercy Kill) finds the former Army sniper still adjusting to her new job, her romantic relationship with Sheriff Mason Dawson, and the one-quarter Minneconjou Sioux blood that makes her technically but not truly part of the tribe. Escaping the boredom of training sessions in Rapid City, S.Dak., Mercy begins her first murder case after 17-year-old Arlette Shooting Star, the niece of the Eagle River Reservation’s tribal president, is found stripped and staked through the heart. Mercy’s questioning of her superiors soon relegates her to doing research in the tribal archives, but this menial task leads her to uncover a string of possibly related deaths, setting the stage for a confrontation with a ruthless psychopath. Shamus-winner Armstrong continues to flesh out her singularly strong if conflicted heroine in this satisfying series entry. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Jan.)
Craig Johnson
“People always ask me what I read and I tell them Lori Armstrong. There comes a point when I need to read her like I need a shot of whiskey at the end of a hard day; Lori’s writing is like that, unforgiving and deeply satisfying.”
Lisa Gardner
“Mercy is one of the best female characters around, and you can quote me on that.”
Allison Brennan
“Mercy Gunderson shoots straight onto the list of my favorite heroines. A master of snappy dialogue and twisting plots, Lori Armstrong proves again why she is an award-winning author. [Her books are] a hard-edged, fast-paced, no-holds-barred roller coaster ride.”
From the Publisher
“People always ask me what I read and I tell them Lori Armstrong. There comes a point when I need to read her like I need a shot of whiskey at the end of a hard day; Lori’s writing is like that, unforgiving and deeply satisfying.”

“Mercy is one of the best female characters around, and you can quote me on that.”

“Mercy Gunderson shoots straight onto the list of my favorite heroines. A master of snappy dialogue and twisting plots, Lori Armstrong proves again why she is an award-winning author. [Her books are] a hard-edged, fast-paced, no-holds-barred roller coaster ride.”

“[Armstrong] has created a grittier character in Mercy Gunderson.…Fans of the Collins mysteries should embrace this new novel with open arms, but the author could pick up some new readers, too, on the strength of this new heroine.”

“[A] smartly written, high-velocity tale.”

“Mercy Gunderson [is] a complicated and fascinating character whose presence in modern novels is way overdue.”

“With a gutsy heroine, sharp humor, and a strong sense of place, Armstrong has created a winning series. The female veteran perspective is particularly fresh—not unlike a young V.I. Warshawski gone rural. Craig Johnson and C.J. Box fans should like it, too. Highly recommended.”

Booklist
“[Armstrong] has created a grittier character in Mercy Gunderson.…Fans of the Collins mysteries should embrace this new novel with open arms, but the author could pick up some new readers, too, on the strength of this new heroine.”
The Wall Street Journal
“[A] smartly written, high-velocity tale.”
USA Today
“Mercy Gunderson [is] a complicated and fascinating character whose presence in modern novels is way overdue.”
Kirkus Reviews
Romance author turned thriller writer Armstrong continues to chronicle the adventures of former Army sniper turned law enforcement officer Mercy Gunderson in the latest tale set in western South Dakota. Mercy served a couple of tours in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now she's home fighting crime and her own demons. Part American Indian, Mercy works alongside FBI Special Agent Shay Turnbull to resolve the murder of Arlette Shooting Star, the niece of the newly elected tribal president. But the stars refuse to align for Mercy and Shay, and soon, there's a second body to add to the first one. Tiptoeing through the peculiar dance required to investigate crimes involving the reservation and its residents, the two agents spar with tribal police as well as Mercy's live-in love, Sheriff Mason Dawson. Meanwhile, there's no love lost between brand-new cop Mercy and the more experienced Shay, either. As Mercy's life grows more complicated, so does the case, with Mason's son, Lex, joining them on the ranch and twist after twist piling up the suspects. Armstrong has a knack for presenting a strong sense of place and deftly brings readers onto the reservation to expose them to a culture and way of life that most will find virgin ground. She also has a way with dialogue, spicing both Mercy's inner and outer voices with humor and a sense of irony. What doesn't process, though, is her counterintuitive behavior as a cop. Mercy, and on at least one occasion, Shay, allows suspect after suspect to rough her up. Instead of tough, quirky and her own person, Mercy comes across as someone in need of a good psychiatrist and as lacking in moral character. While Armstrong's writing is spot on, the book suffers from the incorporation of reams of unexplained back story, which leaves the reader to puzzle through multiple references to past events.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451625417
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
223,869
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Lori Armstrong is the two-time winner of the Shamus Award given by the Private Eye Writers of America and a New York Times bestselling author of romantic fiction, written as Lorelei James. Her books have won the Willa Cather Literary Award and have been nominated for the High Plains Book Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in western South Dakota. Visit her website at LoriArmstrong.com.

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Merciless: A Mystery 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog “MERCILESS was heart pounding from beginning to end!” ~Under the Covers Wow! I am in awe of the complex story MERCILESS ended up being. I truly enjoyed every moment of it. This book took me on a wild ride that at times I didn’t know if would come out on a happy note. Mercy is now working for the FBI and her first real case is a brutally murdered teenager. While trying to uncover who the killer is and working with the native cops, she will also have to learn to keep her relationship to Dawson separate from her new job as an FBI agent. And can I just say that Mercy is one smart chick! If the FBI didn’t have her on this case they would’ve never found out what happened and stopped a crazy. Because when it came to who the killer was, let me just say that I did not see that coming. Crazy is the right word, that’s for sure. But amazing job, Ms. Armstrong for writing so well that it kept me guessing the whole time. And when it came down to a final showdown, there was no shying away from an epic battle. This is by far my favorite Mercy Gunderson book to date because of the many layers this story had. There was Mercy, Dawson’s girlfriend; Mercy, Lex’s stepmom; Mercy, the FBI agent; Mercy, the sister; Mercy, the native; Mercy, the ex military. I could go on. And as seeing every aspect of Mercy’s life, I felt more connected to her. I was excited with her at discovering clues and putting pieces of the puzzle together. I got freaked out with some of her discoveries. Some just made my skin crawl. And with so much happening in her personal life as well, I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two for her. MERCILESS was heart pounding from beginning to end! A nail biting, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read. If you haven’t read Mercy yet, you should rectify that. Ohhh and Dawson…yep, I’m crushing on him big time. Can’t wait for the next one, hope the wait is not long this time. *ARC provided by publisher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great continuation of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though Mercy's domestication is definitely becoming the focus of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS is why Armstrong wins awards - I couldn't put it down!