Review: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning

Title: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning
A Jo Wyatt Mystery Book Two
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In an idyllic Colorado town, a young girl goes missing—and the trail leads into the heart and mind of a remorseless killer.

The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.

Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance.  For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past.  But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.

As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it’s just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.


Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning is an enthralling mystery. Although this newest release is the second Jo Wyatt Mystery, it can be read as a standalone.

It is late summer in Echo Valley, CO and the fair is in town. Fifteen-year-old Marisa and her eleven-year-old sister Lena are at the fair together, but the two girls could not be more different. Marisa is a social media influencer with plenty of business savvy and a dream for her future. Lena is a tomboy who loves spending time with animals and in the outdoors. Although her older sister is outgoing and popular, Lena is quiet and keeps to herself.

When Lena fails to show up at the 4H barn the following morning, her mother Tilda Marquet is worried because her daughter is reliable and dedicated to her animals. Her ex-husband Lucero Flores denies their daughter is with him and Marisa insists they arrived home together from the fair. Detective Jo Wyatt does not believe Lena wandered off on her own and she, along with her partner Squint MacAllister, begin their investigation. Jo has a bit of history with Tilda and Lucero but she would never allow personal feelings to get in the way of her job. With few clues to go on, will she and Squint locate Lena before she comes to harm?

Jo is tenacious as she works long hours in hopes of finding Lena alive and well. Tilda’s alibi is easy to confirm and she is fully co-operative with the investigation. Jo soon discovers that Lucero is not as forthcoming as his former wife and he makes no effort to hide his animosity toward Jo. With a little girl’s life on the line, Jo is unwilling to antagonize him, but she knows he is hiding something from her. Why would Lucero not be completely honest with her? And why  do some his answers to her questions feel a bit off to Jo? She finds it hard to believe Lucero would harm his daughter, but why else would he be evasive and impede their investigation?

Mercy Creek is a riveting small-town mystery with a fast-moving storyline. Jo is an intelligent woman with sharp investigative instincts. She is a consummate professional who puts all of her energy into locating Lena. She meticulously follows every piece of evidence in hopes of finding answers about what happened to the missing pre-teen. With stunning twists and turns, M.E. Browning brings this clever police procedural to an edge-of-the seat, dramatic conclusion. I highly recommend this outstanding Jo Wyatt Mystery to fans of the genre.


Filed under A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, ME Browning, Mercy Creek, Mystery, Rated B+, Review

2 Responses to Review: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning

  1. Thank you for sharing Jo’s story with your readers! I’m so happy you enjoyed Mercy Creek!