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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  633 ratings  ·  64 reviews
When two women are found murdered, female detective Sander Grant is drawn into two strange worlds--the underground world of bisexuality and sadomasochism, and the twisted, sick world of the killer. Based on research with the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit.
Hardcover, 513 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Doubleday (first published 1990)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  633 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
As described on the cover this is a novel of psychosexual suspense. In my view it is just too much. Too much descriptive prose, psychobabble, introspective thoughts, gore and repetitive dialog to name a few. It's just not worth the trouble. If I hadn't gotten caught up in the mystery and wanted to
know whodunnit I wouldn't have finished it.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A long time reader of my booklist finally sent me a note last weekend. Bill MacDonald recommended three books to me. His note even included a paragraph about why I should read them. Here's what he said about Mercy: "This is set in sweltering Houston where a female police officer is investigating a series of murders. All the victims were upper class ladies who had paid for S&M services. I could not put this down. I've recommended this novel to two female friends and they both enjoyed it." I'l ...more
Behrooz J
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"An outstanding thriller, literate, astute, sharply suspenseful...scenes shimmering with sexual and intellectual tension...artfully crafted with rare intelligence, and offering a convincing, intense, and scary trip into the soul of a sexual maniac...this is one of the finest, most gripping serial-killer novels in years."
A bit tedious at times (I don't need to know every street the main character travelled, nor do I need a description of every house or what her partner was wearing) this book definitely had some cringe worthy moments. Incest, S&M, revenge.. Not for the faint of heart.
Bodosika Bodosika
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This is okay but too voluminous. I give it 3 star.
Dane Garreau
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Just finished reading "Mercy" by David Lindsey, it is by far the best novel I've read in a very long time, probably top 5 at least.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"It had a beginning and an end that were known beforehand, a promise that what they had shared on those sultry August afternoons never would be less than their finest moments. It was a gift, really, of immortality. What they had had together would never age like youth, never fail or fade, never disappoint by becoming something l
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Mercy is set in Houston, and by great coincidence, the protagonist lives in the same small neighborhood where I live. That made Mercy -- a hair-raising psycho-sexual mystery -- especially fun to read. The detective met a witness in the same restaurant where I've eaten dozens of times. She drove along the same streets I use every day. In one scene, when a pair of detectives were racing to the scene of a crime, they passed within 100 yards of where I was sitting at the time, reading about it.

Greg Fisher
Jul 09, 2007 rated it liked it
This is a crime novel about a Houston police detective named Carmen Palma who hunts a sexually motivated serial killer and has to grapple with her own ignorance and prejudice about the type of women who were the victims.

A quote that even now surfaces in my mind from time to time comes from Carmen’s mother as describing the clandestine sexual encounter she observed between two married women, "I will tell you something, Carmen, something it has taken me a long while to understand. A woman is human
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mercy is one of my favorite psychological suspense novels ever.

This is set in swealtering Houston where a female police officer is investigating a series of murders.
All the victims were upper class ladies who had paid for S&M services. I could not put this down. I've recommended this novel to three female friends and they all enjoyed it very much.

A great cast of characters, and I can't recommend this one highly enough. Do yourself a favour and READ IT!
Tim Warner
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned-unread
I tried with Mercy. Weighed down by elaborate descriptive, I slowed to an eventual stop. This might be a good book, and Lindsey every bit the great author his fans say. I'll never know. I really tried.
But finally, I am merciless.
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Recommended to Tawny by: my aunt
Interesting premise but I figured out the killer half-way through. The murders were disgusting but other than that I did'nt get much else out of this book. Its not horrible but not spellbinding either.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Was hooked from the minute I started reading this book many years ago. Lots of good symbolism throughout story. Hated to have to stop. If serial killer mysteries are your thing, read this book.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Erotic page turner and a well written mystery. Wish there were more like this.
Paul Snider
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Don't be fooled by the title, this book will show you no mercy. What a read wow!!!!!!! If I could give this more stars I would.
Vicki Renee
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book. Detailed such horrible atrocities it was unbelievable. Excellent writer of the genre. It will make you cringe.
Annette Dashofy
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another "must read" from the reading list of the best writing course I've ever taken. This book is deeply disturbing, but fabulous.
May 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book turned out , for me, to be nothing but sadomasochisim 101. I felt almost quilty reading about these practices; even the tiniest bone in my body felt disgust.
Ordinarily I am no prude but when I want to read a murder mystery, I don't like graphic lessons on things that constitute the darker side of life in my opinion.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
If I hadn't wanted to know for sure who the killer was, I never would have finished this book. Subject matter just not "my cup of tea."
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A serial killer who doesn’t fit the mold and a women detective who catches the killer.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective
Not to be missed. Gripping. Beathtaking. Analytical. Gender relevant. Psycologically deviant thriller.
Michelle T.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Little slow, but really good
Hallie Huffman
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Damn, that was disturbing!
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that I'm glad I skimmed through the last 200 pages of Mercy. While the premise was interesting, the execution of plot and characters was a swampy muck of psychobabble, repetitiveness, and scenes that dragged on far too long. It seemed like the author took the most graphic and exploitative ingredients of lesbianism, bisexuality, and S&M, and clearly tried to derive a "literary" thriller from it. Didn't work for me, and for heaven's sake, when a character is entering her apart ...more
Anne Lefkofsky
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Complex, overwraught, unsettling, taboo - and thoroughly engrossing. The world of Houston wealth --and the unexpected subculture that David Lindsey animates within it -- is immersive. His exceptional balance of psychology, desire, need and criminality couples beautifully with quotidian (and copious) details of Houston's haunts and hallmarks. Part thriller, part police procedural, part scandal -- Mercy brings a highly literate and intelligent sensibility to its tale of masochism and serial murder ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't really know what I think about this book. There were interesting mystery killer points to it but there were a lot of unnecessary descriptions, and this was not about the murders. I thought it interesting that the book has a heterosexual angle to it for the main character but they made a movie with a lesbian relationship instead for this person. Whatever. I don't think I'd really recommend this book to others, but I found it in my lobby!
Jeff Dickison
Well written, but ultimately a nasty, perverted, sleazy story of upper class Houston lesbians forming a club and then the ones who are also masochists start getting bumped off. Sensationalistic for sensations sake and not believable for a second. Not recommended, unless you're an upper class lesbian into sadomasochism.
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel had a real old school feel (and not just because it was set in the '80s) with a strong thread of modern sensibility running through it. The story unfolded in unexpectedly complex ways which were never confusing or muddled. The writing was economical...lyrical in its descriptiveness...with a very humanistic tone. I was impressed.
Marianne Fanning
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite books. I read this book probably 15 years ago and I still remember the opening scene. David Lindsey has not written anything in awhile … sad because I love his books. This is a true thriller and is one of those … can't put down books.

I will be re-reading to see if I enjoy it the second time around.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books I had to give up on. I don't mind a good killer, but this guy goes on and on. It took 12 pages for the cops to drive form the station to the crime scene. Just so much unneeded detail - my eyes just ended up glossing over stuff to get to the plot. This one didn't pass my '50 page' test...
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, compelling and disturbing book which introduces a dark side not often seen. Well worth reading, and much better than the movie which was based on it staring Ellen Barkin. Though any movie with Ellen Barkin in it is worth watching.
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Lindsey spent his childhood in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and in West Texas, near San Angelo. He graduated from North Texas State University with a degree in English literature and moved to Austin, Texas in 1970, where he has lived ever since.

During the 1970s, Lindsey worked as a book editor at a number of small publishing houses in Austin. At one point he operated his own publishing firm, Heidel
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