Sunday, April 25, 2021

Without Mercy by Jefferson Bass

 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. 

Happy Reading!

Other Bill Brockton books I've reviewed:


30 comments:

  1. Wow, I'd forgotten all about this series. I don't know how I lost track of it, because I find the whole idea of the body farm so fascinating. As I remember, the books are very well written, too, so thanks for reminding me. Now I need to go back and see where I left off.

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    1. I really like this series. Bill Brockton is such a great character. And they are very well written. I've enjoyed all seven that I've read. :)

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  2. This sounds like such a great series. Forensic anthropologists are always so interesting to read about.

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    1. I find all that forensic stuff fascinating. And the main character has this droll wit that I really enjoy.

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  3. Bill Brockton does sound interesting and a character we can root for. He's right too that when a murder happens he must focus not on the murder but rather as a puzzle to solve. That gives him the distance he needs to find out exactly what happened.

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    1. He's also got this dry sense of humor that can get a little dark, but always makes me smile.

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  4. This does sound very good- and intense too, with the serial killer out for revenge!

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    1. The serial killer at the end definitely made things a lot more intense!

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  5. What a gruesome way to die! I find forensic science fascinating, too. I should look into this series, especially if all the books are out. :)

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    1. I think they might be all out...this one was published in 2016, and the authors haven't written any more books in this series since.

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  6. I like this subject too! thanks for the review.

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  7. Body farms creep me out, but gosh this looks good. I need to check this series out.

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    1. The idea of a body farm is pretty creepy. I'd never want to visit one. But I find it interesting to read about.

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  8. I've not heard of this author before so another series to explore! :)

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  9. I think Patricia Cornwell was my first introduction to the Body Farm, but I read a couple in this series as well. It is a fascinating subject, isn't it?

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    1. It really is. I like that it adds another layer to the mysteries I typically read.

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  10. That does sound like a good book.

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  11. That's great that you're still enjoying this series so many books into it. I remember a CSI episode that featured a body farm and thought the whole concept was pretty fascinating.

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    1. It is fascinating. And it makes these mysteries a little more unique.

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  12. For mysteries/ thrillers, I am always interesting in the how, and not just the who. Chained to a tree seems horrific, but a serial killer on the loose too! I wonder if the two plotlines are connected, or if it is more a case of "when it rains, it simply pours". :-O

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    1. Definitely more of the "when it rains, it pours" scenario this time around. :)

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  13. I've read this series pretty sporadically, but have always enjoyed it. This one was no exception. Is this really the final book in the series?

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    1. I've never read anything officially saying that this is the last book in this series, but it was published back in 2016 and they haven't written anything since. And William Bass, one of the authors, is like 92, so maybe he decided to stop writing and finally retire.

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  14. This is one of those series that I've been meaning to start, but have never actually gotten around to reading. It sounds fascinating!

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    1. I find all that forensic science stuff fascinating, and there's quite a bit of it in these books. But not so much the story drags.

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  15. This series sounds familiar and I think I've read one book but it's been years! I can't imagine being a forensic scientist but at the same time, I find it fascinating!

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