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Mary Burton

Biography

Mary Burton

Mary Burton loves writing suspense, getting to know her characters, keeping up with law enforcement and forensic procedures, morning walks, baking and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner, and Fresh Fiction likened her writing to that of James Patterson. When it comes to research, she’s known for taking a hands-on approach, whether it means interviewing professionals, attending forensic seminars, or studying evidence collection and analysis.

Mary is routinely featured among the top 10 writers in Amazon’s Author Rankings for suspense, romantic suspense and thrillers. Her recent titles --- THE LIES I TOLD, DON’T LOOK NOW, NEAR YOU, NEVER LOOK BACK, I SEE YOU and HIDE AND SEEK --- consistently rank high on the Kindle eBooks Store Bestseller List. She is a 2019 Montlake Romance Diamond Award winner signifying she’s reached one million readers.

Formerly a Richmond, Virginia native, Mary now resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She’s a graduate of Virginia’s Hollins University, and she worked in marketing before her first book was published in 2000. Today she’s the author of 37 published novels and five novellas as Mary Burton and nine works of contemporary fiction as Mary Ellen Taylor, including WINTER COTTAGE, SPRING HOUSE, HONEYSUCKLE SEASON and the upcoming THE BRIGHTER THE LIGHT.

She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Novelists, Inc. When not on the road for research or visits with readers at bookstores, book festivals and conferences, Mary remains very much a homebody. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying their empty nest and spoiling their four-legged babies Buddy, Bella and Tiki.

Books by Mary Burton

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Ten years ago, 15-year-old Scarlett Crosby was held captive in a terrifying ordeal with a girl named Della. Scarlett escaped, their predator was killed, and Della simply vanished. Detective Kevin Dawson always wondered if Della even existed. A decade later, Scarlett is a successful artist. As hard as she tries to move on, the mysterious Della remains her inescapable obsession. Then a girl’s body is discovered --- a link to Scarlett’s horrific past --- and all her old traumas resurface. So does Della. Scarlett has seen her hiding in plain sight. As a suspicious Detective Dawson once again comes calling, and obsessions turn deadly, Scarlett fears there isn’t a living soul she can trust. As for Della, who’s watching from afar, what could she possibly want from Scarlett now? And what new nightmare lies ahead?

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Lane McCord wakes up in a hospital having survived a near-fatal fall at a North Carolina beach cottage. Her boyfriend, Kyle, wasn’t so lucky. A senseless tragedy on their first romantic getaway. All Lane remembers is lying at the bottom of the stairs in Kyle’s pooling blood. Confused and grieving, Lane plans to return to the cottage, collect her personal belongings and get out. Until a winter rainstorm leaves her stranded and vulnerable, but not alone. A concerned neighbor, who claims he heard a violent argument before the accident, has come out of the storm. So has a suspicious detective on the trail of a missing woman, whose diary deepens the mystery --- and raises more questions that fill Lane with dread. How well did she know Kyle? How well does she know herself?

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Twin sisters Marisa and Clare Stockton were 16 when Clare’s body was found in Virginia’s James River. No arrests were made. Fourteen years later, Marisa’s friends and dedicated career as a photographer help her to cope with the open wound of the past. But she still feels the hurt. A recent car crash has erased 10 days of Marisa’s memories --- a black hole leading up to the accident that’s left her disoriented. Every text and phone call from that crucial missing time has vanished, along with her phone. And there’s the growing fear that her near-fatal accident was no accident at all. As dreams of Clare and nightmares of the crash begin to converge, so do two disturbing puzzles 14 years apart.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Austin homicide detective Jordan Poe is hunting a serial killer she fears is the same man who assaulted her sister, Avery, two years ago. 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.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Mystery, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Forensic psychologist and single mother Ann Bailey has joined forces with Montana Highway Patrol officer Bryce McCabe. An expert in untangling the motives of depraved minds, Ann is tasked to help solve the mystery of two murdered women doused with gasoline and set aflame. It’s not hard for Ann to be reminded of the charismatic Elijah Weston, who served a decade in prison for arson --- a crime that nearly cost Ann her life. The deeper Ann and Bryce’s investigation goes, the nearer they get to each other and to danger. After another murder hits close to home, Ann fears a clue is hidden in her own past. Only one thing terrifies her more than the reveal of her long-held secret. It’s that the secret itself has put Ann into a killer’s line of fire.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Ten years ago as an undergrad, Joan Mason escaped an arsonist’s fire. Now a Philadelphia homicide detective, she is trying to put her traumas to rest. But Elijah Weston, the classmate who torched her house, is out of prison and returning to Missoula. Gut instinct tells Joan he’ll strike again. To stop him, she must return to the past as well --- to face not only the man she fears but also Detective Gideon Bailey, the man she loved and left behind. When a local woman dies tragically in another fire, it can’t be a coincidence. Can it be Elijah? He has a solid alibi for the night of the blaze. Reunited by the tragedy, Joan and Gideon have their doubts. The investigation draws them together, but it also sends them down a dangerous path.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup. Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina. Why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

He promised to kill her. One night four years ago, Leah Carson’s husband almost succeeded. Philip stabbed her 23 times before fleeing. The police are sure he’s dead, but fear won’t let Leah believe it. It starts with little things: missing keys, a flat tire, mysterious flowers --- all easily explained away if the pattern wasn’t so terrifyingly familiar. Leah has a new veterinary practice and a new life with no ties to her nightmare. But Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan suspects something. And when another woman’s body is found, stabbed 23 times, Leah knows her past has found her.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

When police rescue five-year-old Jenna Thompson from the dark closet where she's been held captive for days, they tell her she's a lucky girl. Even with her family's killer dead of an overdose, Jenna is still trying to find peace 25 years later. On leave from her forensic artist job, she returns to Nashville, the city where she lost so much. Detective Rick Morgan needs Jenna's expertise in identifying the skeletal remains of a young child. The case jogs hazy half-buried memories --- and a nagging dread that her ordeal hasn't ended.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

Public defender Rachel Wainwright is struggling to reopen a decades-old case, convinced that the wrong man is in prison. Homicide detective Deke Morgan doesn't want to agree. But if Rachel's hunch is correct, whoever fatally bludgeoned young, beautiful Annie Dawson 30 years ago could be the source of a new string of brutal slayings. Rachel's investigation is about to reveal answers --- but at a price she never thought to pay.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thriller

One devastating moment changed Greer Templeton's life and ended two others. Now, with a body found on her property and Texas Ranger Tec Bragg on her doorstep, Greer's nightmare has returned. She hoped the past was behind her, but an obsessed killer has never forgotten the bond that unites them. One by one, he will track down his victims, finish what was started --- and make Greer's dying wish come true.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Everything about the investigation into serial killer Harvey Lee Smith is unnerving Jolene Granger, the psychologist called in to evaluate him --- from Harvey's fascination with her to the fact that she's working alongside Texas Ranger Brody Winchester, her ex-husband. Meanwhile, Harvey's protégé is growing bolder and more vicious every day. And soon the trail of shallow graves will lead them to the last place Jo expected, and to the most terrifying truth of all.

by Mary Burton - Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

It's been seven years since the Seattle Strangler terrorized the city. His victims were all young and pretty, but there was one who miraculously escaped death. Lara Church has only hazy memories of her long-ago attack. What she does have is a home in Austin, a job, and a chance at a normal life at last. Then Texas Ranger James Beck arrives on her doorstep with shattering news: The Strangler is back. And this time, he's in Austin.