Mercy Blade, the terrific third installment in the Jane Yellowrock series, begins with Jane and her new boyfriend, police officer Rick LeFleur, taking a short break at her cabin in the Appalachians before heading back to New Orleans where she will start her job working for Leo Pellessier, the vampire Master of the City. Getting up early, Jane catches a news program featuring a male werecat openly revealing himself to the world, shifting on camera. Both transfixed and alarmed, since she has not known for sure of the existence of other shifters even somewhat similar to her besides the one she killed in book one, Jane finds it very odd that Rick does not seemed surprised by any of the news. Jane becomes further astounded when, later the same morning, a werewolf declares himself on the news and accuses Leo of murder. Almost immediately Jane and Rick receive calls summoning them back to New Orleans.
Jane learns that her first task for Leo after she returns involves meeting with someone to convince him to leave Leo’s territory. Once she arrives at the meeting place, Jane faces an attack from a werewolf pack, receiving aid from a mysterious man whom she realizes is the one she was supposed to instruct to leave town. Jane’s next job for Leo involves overseeing security at the reception hosted by the vampire clans for the werecat representatives. Unfortunately, all hell breaks loose when the werewolves attack the soiree in the ballroom, and one of the cats gets murdered in Leo’s office. Jane must figure out if a link exists between the two events, as well as determine why she has not heard anything from Rick since their return to the city.
One of the most intriguing and impressive aspects of this series remains the true dual nature of Jane, that both she and Beast share cognizance of the world around them when the other has control. The author demonstrates her love and respect for animals by identifying Beast as a soul that shares space with Jane, not just portraying her as a wild creature. A true symbiotic relationship exists between woman and cat: “Beast was bored with the investigation. She was sleeping somewhere inside me and the lack of her conscious awareness was enervating” (118 ). The interaction between the two provides emotional resonance in addition to humor and fascinating paranormal elements.
Hunter employs her well-honed suspense skills in a story that keeps the reader guessing until its very cool and satisfying ending. The mesmerizing, intricate world of the series ensures its place among the finest of the genre. This reviewer fears the wait for book four will be much too long.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Roc; Original edition (January 4, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451463722
- ISBN-13: 978-0451463722
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