Ah, my first Kindle book. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I can pinch a penny better than anyone in the world. I would guess that 90% or more of the books I own are used, and you all remember how I raved about Big Lots' fifty cent book sale. You obviously can't buy used books on the Kindle, but they do have a selection of books for around $1 and many for free (especially classics). This was one of the cheap ones. It was decent, but I'm glad I didn't pay much for it.
No Mercy centers around Jonathan Grave, the owner and main employee of a company that essentially exists to do illegal things. Not bad illegal things, but illegal things. Jonathan is a former army specialist with experience doing rescue missions in just about every environment. So, naturally, he now makes his living as a hired vigilante. If your kid gets kidnapped by thugs who warn you not to get the police involved, you call Jonathan Grave.
And that's exactly what happens in No Mercy. The book opens with Jonathan rescuing a college student named Thomas Hughes, who is being held captive on a large property in rural Indiana. Jonathan doesn't know why Thomas was captured in the first place, but he finds out soon enough. It turns out to be a long, twisted, complicated story that involves some of Jonathan's own friends, homeland terrorists, and a lot of other things. I'm not quite sure exactly what was going on, to be honest. Matters are complicated even further when local police have to clean up the mess Jonathan left when he rescued Thomas. As far as the sheriff is concerned, even though Jonathan was a hero and saved the victim, he still has to be punished for taking the law into his own hands. So, the books takes us through Jonathan running from the Indiana police, all while trying to solve the problem that got Thomas kidnapped in the first place.
It took me forever to read this, considering the pace at which I usually read. I juuuust wasn't into it. Parts of it were really good, but then it would get boring and weird again. I felt like the logistics of the whole situation were really complicated, but I think part of it was that it just wasn't that interesting to me. I don't have trouble following a complicated conspiracy plotline (I mean, hello, Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy), but only if they're interesting. Maybe this particular plot just wasn't my thing, because I don't think Gilstrap is a bad author. The situation just didn't really grab me.
Apparently he's written an entire series of books with Jonathan Grave and his crew, which is cool. I liked Jonathan. He wasn't afraid of anything, and he had very clear definitions of right and wrong. He didn't care that he had no authority to kill bad guys. He did it anyway, because they were bad guys. Makes sense to me, but to a lot of characters in the book (and probably a lot of people in the world), you let the cops or the FBI or the military worry about bad guys. Your job is to report them, not kill them. So, there's a lot of line-blurring when it comes to good and evil in this book. I liked that. I also liked that Jonathan's sidekick, Boxers, referred to their Hummer as the Batmobile. That was awesome.
Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book, which I marked with my handy "Clippings" gadget on the Kindle:
"Protesting others' decisions is always easier than making your own."
"A career is a poker game. You can't expect to win every hand. Sometimes you have to fold to preserve resources for the future."
All in all, I didn't love this book, but I still don't think it was bad. Just, you know, not generally my thing. If you like, say, Tom Clancy or any kind of crime thriller, then pick this up for sure.
Read from July 7, 2010 to July 25, 2010.