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Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Book 4) by Patricia Briggs
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ace Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441016761
Date: 03 February 2009 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Comments on Bone Crossed / Show Official Info /

Bone Crossed begins just days after the end of Iron Kissed, Mercy is recovering from the physical trauma of the attack but the psychological trauma is causing panic attacks and crying jags. Adam and his pack are helping deal with some of the mental stress, but Mercy insists on returning to work. However, the garage has been graffitied with some rather unsavory phrases. There's also a set of painted crossed bones on her door, a mark that indicates the local vampires have targeted Mercy.

More Patricia Briggs:
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed

When Stefan or what was left of him suddenly appears in Mercy's trailer it becomes evident that Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, is not pleased. She's evidently learned of Mercy's part in the death of her second in command. Rather than target Mercy, she's going after her friends and loved ones.

Adam, the alpha of the local werewolf pack, insists that Mercy declare whether she will accept him as mate in order to bring her fully into the pack, adding extra protection. Then there is the suspiciously convenient appearance of a college friend, Amber, asking for Mercy's help in dispelling a ghost that her son has been seeing, gives Mercy a chance to leave town for Spokane. Spokane should be safe there's only one vampire there and Mercy is unlikely to meet him.

Reader of the series can probably make some guesses as to just how convoluted and complex this episode of Mercy's life is going to get. For those new to the series, well nothing is as simple or as innocent as it seems, especially if vampires are involved. There's a reason that every book about them is thick with political and social intrigue; they like to play games and they like to hide in shadows. The left hand never knows what the right is doing and nothing is straightforward.

Briggs has not pulled any punches with Bone Crossed, Mercy is dealing with some pretty tough consequences from her previous adventure and it's coloring her reactions and planning throughout this one. While the novels can stand alone, read in sequence they provide a rich tapestry of interrelationships, shared experiences, and familiarity with the environment and culture.

This is a not to be missed addition to the series. Highly recommended.

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