Show No Mercy

Cindy Gerard
October 2008, Romantic Suspense
Pocket Star, $6.99, 359 pages, Amazon ASIN 1416566724
Part of a series

Grade: C
Sensuality: Hot

For a book billed as the first in a new trilogy, there's an awful lot of back story in this novel. That’s all fine if the author finds a way to integrate the past story into a novel’s current action, which is, sadly, not the case here. Instead, in Show No Mercy author Cindy Gerard employs a heavy-handed use of info dumpery that takes away from the momentum of this formulaic, but somewhat entertaining tale.

First things first. If you’re done with pseudo-military settings – the heroes here are ex Special Forces types now working for a private security firm (now where have I heard that before?) – you’ll want to stay leagues away from this novel. But, on the other hand, if you’ve got a Jones for military types and flag waving, then the book offers some predictable pleasures.

Journalist Jenna McMillan and military tough guy Gabe Jones have a history – hoo boy, do they have a history! The two were involved in some kind of bloody, but nevertheless successful effort to take down a neo-Nazi group set on world domination. Jenna, according to the author’s info dumping, somehow blames herself for something that went wrong, while Gabe paid the high price of loosing his fiancé.

So with hostility and ill feeling sizzling between the two, both are startled to see each other again in Argentina when Jenna is sent to interview a controversial honcho who Gabe’s security firm is also hired to protect. Now, why would these pro-American military types protect a bad guy? It seems that Gabe’s boss has inside information that the bad guy honcho is behind the reemergence of that neo-Nazi group.

Soon enough Jenna and Gabe are caught up in car bombs and threats and explosive sex and the kind of action we’ve all come across about a hundred times before. If this all sounds as if you’ve been there and done that, well, then, you probably have.

Bottom line? This is a flat out average book that fell from what might have been a grade of C+ due to the extra heavy (and clumsy) info dumping. Still, while there is nothing new, it is also fairly serviceable for those who can’t get enough of this kind of story. I’m not one of them.

-- Sandy Coleman

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