The sixth book in the Mercedes Thompson series, published February 2011.
Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.
An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...
Finally the day has come: Mercy and Adam are getting married. Her mother planned a great event, but Mercy and Adam sneak away to prevent from getting the victims to some pranks the Fae and Werewolves use to pull on married couples. Adam had originally planned a honeymoon for the two of them in a nice hotel in San Diego, but Uncle Mike has suggested they loan his very big and very luxurious camper and go hiking into the mountains. As Mike has just finished the security on a really good camping site, the place is also not a problem. But when Mercy finds out that the Fae woman named Edythe, also known as YoYo girl, has predicted their presence their, she kind of freaks out. Nothing good will come of this!
But the first few days are great, together, without any of the responsibilities of their jobs and the pack, they finally have time alone. To play, to hike, to make love.
And one morning, Mercy sees the ghost of her father. She never knew him, he died in a car accident before he even knew her mother was pregnant.
Then one night they rescue a severely wounded man from his boat on the river. And their peace is gone forever. The man is an Indian, and so are the people who came looking for him. Benny and his sister Faith were fishing, when they were attacked by an ancient and enormous river monster. Faith got killed and eaten, and Benny just managed to escape, without his foot.
While Mercy is trying to get the boat free to pull him to safety, and to Adam (werewolves cannot swim), she is grabbed around her ankle by something she at first thinks is some kind of waterplant.
But the wound really starts to hurt and ooze, and the Indian shaman who appeared out of nothing, calls her River Marked. The river monster has tried to eat her, but she got away. Luckily, he has some salve to heal the wound, only he cannot break the pull the river monster now has on Mercy.
The other Indians are walkers, shape shifters like Mercy, only not coyotes. And they get to meet the real, the first Coyote. He knew Mercy’s father, as they were once using the same skin, and has been keeping an eye on Mercy before. The river monster will have to be killed. Coyote did it once before, but he was much more powerful back then, so they will need the help from the other old ones.
I read this book in one sitting, and loved it! It is very fast paced, with not much looking back on the previous books. Adam has to work on letting Mercy have some freedom, like going shopping on her own. Mercy doesn’t want to be treated like his first wife, or have Adam apologize for things not his fault. The mating bond between them is still growing. The book starts with a visit to her vampire friend Stephen, so we get a little update on him too. Her other friends only have very small appearances. This book is just about Mercy and Adam, and Mercy’s heritage. It is really great, and I don’t want to spoil anything about it, so my review is very short for such a good book.
Just read this series, you won’t regret it.