Kane was a born gambler. When he was taken to the cleaners in a rigged game of cards in St. Louis, he didn’t realize it was part of a private vendetta.
When they thought they had finished Kane off he was left for dead – but saved by the buzzards he survived. As a match to the Ranger’s star he carried, Kane had gained a star-shaped scar on his right hand – the hand that meant the difference between life and death to a ranger who lived by the speed of his draw.
Kane wanted revenge.
Morgan Kane is all man: he is tough and rugged, worldly and wise, and, both a lover and a fighter. Kane loves his whisky as much as he loves his women, he is an accomplished poker player, can spot a cheat a mile away, believes wholeheartedly in justice, is quick with a revolver and, is absolutely dedicated to his job as a Texas Ranger. For thirty plus years, simple living, travel, and dedication to his work have been all that Morgan Kane needs. Oh sure, there have been a bevy of beauties to warm his bed but none he cared to stick around for. And while he down his fair share of alcohol and has won and lost at the poker table, he has never had a gambling or drinking problem.
Then there is the night that everything in Kane’s world begins to unravel: he loses roughly twenty grand at the poker table, he wasn’t able to spot the very cleverly hidden cheat, he got blind drunk and woke up the next morning with a splitting headache and a ticket to Fort Worth. Still puzzling over the previous nights’ events, Kane boards the train only to find himself seated across from a beautiful woman who seems nothing but interested in him. Seemingly, things are looking up until the moment Kane finds himself jumped from behind by three men who shoot him, more than once and throw him over the side of the train.
Left for dead, Kane is certain his life will never be the same. He has a gaping wound in his side, his shooting hand has been obliterated and he is pretty sure he was meant to die. While he is (mostly) certain of all those things, he is at all certain about the who or the why of the affair. And that, is reason enough to live. Though the recovery is hard, Kane makes the most of it and eventually finds his way back into the real world. With the help of a long-time, trusted friend and fellow Ranger, Kane discovers the location of the men (and woman!) who tried to take his life and sets out on a mission of justice.
The Bottom Line: Without Mercy started out just a bit slow but once the action began it kept up a steady and very good pace until the last chapter when there is a mad and somewhat weird race to the finish. Without Mercy is not my normal genre but I was so into this book and looking forward to a slammin’ ending. Unfortunately, what I got was awkward and so fast that I literally thought I had missed something and flipped back through the previous pages to be sure I didn’t miss anything. So, with the exception of the wonky ending, I really enjoyed Without Mercy and would certainly recommend it to all YA+ readers.