Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Without Mercy - 3rd in the in the French Twist series
Author: Lisa Jackson
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: April 2010
Year/Setting: Present day, Washington State
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild/Moderate
Violent Content Rating: Intense
Lisa's Website: www.lisajackson.com
The mistress of the thriller genre is at it again. We begin in Seattle, Washington, where Jules Farentino has woken up from yet another nightmare about finding her father stabbed to death when she was younger. The dreams of that fateful night – a home invasion that ended in horror – has plagued Jules and made her life fall apart. Now, her half-sister, Shaylee, is having her own horrible "mental" moments; not to mention physical. Shay is dating the wrong guy; getting tattoos; basically being a regular seventeen year old monster who wants out from under her mother’s and the court’s stringent rules and regulations. Per a court order, Shay is being placed on a plane and sent to Blue Rock Academy – a school located in the remote Washington state forests – away from the real world. This is where those children go who are being given their very last chance to "turn things around."
Dr. Lynch is the pastor/headmaster of this strange school which boasts a swimming hole on campus called Superstition Lake. Most of the teachers, the TA’s, and the students, seem to be towing the company line like robots, reiterating what their masters want them to say. Shay finds the whole thing more than a little creepy, especially when one of the "slots" opens up because a TA has gone missing, and no one can find her. While Shay is there, things begin to get even stranger. Her own roommate, who is one of the one’s chanting the school’s mantra every five minutes – confesses to Shay that there are cameras and recording devices all over the place…just waiting to catch you at something horrible. There are no cell phones, no computers – literally no way to inform the outside world if there’s a problem. And back home, Jules is getting horribly worried about her half-sister. She even goes to visit an old student from Blue Rock Academy and is told of the strange goings-on. Jules, armed with her teaching certificate, decides to find her own "place" at the school so she can watch out for Shay.
When she makes it to the campus, a violent snowstorm is threatening to unleash its power, and an old boyfriend of hers steps back into Jules’ life. Trent is also undercover at the school. He’s been hired by the parents’ of the missing student to try to find out what exactly is wrong in "mudville." Unfortunately, students begin appearing in a series of horrible deaths around campus, and the thrill-ride literally begins.
Who is The Leader? Are the students, themselves, involved in the horrible things that are happening? Can Jules get Shay out of there before something happens to them?
This writer is back with a vengeance! Without Mercy is a fantastic book that’s literally something you can’t put down. My advice? Savor every word and do not read the end first! The conclusion of this book will knock you out of your chair and make you beg for Lisa Jackson to hurry up with her next book.
Until next time, Amy
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