With this latest book I read, I am definitely showing my somewhat guilty affinity for romance novels. I can't handle reading too many of them because the repetition gets boring, but there are a couple of authors that I enjoy reading, so when they come out with a new book, I'll generally take a break and enjoy some time escaping into some kind of fantasy land where all the strong, sexy, alluring bad boys who would never commit to anyone fall in love and change their lives. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my favorite of these authors. I tend to gravitate towards romance stories with some action or mystery, but Susan Elizabeth Phillips is so much fun to read, that I don't require the action from her stories. Cindy Gerard isn't my favorite author, but her stories tend to have some good action in them, often involving bodyguards or military men, so I picked up Show No Mercy from the library for a quick read.
There's not much that I have to say about this book. It was pretty much what I was expecting and I read it quickly and found it pretty entertaining. Sure, it took awhile to get into the action of the story. I felt like I was reading setup for about 100 pages, which was not entirely interesting, especially considering the main characters had been introduced in Gerard's last book. I also felt like the plot had been borrowed from Alias. Jenna McMillan is a reporter who goes back to Argentina for a story and an interview with some important billionaire. Gabe Jones is an ex-army and ex-CIA agent who works for a small black operations firm in Argentina. It turns out that both Gabe and Jenna are a target for a terrorist turned lunatic who is intent on getting back at them for being involved in destroying his terrorist cell (which happened in Gerard's earlier book). But really, these books aren't so much about the actual plot, but the chemistry between the characters. I feel like this wasn't Gerard's best book, but it was adequate and entertaining enough for me to finish it quickly.
However, I couldn't help but drag some political thoughts into this book. Maybe it's because of the upcoming election or just my complete and utter disgust with Bush and how he's dragged us into the Iraq war and sullied the idea of American Democracy and patriotism for his own selfish ends. Gerard's storyline of neo-nazi terrorist cells located throughout the world, who are conspiring to increase the animosity between muslim jihadists and the christian world, so they can take over after the fallout, is preposterous and paranoid. But, it sounds like something that would come from the current administration at the White House. I can't help but imagine that Gerard is a Republican who, although she may not be too happy with Bush, has still bought a lot of his bullshit.
I'm also very sensitive to any kind of positive portrayal of torture, and although there was not too much of it in this book, I still got annoyed. The "bad guy" was merciless and his evil and inhumanity were shown through his use of torture, which was fine. But it was at least alluded to that the "good guys" used torture as well. There were jokes about the good guy using "sweet talk" to get information from someone. And he threatened to cut off someone's fingers in order to get some information. The assumption was that the "good guys" knew how to use torture to get the necessary information, but that we could trust them to not go too far or only use it on the really bad guys. I guess I just think of this book as reflecting a basic, majority public opinion, and it really bothers me that public opinion is not more compassionate.