October 11 – November 5, 2021 Tour
The opening of Mercy Creek is chilling as it shows how easily an eleven-year-old girl can go missing, even in the midst of a summer fair.
Did young Lena Flores run away or was she kidnapped? Suspicions run high for both options, but hometown Detective Jo Wyatt doesn’t believe the child ran away. However, a difficult investigation is complicated even more by the child’s divorced parents, Tilda and Lucero, and their contentious relationship with Jo going back decades to their teens.
As if that isn’t enough, add in Lena’s older sister, Marisa, who was supposed to be with Lena at the fair. Four years older, Marisa was vain and selfish and a wannabe social media influencer. Had she taken her duties more seriously, Lena might never have gone missing. Also, her distant relationship with the truth didn’t help the investigation.
Finding Lena is only one arc of this slow burn, as it also delves into Jo’s relationships. With her former trainer and now partner, Squint; with her hard-nosed father and namesake who retired from the Echo Valley Police Department; with her coworkers who have more faith in her abilities than she does at times, and with longtime—and unavailable—friend, Aiden.
Fortunately, there is little of Jo’s past relationship with Cameron, the man she was passed over for a sergeant’s position, and her ex-husband. Could also have done without the new police chief who offers Jo a new sergeant’s position… more so for his benefit than hers. But every story needs its slime factor.
But it’s her past with Tilda and Lucero and the night that changed everything that stays at the forefront of Jo Wyatt’s mind. All three have different remembrances of what happened, with Jo being the bad guy. Even with their youngest child missing, not only are Tilda and Lucero less than cooperative with her, but both are outright rude. Tilda didn’t even try to hide her contempt, and Lucero was toxic. Jo swallowed it all though and stayed professional. She’s better than me.
It goes without saying I’m a Jo Wyatt fan. Whether it’s an inherent ability or an inherited trait from her father, Jo was meant to be a cop. She’s a no-nonsense investigator who finds clues when there are none and gleans the truth from what is not said. I love that she is a strong female character, but even more so, I admire her for being an amazing investigator. She may not take herself too seriously, but Jo Wyatt is one-hundred-percent serious about her job, and do not make the mistake of getting in her way.
Like Shadow Ridge, this amazing read is not short on plot twists and emotions. The author does a great job of distraction and misdirection during the search for a missing child and the person who took her. And while I highly recommend book 1 of Jo’s story, Mercy Creek can be read as a full standalone.
In an idyllic Colorado town, a young girl goes missing—and the trail leads into the heart and mind of a remorseless killer.
The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.
Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance. For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past. But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.
As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it’s just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: October 12th 2021
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1643857622 (ISBN13: 9781643857626)
Series: A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Book 2 || Each mystery in the A Jo Wyatt Mystery series is a stand alone novel.
Purchase Links: Penguin Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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4 thoughts on “#BookReview “Mercy Creek” by M.E. Browning”
Thanks so much for this great review. I have not read this one yet, but it does sound fantastic!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about Mercy Creek (AND Shadow Ridge) with your readers!
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You’re welcome! Jo Wyatt is a great protagonist with an awesome supporting cast! Looking forward to more. 🙂
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