Mercy Kilpatrick is a quiet, lonely woman, her life marked by a tragic incident from her past. She was forced from home at eighteen when she became alienated from her parents by trying to protect her sister, Rose, and her brother, Levi, and spent fifteen years hiding the secret that pulled them apart. She was raised in a small town, but found living in a big city a challenge she was ready for. Her heart yearned to see the world beyond where she grew up, so she learned to support herself, graduated college, and eventually joined the FBI.
Now, Mercy is being sent to the last place she wants to be; she is being sent home to investigate several murders of ‘preppers’, people who spend their lives preparing for the end of government and high-tech society. Many are loners and hoarders, who actually have a great deal of knowledge about preparing for the end of the world. Mercy has no qualms handling this investigation, but knows people will recognize her. She fears who will welcome her and who will give her the cold shoulder.
Having arrived in town with her fellow FBI agent, Eddie Peterson, the first priority is to establish themselves with the current police chief, Truman Wade. He has his own painful memories and it doesn’t take him long to see that Mercy is also a troubled soul. Being alone for many years, Mercy is completely tied to her job, but as the investigation delves deeper she realizes the police chief has his eye on her. He appears to be quite curious and she becomes concerned that he knows something of her past. Nervous, she attempts to get him to admit she can handle the investigation without his help.
Gradually, Mercy makes contact with her four siblings and joyfully finds that, although she may not be accepted by all of her family, the two she held closest in her heart, Rose and Levi, seem genuinely happy to see her. The time apart was difficult and she looks forward to beginning anew with her family once the investigation is complete.
With the concern over her family lightened, Mercy jumps into the murder cases and begins to see similarities between these murders and two that happened right before she left home, fifteen years ago. She doesn’t want to bring attention to her past, but knows that these facts cannot be ignored. As the case takes another turn, Truman is determined to become more to Mercy than just a police chief. On the other hand, she is determined to keep him at arm’s length.
This is a well-written story. There is a certain amount of tension that all thrillers must have. However, I was disappointed with the lack of dialogue between Mercy and Truman, which could have drawn them together. They suddenly acknowledge their attraction and the investigation simply moves on. Also, I suspect that Mercy would have needed some kind of assistance in her investigation, but mostly she wanders around, picking up what clues she can. I thought Eddie would turn into a strong character, but he appears mostly on the sidelines. Mercy’s father is a unlikeable man. His arrogance such that he can never be wrong. His wife seems to like him well enough, though, but I just couldn’t see how she refrained from booting him out of the house on occasion. Several characters were interesting and it would have added depth to the story if they’d had more involvement. That said, overall, I did like the story.
- Genre and general reading age – Suspense for older teens and adults.
- Level of sexuality – It was very low-key.
- Is there graphic language? Mild, for the most part.
- Did I cry? No.
- Did I laugh? No.
- Is this part of a series? I have not seen a sequel mentioned, however, the ending sounds like there could be more.
- Level of character development – The characters are fairly strong and I didn’t notice much change.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 stars.