“The Seventh Victim” by Mary Burton / Wednesday, April 3, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton

This is a sick, edge-of-your-seat ride with no good end in sight. From the first page you know it is going to be a rollicking ride. Mary Burton’s “The Seventh Victim” blew me away. Zebra is marketing this as a romantic suspense because of one intimate scene at the end, but in truth, this is thriller all the way. The story follows Lara Church, a victim of the Seattle Strangler who got away, a victim who remembers nothing and is afraid of everything. Years of hiding prove fruitless when she is pushed into the spotlight by a photo exhibit. It is an interesting character arc as she deals with recovering from the ever-present knowledge of her previous rape and murder. Seven years doesn’t give her enough distance. The characterization of her OCD via her obsession with photographing places where people died is eerie. The story is lush and deep, full of mysterious and engrossing characters. It was a comfort to read an author who doesn’t mind handling a large cast and has the skill to manage it, as well, both a rarity in today’s publishing world. Kudos to Zebra for publishing it. Overall it is a story of fixation and compulsion. It is a stunning portrayal of a serial killer, but the serial killer and Lara aren’t the only ones obsessed. Cops bring their own baggage and insensitivities. The law enforcement personnel were believable, though not always likeable; I didn’t expect them to be. They’re doing their job and the scum of daily life leaves them with their own personal scars. What we see as the story develops, however, is the heart under all. Mary Burton’s use of backstory is some of the best I’ve read. She flawlessly weaves the backstory into action; it’s a textbook study for how to keep the plot moving forward even when taking time to layer the plot by looking back. Lots of suspects. Lots of victims. Lots of unexpected twists and turns. I couldn’t read fast enough to see how it would end. As Mary writes, “Crazy’s got its own answers.” “The Seventh Victim” will leave you with nightmares.
– Clay Stafford, author and founder of Killer Nashville

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Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!