Tough, talented and tormented, Mercy Gunderson is one of the straightest-shooting female characters since Kinsey Milhone came down the pike. This time, Mercy’s juggling her new FBI assignment — to find the murderer of a tribal chief’s niece — her own crazy family, the man she loves, Eagle River county sheriff Mason Dawson and his estranged son, who’s been exiled to their ranch. Then there’s a crazy assassin who has Mercy in his sights. Merciless is dark, gritty, twisted and a perfect vehicle for her protagonist’s bigger-than-life persona.
It’s Mercy’s first FBI murder case – a teenager related to the recently elected tribal president is dead. Mercy and her partner, Shay Turnbull, are at odds when another killing occurs. They are also dealing with politics, old family vendettas and discord among the tribal police, the tribal council and the feds. A crazy man is at work – and his dangerous cat-and-mouse game is rigged to make Mercy the next victim. But Mercy isn’t ready to die. She reaches inside herself for the predator she once was to keep herself from being preyed on. (TOUCHSTONE, Jan., 352 pp., $15.00)