Sunday, December 5, 2010

Merciless-Mary Burton

Mary Burton
Zebra, Feb 1 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420210197

He diligently selects them; he cleverly kidnaps them; he hedonistically tortures and rapes them; but he leaves it to the Other to make the final kill. A group of boys in Angel Park find her bones nearly arranged on a table. Detectives Malcolm Kier and Deacon Garrison lead the official investigation. After scrutinizing missing person’s reports, the cops identify the victim as actress Sierra Day, who was a client of defense attorney Angie Carlson and a patient of plastic surgeon Dr. Dillon Dixon who the lawyer recently got the doctor acquitted of a charge of assault and torture of a hooker.

A second victim appears; she was the prostitute who testified against Dixon in court. The two deceased are connected by Angie, who Kier believes is the next target of the killer who seems to be cleansing those women who were in court. However, neither Kier nor his partner knows there are two predators involved; both want Angie dead.

Known for her exciting suspense thrillers (see Senseless starring Garrison), Mary Burton provides another taut police procedural with a romantic subplot enhancing the tension. Perspective changes between Kier, Carlson, and the two culprits. The killers’ viewpoints provide insight into deranged minds as this dark story focuses on people who know right from wrong intellectually but are so amoral they could not care less about others; reminiscent of Compulsion and Murder By Numbers.

Harriet Klausner

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