I spent a highly enjoyable bank holiday reading this book. It was a fascinating look at how abusive relationships can send shock waves down the years, until the pain can no longer be contained.
Hammersley writes a story with a dark heart that had me engrossed to the point I was reading it during any free moment I could find. She has weaved a story with multiple threads and has done so with skill and keen eye for maintaining the tension throughout. I enjoyed the way the back story of the characters was slowly drip fed to me and how the writer wrong footed me on a number of occasions with twists and turns that left me feeling unnerved. It’s not a roller coaster ride, it is more intricate then that. Yes the story has a twist in the tail, but the tension is built over the length of the novel, until all the narrative threads are brought together forming a very satisfying read.
The characters fit the novel well. The ‘daughter’ is built up layer by layer, so that we come to know the real her gradually. My feelings towards her seemed fixed, but then had to be constantly revaluated. She is complex and well written and my sympathy for her ebbed and flowed as the story progressed. Kate is your typical police character, dedicated and hard working. I liked her, but I found the daughter fascinated me the most, simply because she was for me, the most interesting of the main characters. It was enjoyable to have two female main characters, which is more common than it used to be, but unique enough to give Merciless an edge over other novels of this type for me.
I would certainly recommend this novel to any fans of psychological thrillers. It is enjoyable and thrilling in all the right places.
Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.
Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool.
When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.