A homicide detective in the dark. A serial killer on the loose. Both have their obsessions in a nerve-twisting novel of suspense by New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton.
Austin homicide detective Jordan Poe is hunting a serial killer she fears is the same man who assaulted her sister, Avery, two years ago. The details line up: the victims are the same age, same type, dead by the same grim MO. Luckily Avery survived. But the terrible memories linger, making Jordan more determined than ever to stop this monster in his tracks.
Texas Ranger Carter Spencer isn’t one to poach on a detective’s territory. Yet no matter how resentful a capable lone wolf like Jordan is, when she is attacked at a third crime scene and suffers a trauma that leaves her with limited vision, it’s up to Carter to help Jordan navigate a world she no longer recognizes. He needs her instinct, her experience, and her fearless resolve to crack this case. A case that’s about to get even darker.
A stranger is watching. He’s closing in on his ultimate prey. And no one but the killer can see what’s coming.
My first book by Mary Burton and I can see why this prolific author is very popular. This standalone thriller/police procedural had a strong female lead, a logical storyline with a few twists and red herrings to keep the reader guessing and a good pace- no wonder I read it in no time at all.
Detective Jordan Poe is both hard-working and tenacious. She has to be. Her mother (also a police officer) had a substance abuse problem and Jordan learnt quickly to take care of herself and her little sister Avery. When their mother died, Jordan had to cope not ony with her own but also with Avery’s grief and later her descent into drug abuse. The low point came when she found Avery in her drug dealer Marco’s place, tied and suffocating. Avery has been clean and sober ever since, but Jordan cannot help worrying about her.
When the first body of a young woman is found wrapped in plastic, Jordan has very little to go on to identify the victim, but when the second one is found, she has a terrible suspicion that the cases resemble what happened to Avery. The victims were young, blond, petite,and had a history of drug abuse. There is a bit of tension about who should deal with the investigation as Jordan isn’t particularly happy to let the case go to Texas Ranger Carter Spenser. Carter has a tendency to rub people (esp. politically influential ones) the wrong way, but he has experience of dealing with serial killers as well as the wisdom of recognising Jordan’s detective skills and tenacity.
What made this book stand out is what happened, while Jordan was trying to save the killer’s next victim. This isn’t a spoiler (it maybe if you don’t read blurbs)- Jordan suffers a blow to her head and is left with impaired vision. Remember she is in the middle of an ongoing investigation, the killer is still on the loose. Jordan is a fiercely independent person, but now she is forced to deal with tremendous changes to her her daily life, career and entire future.
I can’t say I found it too easy to guess who the killer was- perhaps other, more savvy readers would see it early on. The plot was logical and everything was tied in the end. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the romance-it came in at a very late point in the book and I didn’t feel it was necessary. This is a more plot-driven, action-packed kind of book, so the other characters apart from the protagonist were not as developped, but I think there is a potential for this standalone to become a series.
I liked Jordan and the way she dealt with adversity in her life with determination and compassion and I would certainly like to read more from this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
About the author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the popular author of more than thirty-five romance and suspense novels, as well as five novellas. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds. Visit her at http://www.maryburton.com.