This is my first read through the Mercy Thompson series, and Bone Crossed is my favorite so far. It’s the first one to me where Mercy felt… reasonable. Relatable. I’m all for a strong female protagonist, but sometimes I’m just left scratching my head thinking, “Really?” There’s a line between independence and unreasonably bad judgement which is often crossed in this (and other) series, but in Bone Crossed I felt myself nodding along with Mercy’s decisions.
The book picks up from where Iron Kissed left off—which is to say Mercy is understandably an emotional mess after her ordeal with “Tim the Rapist”. She’s (finally) accepted the inevitable conclusion that she and Adam were destined for each other, but flashbacks of her horrible ordeal with Tim flare whenever similar circumstances present themselves. Adam treats her with appropriate respect and patience—another character who also seems suddenly reasonable after 3 books of acting so “alpha” that he was more believable as a testosterone fae than a person capable of maintaining a relationship with anyone, let alone our dear, independent Mercy. Mercy’s reactions to her trauma felt genuine and evoked true sympathy, just as Adam’s support made me root for them to get together.
The main plot begins when Mercy’s former roommate’s best friend (‘s brother’s sister’s cousin’s ex-hairdresser…) Amber pays a visit from Seattle, claiming she has a ghost problem that her husband refuses to believe. Though it’s out of the blue and a bit odd, Mercy takes the job because, well… Mercy. Just the night before, 2 sets of people graffitied her house: one pissed off because she thought Tim was wrongly murdered for what he did to Mercy, the other a more serious threat from Marsilia, the resident master vampire, who’s branded Mercy a traitor and promised a painful death to anyone who helps her. Mercy wisely decides to high-tail it to Seattle under Stefan’s protection while her boyfriend sorts out the mess, only to encounter another arguably scarier vampire there. Her walker abilities are put to the test in a bizarre haunting that threatens the life of Amber’s deaf son, who Mercy bonds with. The tale continues in an interesting if somewhat predictable pattern (predictable if you’ve read Patricia’s other books), expanding Stefan’s character, our knowledge of vampires and their varied powers, and Mercy’s own walker abilities, which are a mystery even to herself.
If you’re looking for another kick-down-the-door adventure in the series, you may want to skip this one, but if you’d like to see a more vulnerable—more human—Mercy, then Bone Crossed won’t disappoint.