Mercy Kilpatrick is an FBI agent who has been estranged from her Oregon-based, “prepper” family since a secret tragedy tore them apart her senior year in high school. She tends to keep to herself, both in her professional and personal life, and she never talks about her past. That is, until she is sent to Eagle’s Nest, Oregon, her own hometown, to investigate the murder of survivalists and thefts of weapons that has her bosses at the FBI whipped into a tizzy. As the investigation gets underway, she notices a resemblance between the current murders and the secret tragedy that drove a wedge between her and her family.
She works with police chief Truman Daly to solve a case that threatens to uncover all of her secrets. The question is, will she and her family survive the fallout?
A Merciful Death is the first in a series of mystery novels that focus on main character, Mercy Kilpatrick, and as such it definitely works. The story is full of enough twists and turns to make you cling to the pages, and the chemistry between Truman and Mercy is electrifying.
As a whole, the characters are very well written. I felt a special love for Mercy’s blind sister, Rose, and her story was perhaps the most compelling.
The weakest character, in my humble opinion, was Mercy’s father. That could just be because he is ultimately the reason that Mercy left town to begin with, and it’s easy to blame him for the calamities that befall his children throughout the novel. He’s stubborn, old-fashioned in the worst way, and completely blind to the needs of Mercy and her four siblings. Given, this is the first novel in the series, and I believe Elliot is a strong enough writer that she will build upon his character in future installations. By the end of this series, I may even like the guy.
Overall, this is a great book. It’s sad, but compelling. I can’t wait to read the next novel and watch the television series being produced right now!