RogerBW's Blog

A Merciful Fate, Kendra Elliot 25 April 2022

2019 romantic mystery, fifth in the Mercy Kilpatrick series. A body found in the woods could be connected with an armoured car robbery thirty years ago. FBI agent Kilpatrick and her police chief fiancé Truman Daly, among others, investigate.

Well, I guess my American police instincts are working: one particular character struck me as "hinky" on first appearance, and indeed turned out to be the villain. Otherwise, it's largely the recipe as before: it's a good recipe, and if it doesn't produce masterpieces it does at least allow for enjoyable mystery stories.

We have crooks from back in the day (who turn out to have been remarkably good at getting new identities), with the main weak spot being the robber who got caught who loves to manipulate everyone; he's something of a stock character, and large bits about his plot are just left hanging.

There's quite a bit going on with the secondary cast too, with relationship angst and pregnancy and so on; it verges on the soap-operatic at times, but manages to keep things interesting. I'm less impressed by some of the authorial manipulation, such as the suggestion that Mercy doesn't mind slacking off on her prepper lifestyle now that she's engaged to be married and maybe that's what she was looking for all along; and at the same time she has to be reconciled with her thoroughly anti-government father because there's only one book left and you Must Be Friendly With Your Family.

But allow that, and allow the series' general attitude that cops are always right, and remember that American maps of rural areas really are practically non-existent, and what's left is still pretty decent,

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Previous in series: A Merciful Silence | Series: Mercy Kilpatrick | Next in series: A Merciful Promise

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