Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: No Mercy and Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong

No Mercy

from author's website: 

Mercy Gunderson is a straight shooter with a hard edge. On medical leave from the Army, she returns home to South Dakota, which isn’t much safer for her than Iraq. Arriving just after the death of her father, it is up to Mercy to decide what to do with the family ranch. Trying to deal with her irresponsible sister and nephew and feeling guilty that she didn’t make it home soon enough to see her father one last time; Mercy is suddenly pulled into the local community when the body of a Native American boy is found on her land. But nobody seems to be doing anything about it, especially not the local law enforcement.

When tragedy strikes again, Mercy is ready to throw all her energy into her own investigation, and she’s out for revenge. As she digs up the truth behind the shocking crimes, Mercy uncovers dark and dangerous secrets and must race to stop a killer before everything she’s fought for is destroyed forever.

Mercy Kill

from author's website:
Former Black Ops Army sniper, Mercy Gunderson isn’t adjusting well to the laid-back rhythm of civilian life on her family’s ranch in South Dakota. To fill her time, Mercy accepts a temporary bartending gig at a local watering hole. Yet her attempts to settle in back home are tested when Titan Oil, a Canadian company proposing to run an underground pipeline through Eagle River County, sends Jason Hawley, Mercy’s former Army buddy to the area to convince ranchers to get behind the project.

While local business owners support the pipeline, Hawley’s presence riles the landowners and Mercy is torn. After ugly threats and multiple altercations escalate tensions in the county, Mercy discovers Hawley’s brutally mutilated body in the bar parking lot. When it appears Sheriff Dawson cares more about campaigning for re-election than investigating the case, Mercy vows to find Jason Hawley’s killer—even if she has to run against Dawson for sheriff to ensure justice is served.

But Mercy soon learns her former military pal had plenty of secrets. Her search for the truth brings unwanted exposure to the county’s dark side and risks deadly repercussions for the entire community.

My Review

I am absolutely thrilled to have discovered a new-to-me author Lori Armstrong.  Her novels are set in her home state of South Dakota which is a beautiful diverse sparsely populated area.  Both novels featuring ex-army sniper Mercy Gunderson are action-packed and incredibly enjoyable to read. The rural Rapid City outskirts, South Dakota setting is very familiar to me as I've visited the area several times...both when Rapid City and the Sturgis area are filled with hundred of thousands of bikers and when it is quite a bit quieter! I've even been charged by a buffalo in Custer State Park while on the back of our HD so it's a pretty unforgettable area for me.  I've been to Wounded Knee as well as the surrounding reservation towns that play a large role in Armstrong's novels.  If you are like me and you enjoy mysteries by William Kent Krueger and C.J. Box, you will love No Mercy and Mercy Kill.

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