Tuesday, January 8, 2019

ARC Review: A Merciful Fate by Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Fate
Author: Kendra Elliot
Series: Mercy Kilpatrick (Book 5)
Publication: Montlake Romance (January 15, 2019)

Description: Raised by preppers, survivalist and FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick has a deep-rooted need for a safe place. Her getaway in the Cascade Foothills is her secret. But when skeletal remains are unearthed—those of a murdered man linked to a notorious heist—Mercy realizes she isn’t the only one with something to hide.

Thirty years ago, an armored-car robbery turned deadly. The mastermind was captured. Four conspirators vanished with a fortune. One of them, it appears, never made it out of the woods alive. For Mercy and her fiancĂ©, Police Chief Truman Daly, their investigation opens old wounds in Eagle’s Nest that cut deeper than they imagined. Especially when a reckless tabloid reporter draws fresh blood. It’s clear to Mercy that somebody in this close-knit community is not who they seem to be.

Some are still shattered by the heist. Some still have reason to be afraid. But which one will kill again and again to hide three decades of secrets? To land this case, it’s up to Mercy to unmask a familiar stranger before someone else dies.

My Thoughts: This story begins when Ollie's dog Shep finds a bone when the two of them are out on a wilderness walk. Ollie is quick to call Truman who alerts the county cops. When it is discovered that the bones are with some empty bank bags, Mercy is called in - bank robbery being a federal crime.

Suspicions are quickly confirmed that the body was probably one of the Gamble-Helmet killers. There was an armored car robbery some thirty years earlier in which one of the guards was killed and one of the robbers shot and left at the scene. However, the other four robbers and the $2 million they stole disappeared without a trace. Now it appears that one has been found and has likely been dead since very shortly after the robbery.

Shane Gamble is the one robber that was caught. He has been in prison since the robbery and will be there for the rest of his life since he killed another prisoner inside. Mercy goes to see him to see if he can shed any light on the new discovery. However, Gamble is a game player and sees no reason to do anything but mess with Mercy's mind.

Meanwhile, other things are happening in town. There have been incidents where a couple of the locals - Sandra who runs the B&B and Bree who is an English teacher - have reported vandalism. Both women have sort of shady pasts. Sandra reinvented herself when she came to town ten years earlier after a past with an abusive husband. Bree's secrets are more deeply hidden

When a young female reporter from a tabloid shows up wanting more information about the newly discovered body, Mercy wonders how she found out about the discovery and wonders what she is trying to find as she interviews many people in town including Bree and Sandra. Things get even more confusing for Mercy and Truman when the reporter is found murdered.

Because the Bend FBI office is small, Mercy is glad when Art Juergen is called in. He is retired now but was deeply involved in the original Gamble-Helmet Heist and is an expert on what was done and who was looked at. Mercy has worked with him before and liked him. He, Mercy and her partner Eddie are shot at and Eddie hit while they are pursuing some information from Victor Diehl who could be a witness. Art kills him when he almost gets the drop on Mercy and Eddie while Mercy is trying to treat Eddie's wound. Things get even more complicated when Mercy learns that two of his recent phone calls were to her semi-estranged father Karl. 

As Mercy continues to try to find out what happened to the other robbers, she begins to have questions about some of the new friends and neighbors that she has met since she came back to Bend. Then her niece Kaylie is shot and Bree is assaulted in her home and the investigation really heats up.

This was a fast-paced enjoyable mystery with engaging characters and a well-developed plot. I love Mercy and Truman's relationship and I love the way Mercy is letting more people into her life. I like that the story begins and ends with Ollie who is one of the new people in Truman and Mercy's life.

Favorite Quote:
"What can you tell me about the remains?" Tabitha showed no fear, tilting her head in interest as she held Mercy's gaze.

Why are reporters so pushy?

"Nothing. Go bug a Kardashian." Mercy didn't take the card, yet the woman continued to hold it in front of her. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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