Killing Mercy by Tess Clare

Best Book of the Month – July 2013

As we deviate through the relationships we come across in life, some cause us to feel joy, others pride, while a few only result in pain. In the novel, Killing Mercy, by Tess Clare, five characters interact with one another on an intrinsic level, reacting to one another’s emotions as if they themselves are nothing more than animals. The first chapter starts off with a wonderful hook, which immediately grips the reader’s attention, describing a dead body that is found in a tall office building in the city of Los Angeles. From that point forward, the story goes back in time, following the mixed up connections of love, lust, sex, and betrayal that falls between the cracks and spaces that Rick, Madison, Zoie, Branford and Abigail create with one another. In the end, the novel ends up portraying the most basic of human emotions, and shows us how ugly things can get when we are only interested in our own well being.

Although this book starts with the murder of a young and beautiful woman, that is not what it is really about. Instead, Clare focuses more on the relationships between her five main characters, depicting them in a realistic, yet harsh light. The best part of the novel is the beginning, her first chapter is near perfect, and it creates an urgency in the reader to continue on with the story. Her writing afterwards is still highly polished and sleek, but since the first chapter she has created is so memorable, it is hard to make the rest of the novel compare. Still, the themes presented are dissected nicely, and as the characters celebrate various holidays in a multitude of ways, the novel progresses at a quick pace. At the end, when we find out how the murder occurred, it seems more of an afterthought, but that is the genius of this book, because the murder itself is not supposed to matter. Instead, it is how the characters got to the end, rather than how the end begun, that actually matters.

To purchase a copy of Killing Mercy, click here to find it on Amazon.