I don't remember how exactly I came across these books, but somehow they ended up in my download cart at the library. Both books ended up being pretty good so I was happy.
The first book in this series is No Mercy (2010, Touchstone). Mercy Gunderson is an Army sniper that's going back home to her South Dakota ranch for the first time in 20 years. She's on medical leave after an accident leaves her with damage to her eye. Her father, the county Sheriff, has just passed away and now it's up to Mercy to decide what to do with the family ranch.
As if medical leave, coming back home after 20 years and the death of her father isn't enough to deal with, suddenly dead bodies start cropping up around Mercy. This puts her in the path of the new Sheriff her father appointed, Mason Dawson.
Most books would have Mason and Mercy teaming up to solve the murders, but this book wasn't like that. Mercy is not impressed with Mason's investigative techniques and sets out on her own. There's a lot of sexual tension between the pair and it does carry over into the second book in the series.
The next book is called Mercy Kill (2011, Touchstone). This book is a little more complex. In order to save Mercy from a downward spiral she gets a job at a local bar, while that sounds a little counterintuitive it keeps her busy. She runs into an old Army buddy who ends up dead in the parking lot. Once again Mercy is less than impressed with Mason Dawson and the way he's running the investigation into her friend's death.
Mercy's frustration leads to her decision to run against Mason for county Sheriff. She uses gladhanding and campaigning as her cover to investigate the murder and try to figure out if it has anything to do with the oil pipeline trying to make it's way across her land.
I listened to the audiobooks for both of these books. They were both well done and enjoyable. The ending of Mercy Kill led me to believe there will be another book in this series. I really hope so, because I liked the Mercy Gunderson character and would like to see more of her.