Series: Fatal Truth #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 4th 2017
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Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past-and only one woman could know what it means.
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful-and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he's the one who can save her. He also knows he's beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood-but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?
A unrelenting undertone of horror accompanies every Abbie Roads’s story especially in the beginning—no one is spared their nightmares, no saviour that comes in the nick of time before someone is brutalised or irretrievably lost—after which the slow climb upwards from rock-bottom begins…and back into the metaphorical light. Much of the plot is more concerned with the journey towards redemption and healing, rather than the search for a killer; throw in the paranormal elements and ‘Saving Mercy’ gives a twist to paranormal suspense that takes it into thriller territory. But after the very exciting first quarter, I thought the story lost its steady pacing for a while as it focused on building character and atmosphere. The break was disorienting to say the least, when I was actually expecting the action to ramp up and not slow down.
But the long and short of it is, I’m not entirely sure how to rate a story that goes past what I’ve encountered so far on my paranormal reading jaunts.
Both Cain and Mercy are very badly damaged characters in some way or other, but their connection is (perhaps unbelievably) instant, bound by tragedy and horror—in the worst possible way. But because the paranormal realm does permit logic to be defied to some extent and Roads tries convince on more than one occasion, that it’s a pairing of soulmates or at least star-crossed lovers, not just of compatible individuals because of their shared history. Yet the tragic element seems overplayed at times and their being drawn to each other did seem at times, far-fetched.
The lean towards the occult, the blend of psychology and para-psychology—it’s all very well done here. Though Roads does skirt several taboo topics, and that definitely adds to the dark allure of the story: Cain’s paranormal ability to tell a story from spilled blood, Mercy’s the perception of intentions as well as her ability to foresee a few seconds of a future action and the strange sense that all this are possible in this realm that goes beyond quantitative means of writing. But ultimately, it becomes a huge mind fuck that made me think the end was quite a batty one when the twist finally arrived and a prominent thread was left hanging loose.