Night Broken By Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson has put up with a lot from her new husband's ex wife and her erratic behavior has driven a wedge now between the daughter Adam and Christy share. Although the first instinct after Christy reports a stalker that had killed a friend and burned down her condo building. The only person Christy could think of calling was her ex husband, the pack Alpha, Adam.
Agreeing to let her stay in their home while the stalker was being investigated by the wolves, Mercy is at her wits end with Christy in Patricia Brigg's Night Broken, book eight in the Mercy Thompson series.
With in days of returning to the pack, Christy is already turning those that don't like Mercy already against her even more as she bounces between playing the victim and giving hospitality in a home that is no longer hers to share.
When Warren and Darryl, the second and third in command in the pack ask for more information on the stalker, suddenly Christy seems to know little details about the strange Hispanic man with the European accent she describes. She says that he is extremely wealthy and that attracted her along with his model good looks. She says after a night together he was freaking her out with his intensity and then began to make weird calls and send unwanted gifts to her condo. As Christy continued to reject his advances, the building suddenly burned down in a suspicious fire that sent Christy fleeing to the aid of her former husband and his wolves.
Mercy feels there is more to the story as there always is with Christy.
In the mean time she has an unwanted calling with local Fae about an unwanted artifact that keeps reappearing in her life and is extended a few days to return the item for good.
A walking stick that has followed Mercy since the her standoff with local vampires and the river devil keeps mysteriously appearing where it shouldn't no matter how many times the item is handed off and re-homed. Finally with the aid of her not really father, but the man that wore the skin suit once to be her father, Coyote is given the item Mercy thinks her troubles are over, until one of the most deadly of Grey Lords shows up claiming her a short timeline to return the item.
The Man With The Dogs
The security team can get little insight on the man that Christy describes and less under the name of Juan Flores that she claims that he has gone by. She tells the wolves that he had a big scary dog that he had threatened her with saying that it could outweigh her.
Mercy connects with a local dog breeder that is one of her customers and tries to place the type of dog with the hunch that dog fanciers all seem to know each other and that someone might recognize the type of dog that being described.
Getting too closet to the investigation though leaves the couple that offers their insight in danger after the husband goes missing and the kennel of their American Staffordshire Terriers are mutilated in their dog runs.
After being attacked in her own automotive garage, with Mercy having to kill a large dog that shifted back into the body of a man after death accompanied by some sort of Fae with the power to control fire, Adam moves everyone into another pack members home.
The area vampires and Fae have no idea what their creature could be as their magic and traits don't sound like anything that has been seen in the area before. Then a mate of Warren, the second in command remembers a tale he heard as a child while vacationing in the islands with his family about a sort of titan-type god similar to that of Pele that sacrificed humans and animals to its volcano.
Remembering as well, Kyle tells them of a woman that being was said to have kidnapped and kept hostage, the pack gets the hunch that could be why the being is obsessed with Christy in the intent of claiming back a woman to keep as his captive.
How does one go about killing an angry god, Mercy beings to wonder.
Respected because of his business and local pack position, local law enforcement understand that if the wolves get a hold of the killer first, there might not be anything left to arrest. When the leads on Christy's stalking seem to connect to a field found with mutilated remains, the police look for Mercy's take on the murders. Using her coyote nose to scan the bodies, she realizes that this has the same smell upon it as the angry god that has been pursuing Christy.
Unsure how to summon Coyote again, Mercy is given a tip about another child of the great spirit, from a man that shifts into a Hawk as his other form.
Taking one of the pack with as protection, Mercy visits the man in prison of all places and finds out that like her he is a skin walker with the form of a coyote as his other. He is the first of their kind other than herself she has ever come across making this strange man also descended from Coyote some sort of half sibling.
Gary Laughingdog is hard and cold and at first warns Mercy to try to keep from contacting Coyote at all costs claiming that Coyote was the reason for all Gary's misfortunes and time in jail. He says that he never wants to get into contact with Coyote but he keeps returning to the children he has found interesting and if Mercy has already been on his radar for a few visits she should do anything she can to keep herself safe.
In the middle of the lecture, suddenly Gary Laughingdog is struck with some sort of seizure it seems to the guards but Mercy knows a possession when she sees it and smells and magic at work here.
Soon Gary Laughingdog escapes from prison and is desperate to see her with more warnings about Coyote.
Gary Laughingdog was the first skin walker that changed into a coyote that Mercy had ever met other than herself. As another child of Coyote, it made the strange man some sort of brother to her even if the thought of the criminal as such was enough to terrify her.
Field Of Nightmares
Searching the spot of the murder with the police, Mercy was sick to her stomach as her coyote senses were invaded by the putrid rot of decaying meat and blood that has stained the grasses.
Arranged in a strange spiral shape there lay the bodies of more than Mercy could count. The women, all young and blonde from what she could make of the remains all bore a strange resemblance to Christy herself and the ghosts that moved about the fields looked like they could be sisters to the woman that Mercy so hated.
The bodies of the women stood up among the design like heads of a pinwheels, while the lower half had been various gutted animals with organs plucked and intestines strewn. Some bodies has been gnawed to the bone, others not as much but this was not the work of wolves or other skin changed animals.
Mercy knew the smell of witchcraft in the air and whatever had clung to this field was the same that she had felt when she was attacked in her garage at work.
Disgusted, the pack meets to talk about what their options are and decides that the macabre display of bodies is a straight threat to the pack and they have to act before anyone in their territory dies again.
Mercy suggests giving up Christy as bait but no one is willing to take that chance.
Christy hadn't know what she had gotten into, she confessed but she knew from the beginning that the thing stalking her hadn't been human, something that she hid from Adam and her other protectors.
She says that she didn't know that he wasn't a wolf until one day the god had pulled off his own hand to show Christy how easily it could mend. Christy thought that she would stay with the pack and it would be enough to save herself but maybe they could get it interested in them instead and she would be rid of her problems.
Only Christy as a former Alpha's wife, should have known that werewolves can smell lies as well as perfume and suddenly the whole pack was listening in on the confession to Mercy.
No longer taken in but her sob story, Adam forces Christy to leave and the pack goes to war with the god.
Mercy finds herself in a terrible situation, but despite everything that Gary Laughingdog had warned, Coyote has been there to guide her and helps her overcome what might have been her final moment.
As the series continues, the strength in the Mercy Thompson series is tremendous writing that never grows boring with the same cast of characters. The book still remains once of the best urban fantasy series even after many books and a spin off series.