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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson

Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (424 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Ever since her father was stabbed to death in a home invasion, Julia “Jules” Farentino has been plagued by nightmares. Her half-sister, Shaylee, now seventeen, has had her own difficulties since the tragedy, earning a rap sheet for drug use, theft, and vandalism. Still, when Jules learns of her mother’s decision to send Shay to an elite boarding school in Oregon, she’s skeptical. The Academy has a reputation for turning wayward kids around—but one of its students went missing six months ago and her body has never been found. There are rumors she may have died during one of the school’s questionable treatments. Once enrolled, Shay grows fearful, convinced her every move is being watched. And the deeper Jules digs, the more concerned she becomes.

On impulse, Jules applies for a teaching job at the Academy. Though the facility boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a breathtaking campus, Jules senses cracks in the director’s do-good demeanor. Shortly before Jules arrived, a student was found hanged, and a hysterical Shay believes it was murder. Staff members are wary and unwelcoming—all except Cooper Trent, another recent hire who has his own suspicions, and his own secrets.

Then another girl goes missing, and yet another is found dead. There’s no doubt something sinister is at hand—but Jules may be too late to stop it. Behind the Academy’s idyllic veneer lurks an evil force on a brutal and terrifying mission. And Jules has become the next target of a bloodthirsty killer without limits, without remorse, without mercy…

Can someone change the decisions in life just by being sent to a special place? Can someone embrace a love lost due to a misunderstanding? And can this all happen while a murderer runs free?

Read Without Mercy and get the whole story!

I must confess I’ve never picked up a book by Ms. Jackson before now. I’ve seen her other work in the store and just never got around to it. Now I will make the time.

Without Mercy is a thrill-ride you won’t be able to put down. The characters are compelling and the twists and turns will keep the reader firmly in his or her seat. I felt like I’d known all the characters well, and when I finished the book, I felt like I’d said goodbye to close friends.

Jules is a superb heroine. She wants nothing more than to save her sister who she feels was unjustly placed in the Blue Rock Academy. I liked her strength and determination. She wants to help her sister because both witnessed the tail end of an ungodly murder. Both are damaged in soul. Jules moves on with grace—until she meets up with her ex.

And my, my, is her ex quite a dish. Trent Cooper has his own demons, but he never really quit loving her. He’s on the trail of the killer who keeps attacking students at Blue Rock. The chemistry between Trent and Jules is unmistakable and powerful. I wanted to see them make a second go at the relationship even when they wanted to rip each other’s eyeballs out.

Honestly, what I liked the best about this book were the plot twists. About the time I thought I had the story figured out, the characters and the plot took an entirely different direction that kept me voracious to read the next part. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep until I finished this book. The subplots do slow it down a tad, but not enough to hinder the story.

If you want a page-turner, then I’d suggest nabbing a copy of Without Mercy. You won’t regret it.