Merciless by Brandon Ford
Reviewed by Sheri White
Published by Black Bed Sheet Books
Two young high school girls, one trying to make a life-changing decision and the other finding love where she least expected it, are out one night with their dates. Neither knows the other is there, although they are parked in the same area. They aren’t friends, although they go to the same school. But by the end of the evening, they will share a bond nobody should have to bear.
Before they can even know what’s happening, Claire and Kyra are forced at gunpoint into a vehicle, bound with duct tape, and afraid for their lives. Charlie and Pete also share a fate together.
The girls are raped and terrorized for hours by their unknown assailant, who has no mercy for their terrified pleas. As the night goes on, the girls desperately try to find a way to escape before the man kills them – or worse.
I’ve read Brandon Ford’s work several times now – his novel, Pay Phone, and his short story collection, Decayed Etchings, – and I’ve become a fan. I haven’t been disappointed in any of his work that I’ve read, and Merciless is no exception. Claire and Kyra are vivid, engaging characters whose suffering will horrify you. The nameless tormentor will chill you to the bone with the nasty, relentless suffering he puts the girls through.
Included in this book are three short stories, “The Neighbor,” “Last Call,” and “All I Ever Wanted.” All three are excellent, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you haven’t read Brandon Ford’s work yet, Merciless is the perfect way to get acquainted with this talented author.