Saturday, January 13, 2018

ARC Review: A Merciful Secret by Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Secret
Author: Kendra Elliot
Series: Mercy Kilpatrick (Book 3)
Publication: Montlake Romance (January 16, 2018)

Description: A pair of ritual murders could expose Mercy Kilpatrick to something terrifying: her own past…

Raised off the grid by survivalists, Mercy Kilpatrick believed in no greater safeguard than the backwoods of Oregon. Unforgiven by her father for abandoning the fold for the FBI, Mercy still holds to her past convictions. They’re in her blood. They’re her secrets—as guarded as her private survival retreat hidden away in the foothills.

In a cabin near her hideaway, Mercy encounters a young girl whose grandmother is dying from multiple knife wounds. Hundreds of miles away, a body is discovered slashed to death in a similar way. The victims—a city judge and an old woman living in the woods—couldn’t be more different. With the help of police chief Truman Daly, Mercy must find the killer before the body count rises. Mercy knows that the past has an edge on her. So does her family. How can she keep her secrets now…when they’re the only things that can save her?

My Thoughts: Mercy Kilpatrick is on her way back from checking on her wilderness cabin when she almost runs down a girl. Morrigan is desperately searching for someone to help her grandmother. When Mercy gets to their isolated home, she find the grandmother dying after a brutal knife attack. Being out of cellphone range she takes Morrigan and drives to somewhere she can get reception before going back and waiting for the police. Morrigan's mother Salome is away from home and can't be contacted.

Meanwhile, boyfriend and Chief of Police Truman Daly is getting worried about Mercy because she wasn't planning to be gone all night. He goes off to try to track her down and discovers her at the crime scene where she's being interviewed by the police.

When Mercy learns that Oliva Sabin's death is very similar to the death of Judge Malcolm Lake which happened nearly the same time in Portland, the FBI takes over jurisdiction for the investigation of both deaths. Mercy can't be directly involved but her good friend Ava is put in charge. Both she and Truman are interested in the investigation but neither are legally involved. That doesn't stop either of them from doing what they can to investigate.

Since Olivia and her daughter Salome are both considered to be witches by many in the community of Eagle's Nest, it is thought that there might be some connection there. But that doesn't explain the judge. Although the judge did live in Bend for a while years ago and a connection is found between him and Olivia which could explain why she has been hiding in the woods for many years.

This story was a fast-paced mystery with flashbacks to a time when Salome was a teenager and knew both Truman and Judge Lake's son Christian. It also has some sections from Salome's point of view. I am especially fond of Mercy who has a unique background. She was raised by preppers and, although she has left the group, she is still doing her own prepping in case the world as we know it falls apart. Her supplies and her isolated cabin give her a feeling of security. She is also finding a new sense of security with her niece and with Truman that is causing her to open herself up more than she has in years.

This was a great story with plenty of action and excitement as well as being the story of two people who are committing themselves to each other.

Favorite Quote:
The instant love she'd felt for Kaylie had emboldened her to take that plunge with Truman. Her heart had easily expanded to make room for her niece and then expanded again as she repaired fences with her formerly estranged family. Being deliberately cut off from her family had left her with an empty heart for years, but since she'd returned to Eagle's Nest, she suddenly had a small crowd to care for.

It hadn't weakened her foundation. She was stronger.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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