Published 2009 292 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Car mechanic and sometime shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has learned - the hard way - why her race was almost exterminated. When European vampires immigrated to North America, they found Mercy's people had a hidden talent - for vampire slaying. Unfortunately for Mercy, the queen of the local vampire seethe has discovered her true identity.
The undead queen is also furious when she learns Mercy has crossed her and killed one of her vampires. Mercy may be protected from direct reprisals by the werewolf pack (and her interesting relationship with its Alpha), but that just means Marsilia will come after Mercy some other way. So Mercy had better prepare to watch her back.
Bone Crossed is the fourth novel in the popular Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series by Patricia Briggs. There is a pretty strong story arc across the Mercy Thompson books, so readers new to this series would be best advised not to start reading here but to read the series in order, starting with Moon Called.
Events in Bone Crossed take place just a couple of weeks after where Iron Kissed, the previous book in this series finished. Iron Kissed saw Mercy suffer a terrible assault at the hands of a deranged murderer and in Bone Crossed she is obviously still dealing with the emotional trauma left by that attack. Plagued by panic attacks, Mercy tries to get back to work and put the past behind her but another episode from her recent past comes back to haunt her when Marsilia the queen of the local vampire seethe find out that Mercy killed one of her favourite vampire subjects a couple of months previously.
Vampires don’t always play a huge part in the Mercy Thompson books but with Bone Crossed the author pulls the action back to focus on the vampires and they dominate the storyline. Blood Bound (the second book in this series) was the last time Mercy got involved in vampire affairs and Bone Crossed almost feels like a continuation of that storyline.
Mercy’s vampire friend Stefan has a large part to play in this story but most of Mercy’s problems come from the vampires who aren’t her friends. Marsilia would like to see Mercy dead (that’s permanently dead rather than undead) and when Mercy makes the acquaintance of a new vampire, charmingly nick-named “The Monster” by other vampires – readers can be guaranteed that Mercy’s undead troubles are only going to get worse.
Solid mystery plotting, combined with realistic characters, a hint of romance and an original fantasy mythology make Bone Crossed everything that readers have come to expect – a hugely readable (and enjoyable) book.
For me, minor gripes with this story would be that a couple of the plot devices, while clearly designed to drive the story forward, seem a little contrived. For example, I couldn’t really see Mercy thinking it was a good idea to visit a friend that she hadn’t spoken to in years when she was feeling vulnerable and wasn’t sure that the friend could be trusted... Still, this is just a minor gripe so don’t let it put you off reading this book. Truly, the book’s fast pacing will probably pull you through the occasional clunky plot device so fast you won’t even notice it!
Bone Crossed is another great instalment of urban fantasy fiction from Patricia Biggs and as such is recommended reading for fantasy and vampire fiction fans alike.
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