In explaining my fascination with forensic cases, and especially my ability to stomach gruesome details such as dismemberment, I often told students and police this: "I don't see a murder as a death; I see it as a puzzle. If I have the skills to solve that puzzle and bring someone to justice, I've done a good job."
Dr. Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist and the head of the Body Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee. When skeletal remains are found in the woods near a ghost town in Cook County, Bill is the one they call. The case is a disturbing one. It appears the male victim was chained to a tree for almost six weeks before dying. It's hard for Bill to determine more than the sex of the victim because not only is the skull missing, but most of the other bones are, too. And his graduate assistant, Miranda Lovelady, has just finished her dissertation and is now applying for jobs elsewhere, which doesn't make him happy either. But things get much worse when Nick Satterfield, a sadistic serial killer, escapes from prison. He wants revenge, not just on Bill, but on everyone Bill holds dear.
I've read the first six books in this series and have enjoyed each and every one. (This one is #10.) I find Bill Brockton to be an engaging and likable narrator, and all the forensic science fascinating. The case involving the skeletal remains in this book is both interesting and sad. Then there's the threat of the serial killer, which heightens the tension and makes the ending very suspenseful. I liked this one a lot. In fact, Without Mercy feels like the perfect way to wrap up this entertaining series.
Other Bill Brockton books I've reviewed: