An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Mary Burton
Series: Morgans of Nashville #3
Publication Date: 10/27/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars +
** Featured Weekend Read **
A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
K I L L E R! 5 Stars+ "Top Books of 2015!"
One of my favorite authors, talented storyteller, Mary Burtonreturns following her last cliffhanger, Be Afraid (Morgans of Nashville #2) with another multi-layered, twisted “must read” psycho-crime thriller, I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO (Morgans of Nashville #3). Two women haunted by their past, a mysterious brutal killer, and a family of Morgans prepared to solve the case, and connect the dots--before it is too late.
If you read the previous two books in the series (highly recommend), you learn about Leah Carlson--at the ending of the last book, her psycho-cop husband has found her once again and is determined to kill her.
Philip has a sick, obsessive love for his wife. Young when they met, Leah was charmed by the cop, who eventually wanted to control, stalking, intimidating, playing head games; making Leah think she is crazy.
When she finally escaped him, he hunts her down--stabbing her twenty-three times, leaving her for dead, while he escaped. It was their wedding anniversary. Her wacko husband believes in "death do us part." After all, Phillip, was a smart cop, so no one believed his stalking attempts, until he almost killed her. She had spent years keeping daily journals, to help develop patterns for the cops.
I’ll Never Let You Go picks up four years later. Leah changed her last name, and has returned to Nashville, her home, after years of therapy, plastic surgery, and support groups. She still suffers from PTSD,, nightmares, and paranoia. Even though Phillip was declared dead following an accident in South Carolina, she never saw the body, and has an ongoing suspicion he may still be alive. She still keeps her daily journals, with any events which seem suspicious.
After attending veterinarian school in Knoxville, she now is a successful veterinarian in Nashville—keeps to herself, and does not want anyone to know her past business. Even though it is difficult with her visible scars on her hands and arms. However, the others on her body she keeps hidden with her clothes, applying certain makeup to cover up the ones on her face.
Shortly after the book opens a woman cop, Deidre Jones befriends her which she met at the local gym. She invites her to her running group. Even though Leah still has problems running, she is determined to get back to the world of the living- to have some sense of normal.
In the meantime, of course the famous Morgans are back! A family of cops, from their late father, Buddy Morgan, a legend in the Nashville Police Department homicide Squad.
TBI Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (sexy) cool and collected Alex Morgan is in charge of putting away bad cops (star character). Due to a past traumatic event in his life, he keeps his emotions intact; his family thinks he is cold and removed; with an uncaring demeanor. He is single with the looks and brains; however, not into relationships, or conversations.
All the Morgan kids are in law enforcement (we have met in other books). His older brother, Deke heads up the Nashville Police Department Homicide Squad (dating lawyer, Rachel), Rick also works homicide with Deke, and adopted baby sister, Georgia, a forensic technician and a singer at the local nightclub Ruby, when she is not working. Deke and Rick loved homicide; however, Alex did not see himself in TBI in the next decade, as he has political ambitions.
When they find a body dismembered and burned and a business card with Deidre’s name on it, they begin to investigate her suspicious activity, since she was a cop. Alex notices Leah and Deidre are spending time together, so arranges to go out with Leah to learn more, by getting his brother Rick to leave his dog at the vet to board.
Leah is tormented about being in public, with panic attacks, and uneasy around cops, based on her past experience. She is not ready to date and uncomfortable being in social settings, more comfortable around the animals at work. She is always looking for the nearest exit, or over her shoulder, ensuring all doors at home and car are locked, rechecking numerous times.
Then crazy things start occurring—from flowers delivered with an anniversary note, suspicious activity on her credit card, flat tires, crazy texts, and a lab left at the vet to board, like the one she had as a child, and a mover showing up at her house to move her stuff.
All the things Phillip would do. Then she starts seeing someone following her. Could Phillip be alive? To further send her over the edge, it is drawing near their anniversary date. Has he come back to finish her off? She is terrified. What wait four years?
In the meantime, her new friend does not show up for running one morning; Leah finds her stabbed to death in her home. Twenty-three times, same as her. She is distraught. Could any of this be connected to her? Her friend also had an ex-husband, a local sheriff, who was making problems and stalking Deidre.
Since Alex is involved in the case, Leah and Alex are thrown together. Both are very standoffish and not very forthcoming about their suspicions. More things start happening, and Alex digs into Leah’s background and learns of her past. He has to figure out the connection between Leah’s ex-husband, Phillip, what Deidre was involved in, her ex-husband, and her current boyfriend. Is there possibly a connection to Deidre and Phillip? Leah had sworn she would never date a cop again. However, Alex is controlled, always assessing. Can she trust him?
As it draws closer to the anniversary date, Alex wants to protect Leah; however, he is attacked, they find a bug, and more complications. While a budding romance is in the background, the first order of business is the lurking constant danger---is Phillip really alive? Who are the other bodies? Who murdered Deidre and why? Who is behind all the suspicious activity?
Now, this is a thriller! I love Mary’s smooth sharp writing style - Riveting . . She grabs you from page one to the end, hooking you immediately. She never lets you know the identity of the evil twisted killer. There could be one, two, three, or more suspects--multi-layered and complex. When they are speaking, you have no clue who is talking; further building the suspense.
Read in one sitting-- could not put it down! She adds just the right amount of romantic suspense; however, keeping the main theme of the book a strong crime mystery psycho-thriller and cop procedural. One of my favorite genres, Burton delivers mystery and intrigue, and keeps you guessing, with smooth writing, excellent plot planning, and well-developed characters.
Loved Leah and Alex together! This is one not to miss. Even though I loved the last two installments, I think this is my favorite thus far.
So excited about her upcoming Vulnerable coming March 29, 2016. (Yes, you receive a tantalizing preview).