In the most suspenseful installment of the New York Times best-selling Body Farm series to date, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton investigates a bizarre murder - and confronts a deadly enemy he thought he'd put behind bars for good.
Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton has spent 25 years solving brutal murders - but none so horrific and merciless as his latest case: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found scattered in the woods of nearby Cook County. They are all that is left of a victim who had been chained, hand and foot, to a tree on a remote mountainside. The bones tell Brockton and his longtime graduate assistant, Miranda, that the victim was a young male under the age of thirty. As they dig deeper to establish his identity, they uncover warning signs that long-simmering hatred is about to explode into violence, engulfing the region in chaos.
But the shocking case is only the beginning of Brockton's trials. In the middle of the troubling investigation, the unthinkable happens. The most frightening and deadliest criminal Brockton has ever foiled - the sadistic serial killer Nick Satterfield - escapes from prison, bent on wreaking vengeance. And he's had nearly 20 years to plan.
Simply killing Brockton isn't enough. Satterfield wants to make his nemesis suffer first, by destroying everything Brockton holds dear: his son, his daughter-in-law, and his grandsons and even Miranda, who's now on the verge of completing her PhD and launching a forensic career of her own.
Barraged by dangers striking from all directions, haunted by the ghosts of old cases, and desperate to save those he loves, Brockton finds himself slipping closer to the abyss. Pushed to the edge, he is forced to question the two pillars that have guided his life and his entire career - the justice system and the quality of mercy. Can the two truly coexist?
If he cannot reconcile these principles, which will Brockton choose in his ultimate moment of truth?
A harrowing, thoughtful, and provocative tale that explores what happens when one honorable, rational man is tested beyond all measure, Without Mercy is a powerful exploration that raises uneasy questions about justice and revenge, compassion and principle, the desire to kill and the will to survive.
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