Thursday, April 17, 2014

Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson - Book Review

        When you read the reviews of this book, you find Without Mercy is a book that is a murder mystery blending romance and a religious conspiracy.  If that is what would attract you to read this, then I would say that you may find that the book may be lacking the romance and religious conspiracy that you would expect from this review. 

          As far as the murder mystery part of this book goes, yes, there are murders being committed at Blue Rock Academy.   A student has gone missing as well and it only adds to the suspense when Shay, a juvenile delinquent, is told that she had to attend this school for trouble teens by a court order.  

           Reviews seemed to be mixed on Amazon and Goodreads and I can understand the reasons why.  The biggest problem I had with the book was that the point of view was taken from many different characters in the book.  This included Shay, her sister, along with her boyfriend, Trent, the Reverend Lynch, and several murder victims, along with a character that seems to be the killer.  I don’t think the book was hard to follow but I could have done without the point of view of the so-called killer.  It didn’t seem to add anything to the book and I was uncomfortable with the idea of going into his mind through his actions in the book.  

           I’m not really sure if I could even conclude if he was the person who was the killer since that was a surprise by the end of the novel.  I’m not sure that the author was playing fair with the reader since it was the last person you would expect it to be and it made me wonder why the author went to the trouble to go into the mind of the potential killer when that person was not in fact the killer by the end of the story. 

           I would say that switching point of views throughout the story didn’t work well for me.  It was a challenge to read and there were times that I thought that this was more of a campy horror story that seemed to be something out of a Friday the 13th movie more than a psychological thriller.  The only difference here was that you really didn’t know who the killer was until the end but I still couldn’t help but make that comparison. 

           The suspense was better towards the end of the story but let’s face it, the book was 424 pages long and I don’t find it satisfying to have the last 60 pages be the best part of this book.  Then I have to ask why there is a thought that this was a romance since that only took up maybe 30 pages of the book between two characters who in the end had one love scene.  Maybe you can say that there was a religious conspiracy but Reverend Lynch doesn’t live up to be that type of character for me by the end of the book. 

           Much of this book is hampered by the constant changing of the point of view.  I didn’t see it as being necessary and even though the end was a complete surprise, along with who the killer was, the book was a struggle to read with the constant changes in point of view in the book.  The last 60 pages brought this book up one star for me, giving the book three stars.  

Ron Hummer

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