Title: Mercy Killing
Publisher: Kathryn Johnson
Release Date: July 2014 (2nd edition)
Pages: 272 pages
About the Book:
Artist and Washington, D.C. socialite Mercy O’Brien Davis married for love and gave up a promising job as a Smithsonian curator to support her husband’s diplomatic career. But while accompanying him to Mexico City, she learns her famous photo-journalist mother has disappeared without a trace in Ukraine. Desperate to find her, Mercy runs afoul of the U. S. State Department and stumbles into a maze of lies, crime, and international intrigue. When she appeals to her husband for help in locating her mother, he is strangely reluctant. With her marriage already on shaky ground in the aftermath of her husband’s infidelity, and the U.S. government ignoring her entreaties on her mother’s behalf, Mercy accepts help from a mysterious American agent who enlists her to spy on sexy cattle baron
Sebastian Hidalgo, suspected of heading a Mexican crime cartel. Hidalgo is determined to keep her from discovering his darkest secrets, even as he lusts for her. Manipulated by the men in her life, and their hidden agendas, Mercy wonders if there’s anyone she can trust, and what price she will have to pay for her mother’s safe return.
I am a huge fan of Kathryn Johnson’s alter ego, Mary Hart Perry, and her historical fiction, ever since I read The Wild Princess more than two years ago (check out my review). Her blend of historical fact and romantic fiction made the stories of Queen Victoria’s daughters come to life on the page.
Mercy Killing is the first of Johnson’s new Affairs of State series, a contemporary suspense novel. It has just the right amount of adventure, suspense, and sexual tension (with a little bit of lovemaking thrown in for good measure). This book was a fast-paced read that left me jabbing the next button on my Kindle to see what would happen next.
As in her historical novels, Johnson seamlessly weaves current events throughout the book. Ukrainian unrest, illegal immigration, human trafficking as well as weapons and drug smuggling all make appearances in this thrilling story.
Mercy O’Brien Davis is a strong female lead (which my regular readers know I love). I enjoyed how intelligent and creative she was, but with the same vulnerabilities as any woman. When she is cornered alone in a room at a party, and threatened, she handles herself coolly and calmly. Afterwards, Mercy starts to panic and starts to walk back to her husband, a couple of rooms away.
She was halfway across the room now. The orchestra bursting into The Girl from Ipanema, of all things. The room around her had faded into a miasma of jittery fog – all faces melting away before her eyes as she nearly ran between people, tables, and servers. She focused on her husband. Peter would know what to do.
Mercy is also a former athlete, and without giving away too much, I will say that some of her athletic feats in this novel are simply sensational!!
There are lots of twists and turns, oohs and ahs, throughout the book. It stands complete in itself, which is one of my most important criteria (I generally hate cliffhangers). Still, it leaves you wondering what will happen to Mercy next? Thank goodness, the second book in the series, Hot Mercy is due out before the end of the year.
I highly recommend Mercy Killing to fans of the suspense genre, as well as fans of strong, intelligent women. I give Mercy Killing five stars!!! A must read!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through Innovative Online Book Tours. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
Kathryn Johnson (aka Mary Hart Perry), author of over 40 published novels, teaches in Washington, DC for the renowned The Writer’s Center, and is a popular speaker at many
conferences and venues including The Smithsonian Associates programs and the Library of
Congress. CEO of Write by You, a writer’s mentoring service, she’s an Agatha Christy Award nominee, winner of the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller’s Best Awards. Recent novels include Victorian thrillers featuring Queen Victoria’s daughters. Kathryn’s new contemporary Romantic-Suspense series, AFFAIRS OF STATE, launches the first two titles in 2014. She is Vice-President of the Mystery Writers of America, Mid-Atlantic chapter, a member of the Author’s Guild, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Novelists Inc, and the Historical Novel Society.