Angel of Mercy is the second in the Mercy Hollings series. Picking up where Beg for Mercy ended, it finds Mercy trying to resume her life following the traumatic events of the previous book. It's slightly difficult to summarize the plot of this one, but a lot of the story is concerned with Mercy trying to help out at a battered woman's refuge and how once again her use of the 'press' has unforeseen consequences.
I think Mercy is one of the few Urban Fantasy heroines who has a normal human friend (Sukey) which makes a refreshing change. This is one of the things that raises this series for me, the fact that Mercy has relationships with people - not just people who want to control her power or use her, but actual relationships.
Sukey really starts to come into her own in this book. She acts as a foil to Mercy, her cheerful and sunny personality contrasting with Mercy's more dark and sombre one. Their experience with Dominic has left them with a telepathic connection which Sukey thinks is cool, but Mercy isn't so sure. I love that Sukey spends most of this book teaching herself how to be a detective from a book titled - The Exciting World of Private Investigation.
Meanwhile, Mercy's relationship with Sam comes under strain. She is unable to tell him her secret - that she can compel others to do her bidding (the press) - and discovers that he has also been keeping secrets from her. You slightly want to scream at them to 'talk to each other!'. You understand her reasons for behaving the way she does, but she could handle it better.
The main problem I had with this book is the plot structure. If you read the blurb it sounds like Mercy's intervention at the battered women's refuge will be the main focus of the plot, but this storyline is wrapped up with about 50 pages to go. Sukey meanwhile has been trying to find out about Mercy's past and answer the question that plagues Mercy - of whether she's human. But because that story is running parallel to the story about the refuge, the ending is a little bit mishmashy, and kind of just peters out.
I'm going to stick with this series as it is different to the other UF stuff out there. But I hope there's a little more focus on the plot in the next one.
Book 1 - Beg for Mercy
Book 3 - Cry Mercy (June 2009)