Monday, December 12, 2011

ACTS OF MERCY by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: August 25, 2009
ISBN 9780345506146
Mass Market Paperback
Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher

With two cases solved successfully, at least in terms of bringing the families closure, Mercy Street Foundation is ready to add more staff and take on another case. When former FBI profiler, Sam Delvecchio, applies, Mallory Russo is ready to jump at the chance to hire him, but senses something under the surface that could be a problem in the future. Just what, she isn’t sure. Coincidentally with giving Sam a trial run, Mercy Street takes on its next case: a family man, committed to providing for his community, was not only killed, but arranged in a truly odd manner. Sam quickly comes to the conclusion that the killer is trying to send a message, a very suspicious message.

Just as he begins his investigation Sam receives a call to back off from FBI Special Agent, Fiona Summers. Apparently the murder in Lincoln is the work of a serial killer. Not one to play well with others, Fiona agrees to work with Sam if for no other reason than her boss, John Mancini, has ordered her to do so. When yet another body turns up Sam begins to see a pattern that at first disconcerts and then horrifies him. The dates and locations of the murders all seem to point to him.

Mariah Stewart’s ACTS OF MERCY, the third of her Mercy Street series is a heart stopping jaw dropper. Just when you think she has hit you with everything she’s got Ms. Stewart turns around and draws you into yet another mind boggling story. While I didn’t find Fiona’s past to be so incredibly difficult, I never walked in her shoes and the way Ms. Stewart writes the female agent’s reactions make it believable.

Sam is the kind of stable, go along, get along guy most of us women should want for our forever after guy. He does the right thing for the right reason – even though it is tearing him apart inside. His family is important to him and even though he walked away from his home town, he never walked away from them. I just plain liked Sam from the first word written about him.

I love the concept of the Mercy Street Foundation and how despite his own grief, Robert Magellan still reaches out to help others who can’t help themselves. I appreciate that he is happy to fund the project and let people do what they do best.

I have to say ACTS OF MERCY gives readers one of the most despicable villains yet. When their identify is revealed it is a jaw dropping moment where you need to go back and read it again just to be sure you read it right. This is not from Ms. Stewart’s writing but rather how cleverly she lays it all out.

ACTS OF MERCY is a stand alone novel but I would suggest reading not only books 1 and 2 but also her entire FBI series for the sheer enjoyment of reading a good series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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