A Merciful Secret

Kendra Elliot is a very successful author but this is the first of her books I have read. It is book three of a (so far) six book series. She has several other series.

Mercy Kilpatrick grew up off grid but became a FBI agent in Oregon against her parents wishes. Still, she has an almost secret cabin in the woods filled with a year’s worth of survival gear and food.

Driving from that cabin one snowy night, she nearly hits a girl dressed in a tee shirt looking for help for her grandmother who had been badly slashed several times with a knife. The murder case could not be given to Mercy but she stayed close to it and two others that seemed to be connected.

Mercy is in love for the first time with Police Chief Truman Daly and he is in love with her. Between them they bring about a conclusion of the case that does not belong to either of them.

This is a good story and an easy read. I do have two complaints. Elliot makes too much of the inner thoughts. They are like the old melodrama asides to the audience–I hope she does not see the evil glint in my eyes. My other complaint is minor; I saw the ending way too soon, about a third of the way in, and she did not offer any serious red herrings. But it is a big blast of an ending.

Mike Lawrence

The Bricklayer

The star of this story is Steve Vail, now a bricklayer after three years as an FBI agent. The Director learns about Vail from the newly promoted Deputy Assistant Director, Kate Bannon. She was invited with several others to the Director’s office to try to figure out how to deal with a series of high profile murders coupled with ransom demands from the killers.

Naturally, Kate was directed to recruit Vail and she finds him on the roof of a house relaying bricks on a chimney. The chemistry sparks at once.

The story sparkles with humor and is steeped in the FBI jargon. This is the real BU.

This is one of the most entertaining police procedurals I have read. The author, Noah Boyd–his real name is Paul Lindsay–spent twenty years with the FBI before retiring. He started writing while he was an agent and published six novels as Paul Lindsay. For whatever reason, he took up the name of Boyd for the three book series of Steve Vail.

While I plan to read the other two, I was saddened to read that he died in 2011, the year the last two books were published.

Mike Lawrence