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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Merciless by Mary Burton

Merciless by Mary Burton
Publisher: Zebra Books / Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (410 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

No Pity

Each skeleton is flawless—gleaming white and perfectly preserved, a testament to his skill. Every scrap of flesh has been removed to reveal the glistening bone beneath. And the collection is growing…

No Compassion

When bleached human bones are identified as belonging to a former patient of Dr. James Dixon, Detective Malcolm Kier suspects the worst. Dixon was recently acquitted of attempted murder, thanks to defense attorney Angie Carlson. But as the body count rises, Kier is convinced that Angie is now the target of a brutal, brilliant psychopath.

No Escape

Angie is no stranger to the dark side of human nature. But nothing has prepared her for the decades-long legacy of madness and murder about to be revealed—or a killer ready to claim her as his ultimate trophy…

The saying “Never make a deal with a scorpion, it will sting you every time” proves to be very true for Angie Carlson. “First One” and “Other” target Angie for their diabolical scheme. They are merciless--a terrifying pair.

Angie, called the barracuda by some because of her tactics as a defense lawyer, pulls out all the stops to get her clients cleared of all charges. The idealism of her youth has faded but her dedication to her clients holds strong. However, she comes to question her wisdom in getting Dr. James Dixon set free as a new series of crimes start.

After Detectives Malcolm Kier and Deacon Garrison rescue her half-sister Eva from a tortuous death, Angie is more inclined to help them when the bones of young women start showing up for all to see. When one of the victims turns out to be one of her clients, Angie becomes totally involved in the search for the criminals.

Malcolm Kier is more cynical and brusque than his partner and makes no bones about hating Angie Carlson for getting Dr. Dixon set free. Some of the names he calls her are harsh but she ‘gives as good as she gets’. In time, Kiser’s hate morphs into an entirely different emotion that subtly weaves its way into their shaky-truce relationship. They like to spar, talk, and make love, but a permanent relationship seems impossible. Their strong attraction to each other has to duck, dodge, and sometimes hide as the bone-chilling crimes create a dangerous, terrifying environment with suspects galore.

Many of the characters in Senseless along with additional characters from Angie and Eva’s past ratchet up the terror, suspense, and horrifying happenings as every aspect of law enforcement in Alexandria, Virginia works around the clock to find who is killing young women and cleaning their bones to pristine condition then displaying them in a prominent place.

Other characters like baby David and his grandmother Vivian Sweet add a new dimension to this complex story. They give Angie a different perspective on life.

Mary Burton’s writing style with its realism, strong sense of place, and diverse characters makes Merciless throb with life. The twists, turns, surprises, horrors, and vast range of emotions make this story breath-taking, heart-pounding, super reading.