Review of Merciful Fate by Kendra Elliot ~with audio review

In this Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestseller, there are no such things as little secrets…

Raised by preppers, survivalist and FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick has a deep-rooted need for a safe place. Her getaway in the Cascade Foothills is her secret. But when skeletal remains are unearthed—those of a murdered man linked to a notorious heist—Mercy realizes she isn’t the only one with something to hide.

Thirty years ago, an armored-car robbery turned deadly. The mastermind was captured. Four conspirators vanished with a fortune. One of them, it appears, never made it out of the woods alive. For Mercy and her fiancé, Police Chief Truman Daly, their investigation opens old wounds in Eagle’s Nest that cut deeper than they imagined. Especially when a reckless tabloid reporter draws fresh blood. It’s clear to Mercy that somebody in this close-knit community is not who they seem to be.

Some are still shattered by the heist. Some still have reason to be afraid. But which one will kill again and again to hide three decades of secrets? To land this case, it’s up to Mercy to unmask a familiar stranger before someone else dies.

Available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited with audio included.

Narration

Another stellar performance by Teri Schnaubelt. The differentiation between male and female voices is excellent but then she expertly provides different voices for each character as well. Mercy’s voice is unique from her sisters’ and different still from her mother’s. Truman’s voice is as easily identifiable from Ollie’s as it is from Mercy’s father. Age differences are also well-captured.

There was only one tiny blip where my text and audio went out of sync towards the end of a chapter. Other than that the production quality was great. 

The Story

This is more of a murder-suspense/ procedural series and definitely not a cozy. The number of injuries, the severity of some and the mortality rate certainly make it a bit more intense than my regular cozy mystery reading.

The mystery to solve in this story revolves around a dead body that is revealed to be linked to a decades old bank heist. This main mystery is mixed in with incidents of vandalism at a local bed and breakfast and we have to figure out if there is any correlation. Then there is a fake ID situation. There are so many suspects, possible motives and ample opportunities for each player. The author takes the reader on quite a twisty ride through the lives, challenges and histories of each of the characters.

I do enjoy how Kendra brings us new characters in each instalment and really fleshes them out to completely draw the reader in. Building that connection with the characters raises the reader’s tension as you anxiously turn the pages wondering if something bad will happen to your favourites or if they might be revealed to be the culprits even.

Fellow blogger, Cathy, of Between the Lines had mentioned that this one possibly has the best plot and character development of the series so far. She was absolutely right about that assessment! New characters and revelations captured my imagination and regular characters reminded me why I love this series.

Truman and Mercy are in a great place in their relationship as they try to start planning a wedding. They’ve come to accept their new found trust and reliance on each other. Mercy’s happiness at forming new relationships with members of her community shows how far she’s come since the beginning of the series. One area still to be addressed is Mercy’s relationship with her father. I’m not convinced he’s actually worth her time but I suppose the next book in the series will bring that saga to its conclusion. 

Rose is all heart and a sweet spot in the narrative as always. Kaylee brings her cuteness and spark to brighten the pages… and she brings a bit of stress, too, this time around; and newcomer Ollie, fast takes up residence as a most favourite character. 

I believe the next book is the last in the series and I look forward to completing the series… just hope my heart can take it!

I give Merciful Fate 4.5/5 espresso shots.

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