MercenaryThe Gray Area

5stars

By Brandon Collier
Rain Light Press, $14.99, 582 pages

Mercenary Measures by Brandon Collier is a fast-paced novel full of action, suspense and mind-twisting plots. Mauricio Campos, a Brazilian mercenary hired by the mayor with a team of other mercenaries, faces his greatest opponent yet: the sociopathic Malestar. Leaving a trail of blood behind him, Malestar terrifies the city with his corrupt, careless murder spree, feeding his bloodlust with only one purpose in mind. He wants to inflict pain on the city that incarcerated him for his sadistic crimes.

Mercenary Measures is constantly evolving, the plot only thickening as you delve farther into the novel. Set in the beautiful, yet dangerous country of Brazil, Collier articulates an ever-changing cast of characters who are not completely black and white. He portrays a lifestyle of crime and has a knack for shedding light on the mindset of a mercenary and their individual views of the difference between right and wrong. Malestar, the sociopath criminal, is described in the rawest form of evil. Collier effortlessly dives into the thoughts of a murderous man and reveals an honest portrayal of some of the deadliest thoughts a human can have. Collier slowly reveals each character’s story without straying too far from the main plot.

Though there are areas of the novel that seem to lag, in the end Collier brilliantly ties it together with an ending worth waiting for. Surprising twists will throw you off Malestar’s track and the Corporation’s destructive trail. Mauricio and the other mercenaries learn and grow from each other, all the while hunting down a madman bent on causing pain and destruction to all who cross his path. In the end, though, justice prevails in an unexpected manner. If you are seeking a thrilling and suspenseful novel, Mercenary Measures is just for you.

Reviewed by Taylor Pittman

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