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Never Look Back


Never Look Back

When Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation narrowly escapes becoming a serial killer’s victim, she reluctantly accepts the assistance of FBI Agent Jerrod Ramsey. The two agents, both at the top of their field, race against the clock to find the killer, whose sick passion brings prostitutes to grizzly, tortuous deaths. As they scour scenes for clues and search for potential witnesses, they subtly use their profiling skills to size each other up with more than a professional interest.

NEVER LOOK BACK --- with its vile bad guy, tough and likable good guys, excellent plot twist and touch of romance --- is a page-turner that delivers exactly what suspense/thriller fans seek.

"Burton grabs the reader from the first chapter and doesn’t let go.... The plot is captivating, and a great twist makes the package complete."

Shortly into the investigation, Melina and Jerrod are summoned to another crime scene, which, they are told, is unrelated to their serial killer case. A crashed car, an abandoned child and a gruesome discovery in the trunk make them realize that they have another serial killer to pursue. But when fingerprints from the vehicle lead to a suspect and Melina sees her photo, painful memories rise up like fearsome ghosts. What is it about this woman’s face that chills her spine?

Early in the book, and later as it progresses, the reader is treated to glimpses into various villians’ points of view. Mary Burton expertly executes these perspectives, making the antiheroes creepily realistic.

Heat and humidity punched up the bleach’s faint scent in the van’s dark interior. It made his eyes water, his throat burn, and his palms itch under the latex.

Scrubbers and fine brushes cleaned surfaces well enough, but disinfectants seeped into unseen crevices and obliterated pesky droplets of blood. Trace evidence sowed the seeds of a cavalier man’s downfall.

Perhaps the second dousing of cleaner had been overkill, but his belt-and-suspenders approach never failed him. He had many faults, but carelessness was not one of them. Better this temporary irritation than a lifetime in a jail cell.

The story also takes the reader into Melina’s unusual past, rendering a multifaceted picture of this complex character. Abandoned on a roadside, she had never known her real parents, but was grateful for the couple who adopted her and gave her a loving home. Still, there were bits and pieces of memories that crept into her dreams, and they were surfacing now more than ever.

Burton grabs the reader from the first chapter and doesn’t let go. The writing is superb, with three-dimensional main characters who are perfectly flawed and brilliant, as well as excellent imagery, clever dialogue and perfect secondary characters. The plot is captivating, and a great twist makes the package complete. NEVER LOOK BACK is an ideal read for crime aficionados who like a tinge of darkness in their novels.

Reviewed by Susan Miura on July 10, 2020

Never Look Back
by Mary Burton