Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NO ESCAPE by Mary Burton

November 7, 2013
Romantic Suspense
Obtained via:  publicist

3-1/2 Hearts

Jo Granger has built a nice life for herself.  Rising from the ashes of a tragic miscarriage and a marriage gone wrong she has a good life as a psychologist, consulting in a variety of police cases and in particular for the Texas Rangers. And then one day her past shows up on her doorstep…or at least in a case she has an interest in.

Ranger Brody Winchester has been transferred to the Austin, Texas office and so far has managed to avoid running into the one woman he never quite got over…over his personal guilt that is. To his credit he brought about the conviction of serial killer Harvey Day Smith.

When Smith decides time and circumstances lead to the time for him to confess just where he buried a number of missing women he summons Jo Granger to the prison where he awaits death.  Smith doesn’t disclose the locations of the women’s graves out of the goodness of his heart. Oh no. It is because he has a secret that will tear apart Jo’s carefully constructed world.

Jo had no inclination or desire to ever lay eyes on Brody again, but when his case lands in her lap because she is the one person Smith wants to share his secret with, the couple must put aside their differences to recover the deceased women’s bodies.  But Smith’s reign of terror didn’t end with his prison sentence. Oh no. Not for a minute—someone more nefarious is lurking in the shadows and he’s coming after Jo.  As the clock runs out, with the killer closing in on Jo, she and Brody are forced to look at their past and what happened between them.


I thoroughly enjoyed THE SEVENTH VICTIM which told the story of Ranger Jim Beck and how he met and saved Lara Church from a cold blooded serial killer.  Jo first appears in THE SEVENTH VICTIM where she caught my attention as an interesting character. It was a pleasure to see she received her own story in NO ESCAPE.


While THE SEVENTH VICTIM is a total white-knuckle, breath holding thriller, NO ESCAPE is much more a romantic suspense. There were still some of the same page turning-can’t-put-this-book-down moments, there was a definite shift to featuring more romance. To a point I missed some of that spine tingling drama, but Jo and Brody have an interesting past. I could have done with a few fewer tellings of what happened between them 14 years before—it became a bit repetitious to the point I wanted to say “I got it! I got it! Move on!”

There were a number of typos, more than what you usually see, in the copy I read, but given it was an ARC one hopes they were picked up in the final copy edit. That said, they didn’t detract all that much from the story. In THE SEVENTH VICTIM Jo worked directly for the Rangers and seemed to have an office in their building.  In NO ESCAPE she works for a private psychology practice but there was no explanation for why she changed her practice group or area.


One thing I will say about Ms. Burton is that she creates some of the scariest serial killers I’ve read.  She did a fabulous job getting into Smith’s mind and telling her readers his story. Equally so are Scott and Tim with what they add to the dark mix that is a killer stalking his prey.


NO ESCAPE is Mary Burton’s second book featuring the Texas Rangers based in Austin, Texas.  Interestingly, despite some of the characters from THE SEVENTH VICTIM, featuring in NO ESCAPE, the books are not billed as a series.  They are completely stand-alone stories. That said, I hope there are more of the Ranger’s story—in particular Santos’s cause he’s just a really nice guy who never seems to get the girl!



"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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