My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - In and out over 4 days
Pages - 480
Publisher - Headline
Source - Netgalley
Blurb from Goodreads
Mercy Callahan thought she'd escaped the cult decades ago, but its long fingers are reaching out for her again in this electrifying novel in the Sacramento series...
Seventeen years ago. That was the last time Mercy Callahan saw Ephraim Burton, the leader of the twisted Eden cult where she was raised. But even though she escaped the abuse and terror, they continue to haunt her.
When her brother Gideon discovers new evidence of the cult's—and their victims'—whereabouts, Mercy goes to Sacramento to reconnect with him. There, she meets Gideon's closest friend—homicide detective Rafe Sokolov. From Rafe, she receives an offer she never knew she needed: to track down Ephraim and make him pay for everything.
But Ephraim, who had thought Mercy long dead, discovers she is in fact alive and that she is digging around for the cult's secrets. And now he'll do anything to take her back to Eden—dead or alive.
I LOVE Karen Rose books, I am sure I have gaps in the series and need to go back and buy up those I have missed. This is book two in the Sacramento series, go and read book one if you haven't already as there is a lot of the story is follow on from book one. We focus on Mercy and Rafe, with all the side characters in between but these two are our main focus. Mercy wants to make amends with her brother Gideon, for years she hated him for leaving her and her mum in the cult. Suffering abuse, brain washing, manipulation and female children as young as twelve being married off in the commune Mercy has a lot to be angry about. Book two is about her facing the realities of Gideon's life, the long reach/scars from the commune and that sometimes you cannot outrun your past, not matter how long you have broken free from it.
Be warned guys, this has a lot centered around the cult, murder, rape, abuse, brain washing and what is at the heart of most of these "communities" money and power. Mercy quickly realises she will never be truly free from her past and instead on putting her head in the sand she needs to face it. Before more people are hurt, killed or even risking her own life. Her brother and Rafe are cops, she should be safe as houses but these people stop at nothing and we see from the very beginning how far they will go. Action packed, pacey, shocking, enraging, romantic, healing empowering an d huge character growth for some of these guys. Hard truths, overcoming inner demons and learning to trust, Rose intertwines all of this in a tale of death, murder, abusers whilst bringing in love, friendship, trust and family.
Despite being in double figures with these books she manages to bring fresh stories and lets the reader get to know more of the characters and keeping the stories new and shocking, 4.5/5 for me this time. Already impatiently waiting on the next book in the series!