by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Publication Date: January 2, 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Though Mercy can shift her shape into that of a coyote, her loyalty never wavers. So when her former boss and mentor, Zee, asks for her help, she’s there for him. A series of murders has rocked a fae reservation, and Zee needs her unique gifts, namely her coyote sense of smell, to sniff out the killer.
But when Zee is accused of murdering the suspect Mercy outed, he’s left to rot behind bars by his own kind. Now it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.
Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…
I was dreading this book because I knew what was waiting for me in it, but I had just finished a Janet Evanovich, and if that isn’t inoculation enough against a dark, intense read, I don’t know what is, so I picked Iron Kissed up off Mt. TBR and started reading.
There’s no doubt that this is a great series with excellent characters. I enjoyed the slightly stronger focus on Samuel vs. Adam and I’m happy that this triangle isn’t going to drag on indefinitely. I also really enjoyed finding out a bit more about Zee and some of the fae folklore, although the fae as a group don’t hold a lot of fascination for me.
Iron Kissed is closer to a traditional murder mystery than the first two, and I have to admit I had the evil pegged from it’s first scene, but there’s so much going on in this book that it didn’t at all matter – I’m not even sure the author’s first goal here is to keep us from knowing who the evil is.
Finally the scene I dreaded the most: I was relieved to find the author didn’t feel the need to be disgustingly graphic about the physical brutality, but she does manage to convey the horror and creepiness of the scene vividly by exploiting the mental angle. I think of all the disturbing scenes of the overall horror, the one in the car ride over to the garage was the most disturbing for me. In just two (maybe 3?) short sentences, I’m completely creeped out, and horrified by the lack of free will Mercy suffers. The garage scene felt a bit jagged – like a film clip that was missing frames – but I was completely ok with that. I was happy to have details filled in when needed after everything was over and the body parts swept up.
This isn’t a series where I’ll be reading the books back-to-back until I catch up, but I’ll definitely keep on reading.