Michelle's Review: Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden

ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780446572804
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Book #1 of a trilogy
(from Goodreads):
He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching... And once he has you, all you can do is...
Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother - the only family she has left - for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.
Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.

Michelle's Review:
Megan Flynn and Cole Williams, a Seattle detective, were dating and about to take their relationship to the next level when Cole gets a phone call. There has been a gruesome murder of a woman and Megan's brother (and her only family--they were orphaned at an early age) Sean was arrested. Megan knew her brother couldn't have murdered the woman but with all evidence pointing him as the killer, Sean was sentenced to the death penalty. Fast forward three years later and Megan is still trying to prove that her brother's innocence with zero success and has been written off as delusional. Her relationship with Cole ended when he arrested Sean but they cross paths again when a woman murdered by the serial killer Seattle Slasher was found. The Slasher's MO bears some similarities to that of the murder Sean was framed for. With her brother days from getting the lethal injection, Megan is desperate and will stop at nothing to find enough evidence to find the true killer--with or without Cole's help.

The story was mostly told from three perspectives: Megan, Cole and the killer. When the story shifts to the killer (in third-person point of view) and we see first hand what he does with his victims and read his thoughts **shudders**--afterward, especially at one particular scene, I had the strongest urge to shower. I love my romantic suspense and I have read some pretty graphic stuff but this book is GRAPHIC. I caution those who don't like reading rape and detailed murder scenes, the author doesn't hold back. The killer's identity was easy to figure out early on for the reader, but trying to figure out how and why he became so twisted was the true mystery.

The second chance at love romance plot was what drew me to read this novel and despite the dark mystery and sadistic killer, the author did not forget about the romance. There was great chemistry between Megan and Cole and plenty of tension as Megan refuses to give up on her brother and Cole's firm believe in the evidence against Sean. Cole was not knight-in-shining-armor, all-for-the-heroine kind of hero. He took almost the whole book to get on Megan's side. I liked their characters and I can see where both were coming from and why they did what they did.

Like I said, this book was graphic and I almost stopped reading because of that but the writing was really good that I kept going. Ms. Alden can write one heck of an edge-of-your-seat suspense. With the way Beg for Mercy ended, I'm excited for the next book in the series Hide from Evil which brings back Megan's brother Sean and the prosecuting attorney who put him on death row. Read this book if you like your romantic suspense extra dark. 4 out of 5 stars

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