Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on January 16, 2018
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
Source: Kindle Unlimited
A third installment in a series to which, frankly, I’m addicted, brings Mercy and Truman into contact with a gruesome pair of murders that get them tangled up with modern-day witchcraft. The case nudges Mercy a little bit further along the path toward Truman who is trying to be patient as she works through her fears. I clicked on the audio and settled in for yet another story to have me holding my breath and working out the case right alongside a wonderful group of characters.
A Merciful Secret is book three in the Mercy Kilpatrick series. It presents a new case which resolves within this book, but this is not a series I recommend getting out of order or standalone. The relationship build ups and not just between Mercy and Truman, but with her estranged family and their situations works when gotten in order.
Mercy is up at her prepper cabin where she goes to keep making her preparations and checking on how its fairing for the winter since the area of central Oregon is being hit by brutal winter snow storms. On her way back, a frightened young girl flags her down in the road and she encounters a vicious murder. The case is in the hands of the county until a similar murder is discovered in Portland making it an FBI case. Mercy and Truman are on the peripheral, but Mercy needs to be involved to help that young girl who was seemingly raised by two practicing witches- or Wiccan as her partner at the Bureau explains.
Meanwhile, Truman doesn’t know what to think when he spies the housing brochures on her table, but Mercy hasn’t included him in any house hunts. He gets that she can’t be pushed, but he really thought the next moving venture would involve them both. Mercy knows they need to have a conversation about this, but involving Truman will mean relying on another person, even one she loves, which still terrifies her to death. She knows that he’s all in and she needs to get past all this.
I don’t want to just gush or repeat my high praise from previous stories so I’ll try to bring out further thoughts on the ongoing series..
I love the characters were not developed to a point and then stagnated or that the author felt the stagnation and thought unnecessary angst would fix it. Blessedly, these characters are still growing naturally within the situations at work, from their pasts, with their family and the community around them, and with each other. I get impatient with Mercy, but she isn’t deliberately sabotaging things and she is working toward something permanent with Truman.
I really love how sensible these characters are when it comes to their difficult and dangerous jobs. They don’t do stupid things- sure, heat of the moment stuff, but nothing calculated to make me question their law enforcement training or intelligence. Seeing them working the case and gathering impressions and facts is great.
Each book is set in the area of Bend, Oregon and the small town of Eagle’s Nest across the mountains, but that is the end of the similarities. The author shows a different facet of the community each time. In this instance, it is those who live and worship as Wiccans and how they fit in the community. Salome was an angry teen and tried to prey on the town fears while her mother, Olivia, stayed quietly in their cabin in the woods doing business with those who wanted salves and notions for things. Alongside the preppers, it was an interesting new element that worked.
The mystery wasn’t actually difficult for the reader who had access to all the players and their thoughts, but it was still neat to see them figure out the pieces and arrive at that exciting and dangerous climax scene.
In summary, it was abso-fab and left me dancing with need for the next book. Schnaubelt’s performance is stellar as always and I love the added layer of goodness she brings to the books. Those who enjoy thriller qualities, romance, relationships, and small town settings with a gritty mystery, look no further.
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