Mercy Kill: A Mystery (Mercy Gunderson)

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9781416590972: Mercy Kill: A Mystery (Mercy Gunderson)
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Former Black Ops army sniper Mercy Gunderson isn’t adjusting well to the laid-back rhythm of civilian life on her family’s ranch in South Dakota. To fill her time, Mercy accepts a temporary bartending gig at a local watering hole. Yet her attempts to settle in back home are tested when Titan Oil, a Canadian company proposing to run an underground pipeline through Eagle River County, sends Jason Hawley, Mercy’s former army buddy, to the area to convince ranchers to get behind the project.

While local business owners support the pipeline, Hawley’s presence riles the landowners, and Mercy is torn. After ugly threats and multiple altercations escalate tensions in the county, Mercy discovers Hawley’s brutally mutilated body in the bar parking lot. When it appears Sheriff Dawson cares more about campaigning for reelection than investigating the case, Mercy vows to find Jason Hawley’s killer—even if she has to run against Dawson for sheriff to ensure justice is served.

But Mercy soon learns her former military pal had plenty of secrets. Her search for the truth brings unwanted exposure to the county’s dark side and risks deadly repercussions for the entire community.

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About the Author:

Lori Armstrong is the two-time winner of the Shamus Award given by the Private Eye Writers of America and a New York Times bestselling author of romantic fiction, written as Lorelei James. Her books have won the Willa Cather Literary Award and have been nominated for the High Plains Book Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in western South Dakota. Visit her website at LoriArmstrong.com.

From Booklist:

This tough-mouth novel begins with a hymn to the beauties of the outdoors, all primrose and yarrow. Then Mercy Gunderson, belly down, adjusts her rifle and blows away prairie dogs. “Bye-bye, Theodore.” Well, farmers know they’re destructive, and Mercy is a South Dakota farmer. She’s also retired military, back home again. She tends bar, and one night in walks another destroyer, an oil company man. He’s also Mercy’s army buddy—saved her life once. All these contradictions become the vehicle for the great message of crime fiction: things are not as they seem. The baddies seem more sad than bad. The sheriff’s foot-dragging inspires Mercy to go after his job, but he has reasons for his inaction, and we don’t learn them until nearly the end. And the gorgeous man who breaks hearts just by showing up? He’s not what you think, either. This is country-western land, beer and Beam, music by George Strait and Dwight Yoakam. Readers easy with that side of America will enjoy Mercy—tough, funny, and hardly a girl in a guy suit. --Don Crinklaw

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