Review: A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot is the second book in the Mercy Kilpatrick series, where the survivalist FBI agent must investigate a local antigovernment militia before more people get hurt.

Read Corrina Lawson's review of A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot, and then make sure to sign in and comment for a chance to win a copy of the second Mercy Kilpatrick mystery!

A good mystery series has two main ingredients: a compelling sleuth and a distinct sense of place. My favorites are Spenser’s Boston, Longmire’s Wyoming, and Kinsey Millhone’s Santa Theresa. A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot—the second Mercy Kilpatrick mystery—has both these elements.

FBI Agent Mercy Kilpatrick is—like many leads in a mystery series—a person of two worlds. The first, of course, is law enforcement. But Mercy has recently moved back to her hometown, the rural Oregon community of Eagle’s Nest, after the tragic events of the first book, A Merciful Death—and that brings in her other world as well.

Mercy is a self-described prepper (a person who prepares for the collapse of civilization) and even owns a cabin loaded with supplies to live on after the end. She was raised that way, growing up with parents who always tried to live as self-sufficiently as possible.

Besides representing years of hard work, he knew the rural cabin and its contents were part of Mercy’s core. They kept her sane and balanced. He didn’t think sleeping there a few nights was any big deal. Before her trip, they’d been working to transfer some of the stores from his uncle’s old home. Upon his death, Truman’s Uncle Jefferson had left him a wealth of supplies, but he and Mercy had agreed her location was better. Remote and off the grid.

The average home had enough food for a week. Mercy’s cabin could keep them fed and warm for months.

Beans, bullets, and Band-Aids.

The three Bs of prepping.

That’s from the point of view of Truman Daily, the local police chief and Mercy’s lover—though the relationship is still fragile because of the baggage both bring into it. It’s through Truman that the reader realizes that Mercy is still largely the person her parents made her despite leaving the community in which she was raised.

At the same time Mercy is trying to readjust and reconnect with her family—including the orphaned teenage niece that’s become her ward—and sort out her relationship with Truman, two local law enforcement officers are killed by a sniper while investigating an arson. Truman is the only survivor of the assault. What follows is an investigation where Mercy’s natural instincts as an investigator, her fears for Truman, and her inherent reluctance to trust “the government” all collide.  

There may or may not be a local militia forming, but the local attitude is that it’s not a problem so long as they leave everyone else alone. While some evidence may point to the possible leader of the militia being behind the sniper murders, there is no concrete proof.

The story becomes a test of loyalty not just for Mercy and Truman but for nearly everyone around her. There’s her niece, Kaylie, who is dating Cade, a young man working for the possible militia leader; Cade himself, who is grateful for the job and likes being valued; and Mercy’s brother, Owen, who blames Mercy for, well, it seems nearly everything that’s ever gone wrong for their family.

The main villain is easy to spot, but the lack of mystery behind the reveal does nothing to diminish the quality of the story. Instead, it’s the breadth of characters that keep the pages turning. Seeing the villain through the eyes of Mercy’s friends and family adds an extra layer to the story. Plus, Eagle’s Nest is populated by so many interesting people that I was riveted even in the quiet scenes.

One of my favorite characters is Mercy’s sister, Rose. Rose has been blind since birth and is currently pregnant due to events of the first book, but she showcases a strength and resilience similar to Mercy’s own—though each sister views the other as the strongest. And I adored every scene with Officer Ben Cooley of Eagle’s Nest, an older officer who’s honest and weathered but frustrated that he’s found a case over his head so close to retirement.

As all the secrets surface, the final confrontation tests loyalties, questions who stands on the side of the right, and explores whether certain actions are legally sanctioned or not. The ending leaves Mercy and Truman in a new emotional place and alters her relationship with her family, which allows plenty to explore in future books. I’ll be looking forward to them, as this has all the makings of an excellent long-running series.
 

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A Merciful Truth Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2017/06/review-a-merciful-truth-by-kendra-elliot-comment-sweepstakes beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) June 12, 2017. Sweepstakes ends 3:59 p.m. ET June 20, 2017. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

 

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Corrina Lawson is a writer, mom, geek and superhero, though not always all four on the same day. She is a senior editor of the GeekMom blog at Wired and the author of a superhero romance series and an alternate history series featuring Romans and Vikings in ancient North America. She has been a comic book geek all her life and often dreamed of growing up to be Lois Lane.

Read all posts by Corrina Lawson for Criminal Element.

Comments

  1. Laura Wilson

    I’ve read a lot of Kendra’s books and a huge fan. Great, well developed characters and she comes up with some really good mysteries too. I have some of her books on audio too.

  2. Sally Kohlenberg

    I always enjoy a good mystery. Thanks

  3. Sally Kohlenberg

    I always enjoy a good mystery. Thanks

  4. Barbara Lima

    This seems to be a multi layered book!

  5. Karen Terry

    This sounds like a winner.

  6. Portia Asher

    I need a new mystery…I love a mystery.

  7. Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win!

  8. Sharon Haas

    I’ve been waiting for this one! Thanks for the chance.

  9. Michael Carter

    Please enter me in this sweepstakes.
    Thanks!

  10. Beth Talmage

    Thanks for a chance to get started on this series–it looks great!

  11. LabRat517

    I’ve never read a mystery featuring preppers and I’m really intrigued. I want to understand more about that mindset.

  12. LabRat517

    I’ve never read a mystery featuring preppers and I’m really intrigued. I want to understand more about that mindset.

  13. LabRat517

    I’ve never read a mystery featuring preppers and I’m really intrigued. I want to understand more about that mindset.

  14. Jeffrey Malis

    Interesting… Thank you for the article, review and entry opportunity!

  15. pat murphy

    Love to win !

  16. bill norris

    would love to read this

  17. pearl berger

    Intriguing and captivating. Thanks.

  18. Pearl Berger

    Fascinating and a great mystery which I would enjoy.

  19. Vernon Luckert

    I love a good mystery.

  20. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    Truth is often very complex! Yes!

  21. Barbara Bibel

    Sounds terrific! I want to read it.

  22. miranda summerset

    huge fan!

  23. lasvegasnv

    different

  24. Lori Provenzano

    Paranoia and pine cones…scary opportunities abound!

  25. Deborah Dumm

    Sounds like a great book!

  26. ellie lewis

    Sounds enthralling. Love it.

  27. vickie dailey

    there seems to be a lot of depth to the character of Mercy and lots of subplot to keep you intersted during the non- suspenseful parts of the story

  28. Cheryl Greenleaf

    I love a strong female character. Mercy sounds great!

  29. Mary Costea

    Love to win.

  30. Alicia Sargant

    would love to read this book

  31. Angie Stormer

    Thank you for this excellent giveaway

  32. Barbara Miller

    I’m ready to read. Send it my way.

  33. mrstrooper

    Love a good mystery!

  34. Daniel Morrell

    sounds interesting

  35. Laurent Latulippe

    I’m looking forward to reading it.

  36. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  37. Karen Hester

    Interesting cast of characters.

  38. Pat Murphy

    Interesting setting and characters.

  39. Terry Pearson

    Thriller/mystery/crime , my favorites! I might be a little weird lol

  40. Catherine Myers

    Sounds good

  41. Amanda Smith

    I’d love to read it! I love a good mystery/suspense book!

  42. susan beamon

    The author’s name is not familiar to me, so I think she would be a new read. I’m all for that. I tend to find preppers more than a little crazy, so that would keep me reading, just to see how normal Mercy is.

  43. Susan Morris

    Kendra Elliot sounds like someone I want to read more about! Survivalists are more commonplace now and in the news. A mystery set in today’s climate.

  44. Dan Carr

    Pick me, oh great random picker!

  45. L

    The prepper aspect adds an interesting element. Sounds interesting.

  46. Saundra K. Warren

    Another author I haven’t read yet. Hopefully this will change that!!

  47. Deana Kneen

    Would love to win this! Sounds like a fantastic read!

  48. Kyle Johnicker

    Looks like I should check out the first one and then drive right into this one.

  49. Sally Schmidt

    New to me author, need to read the first in the series. Sounds good.

  50. Clydia DeFreese

    I love to try new mystery authors. I look forward to winning! Thanks.

  51. Clydia DeFreese

    I love to try new mystery authors. I look forward to winning! Thanks.

  52. Linda A

    Been reading about this book.

  53. vicki wurgler

    thanks I love a good mystery book

  54. Carolyn

    Sounds like an interesting mystery!

  55. Polly Barlow

    I would like to start reading books by a new author. This sounds like a good read.

  56. Sabine Blanch

    Love a good story… Thank you for the chance.

  57. Christal Mormann

    sounds like a good read

  58. Mary Ann Woods

    Sounds like a great new series! Thanks for a chance to win a copy!

  59. Julia Castro

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. Review definitely piqued my interest.

  60. johnna smith

    I have a big interest in the prepper’s lifestyle and have never read this author. Would love to try!! Thank you for the chance!

  61. Tammy Brasic

    This sounds like a good new series to start. I love series where I get to know the characters well and experience their troubles with them.

  62. Deb Philippon

    Looks like a good read. Wish me luck!

  63. Marisa Young

    Sounds interesting – would love to read

  64. John Smith

    I like the colors on the cover!

  65. Wanda Johnson

    Ive read only 1 of Kendra Elliot books before and really enjoyed it. So i hope I win this book

  66. Suzanne Shields

    Ok, I’m sure I’ve read at least one of Kendra’s books, but heck if I can remember which one now. I do remember I really enjoyed reading it, and I want to read all of her books.

  67. Suzanne Shields

    Ok, I’m sure I’ve read at least one of Kendra’s books, but heck if I can remember which one now. I do remember I really enjoyed reading it, and I want to read all of her books.

  68. Wanda Johnson

    Sounds like my kind of book.

  69. Jean Mitchell

    Mystery, love interest, strong characters and the surprising twist of having the protagonist be a survivalist – sounds like the kind of read visitors to my Little Free Library look for.

  70. Jean Mitchell

    Mystery, love interest, strong characters and the surprising twist of having the protagonist be a survivalist – sounds like the kind of read visitors to my Little Free Library look for.

Comments are closed.