Mercy Thompson’s quiet evening at home was broken by a disturbing phone call from none other then Adam’s ex-wife Christy needing a safe place to stay after attracting the unwanted attentions of a deadly stalker. With nowhere else to go, Mercy’s mate and werewolf pack leader Adam opens their home to Christy. Immediately, the manipulation and mind games Christy was so famous for bubble to the surface. As Mercy, Adam and the pack attempt to learn more about the stalker, Mercy must also try to contact and convince Coyote to return the magical fae artifact known as the Walking Stick or face the wraith of one of the Gray Lords. The pack was never happy with Adam’s choice of mates and Christy is quick to capitalize on this rift to her selfish ends, something most pack members choose to overlook. While Mercy, Adam and his daughter Jessie know Christy cannot come between them, that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to try to make life as difficult as possible. This despite the real possibility they all may be killed facing down Christy’s stalker who happens to be a God.
Eighth of the Mercy Thompson series does not disappoint as it delivers plenty of internal and external struggles guaranteed to keep the smart coyote and friends on their toes. It was nice to see how Christy’s machinations actually served to draw Mercy, Adam and Jessie together whether then fracture their relationships. For her part, Christy plays the perfect antagonist to the point that readers may find themselves wishing Mercy would drop good manners and belt her one. Guayota, a volcano god from the Canary Islands is an unusual choice for the big ugly but surprisingly, it works. Characters from previous titles make welcome reappearances, Coyote plays a more active role and readers learn about Mercy’s half-brother gifted with the Sight. With so many good characters, fast paced action and Mercy at her best, this book packs a punch.
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