Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fatal Frost is a Thrilling, Fast-Paced, Page-Turner

Fatal Frost (Book 1 in the Defenders of Justice series) takes you on an edge-of-your-seat suspense tale following US Marshall Mercy Brennan. Recently, having recovered from a gunshot wound in the line of duty, she is sent by her boss on what she thinks is an assignment with her ex-boyfriend, fellow US Marshall Mark St. Laurent. The task is to check up on a person in their witness protection program who feels that he is in danger. What Mercy doesn't realize is that this "assignment" is a ruse to get her out of town for her protection against a notorious and controlling gang that killed her absentee, law-enforcement father.

While on route a fierce ice storm leaves the team stranded in a remote location unable to contact their office to inform them of the dangerous situation they are in.  Can they survive long enough to wait for help to arrive?

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Mercy's character, but as the story progressed I began to understand her more and have sympathy for her. She is deeply wounded by her father's absence in her life, but rather than wallow in self-pity she has worked hard and become a US Marshall at the young age of 26. She does tend to keep people at a distance, but I think this is in part because she's afraid she'll lose them like she did her father.  There are few people who Mercy has let into her life that get the opportunity to see her real self. Her ex-boyfriend Mark St. Laurent is one person and her best friend Lieutenant Tally Williams is the other. Mercy is also tough and extremely stubborn. I saw this as a necessity in her line of work as a US Marshall. I'm sure being a young female officer she felt that she needed to gain the respect of her fellow colleagues.

Mark St. Laurent is the type of hero girls dream of. He's brave, handsome and loyal.
It's clear when he appears on the scene that he and Mercy still have an attraction between the two. It practically leaps off the page.  Mark is a new Christian, striving to life a Christ calls him. He's still in love with Mercy, but he's continually struggling with feelings for her. He endeavors to maintain a friendship relationship with her. Mark wants more than friendship from Mercy, but sees that they can only be friends nothing more until Mercy is also a fellow believer in Christ.

I really liked Mercy and Mark's relationship. Despite being broken up they still maintain a solid working bond. It's clear that they both trust and look out for one another.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but I thought it was unique that Ms. Mehl named her heroine Mercy. One dictionary definition is compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender. And I feel that Mercy does somewhat exemplify these traits. Yes, as an officer of the law she does want to see justice, but I didn't get the sense from her that she wishes harm on others rather she simply seeks to do right.

Fatal Frost was my first introduction into Nancy Mehl's work. Her writing reminded me of the suspense novels of fellow Christian fiction author Irene Hannon is best known for.  I'm intrigued to read more books in this series....hopefully we'll get to read more of Mercy and Mark's story.


**Fatal Frost was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest opinion.


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