Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.
Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…
She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?
A gripping, riveting and captivating murder mystery with a perfect balance of intriguing suspense of several murders and enthralling romance between a husband and wife fighting for a new chance, a new start for their life together.
As the crimson details of the two separate murders start to unveil, Dakota Sharp tries to stay focused on the job at hand, instead of dealing with the death of his step-father he was never close to or with his estranged wife who suddenly comes back to town.
I liked how the mystery around the murders was built, how the details came to light, how suddenly the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together in a way no one expected. The identity of the culprit stays well hidden, the motives even better. The hunt for the answers is intense and fevered, as more victims keep showing up, as the evidence shows he is not finished, his deadly, and he might be close to them.
Tessa and Dakota has a lot of unfinished business between them as well as resentment, even trust is lacking. Yet the palpable feelings they have for each other can't be denied. But can they look over the past hurt, can they make it work, can they accept each other as they are, can their careers co-exist in one relationship? So many questions, so much passion, such a deep emotions, but will they live long enough to find out the answers?
I am in awe with the story, the flow, the vigor, the tension, the spacing of the tale all masterfully crafted to hold the reader's mind and built the pressure and concern through the tale while being enthralled by the desire and adoration of the burning romance, a rekindled love between a husband and wife. A perfectly balanced romantic suspense story
~ Five Spoons
Mary Burton loves writing suspense, researching forensic and law enforcement procedure, baking, books, and tiny dachshunds. Not necessarily in that order.
She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels of suspense and romance. She’s tracked them down in stories set in her hometown of Richmond, Alexandria, Austin and Nashville that have been praised by readers and reviewers. Her work has been compared to that of James Patterson*, Lisa Gardner** and Lisa Jackson***.
Research is a favorite part of Mary’s work day. She never tires of learning more about police work, evidence collection and analysis, and doesn’t hesitate to take a hands-on approach, whether it means interviews with those working in the field, forensic seminars or lessons at the firing range.
A Richmond native, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She is a graduate of Virginia’s Hollins University and worked in marketing before she began writing full time. Her first book was published in 2000 and now she’s the author of thirty-one novels and five novellas, including her contemporary women’s fiction written as Mary Ellen Taylor.
Her new book, The Dollmaker is the second of her The Forgotten Files novels, which began with The Shark in May 2016. The third, The Hangman, will be published in spring 2017. Her recent bestsellers, the popular Morgan Family novels Vulnerable, I’ll Never Let You Go, Cover Your Eyes and Be Afraid, feature Nashville’s preeminent law enforcement family.
When not traveling for research or visiting with readers at bookstores, book festivals and conferences, Mary is very much a homebody. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying and lamenting their newly empty nest and spoiling their four legged babies Buddy, Bella and Tiki.
*Fresh Fiction **Library Journal ***Library Journal