cover image Mercy Kill

Mercy Kill

Lori Armstrong, Touchstone, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4165-9097-2

In Armstrong's sharp second mystery to feature former army sniper Mercy Gunderson (after 2010's No Mercy), Mercy stumbles late one night on the shot and slashed body of Maj. Jason "J-Hawk" Hawley, who once saved her life in Indonesia, outside Clementine's, the bar where she's been stuck for months in a dead-end temporary job. When her boyfriend, Eagle River County (S.Dak.) sheriff Mason Dawson, doesn't do enough to investigate, Mercy goes into action. Concerned that J-Hawk's murder may have been related to his job as a front man for Titan Oil's controversial project to run a pipeline through the county, Mercy uncovers some disturbing information about her old army buddy. While the flashbacks to Mercy's military career slow the action in places, an intriguing new character, FBI agent Shay Turnbull of the Indian County Special Crimes Unit, will leave readers eager to see how their relationship plays out in the next installment. (Jan.)