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Vulnerable

 

By:  Mary Burton 

Morgans of Nashville #4
ISBN: 9780786039418
Publisher:  Kensington 
Publication Date:  3/29/2016 
Format: Paperback 
My Rating: 5 Stars  

 

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The Smallest Mistake
Three went in; one came out. For five years, no trace has been found of two high-school friends who went hiking in the woods near Nashville. The third teen, Amber Ryder, was discovered at the bottom of a ravine with a broken arm, head trauma–and zero memory of the horror that put her there.

 

Will Put You
What started as a cold case has become a fresh hell for forensic technician Georgia Morgan. Another woman’s body is found in the woods, and it leads to the missing teens’ remains. But while Georgia works with Amber to try and reawaken her memories, her gut tells her the worst is yet to come.

 

At A Killer’s Mercy
Homicide Detective Jake Bishop can’t be sure whether Amber is an expert manipulator or the killer’s next target. Either way, he’s determined to protect Georgia. Because the deeper she digs into the past, the deadlier the secrets that emerge, and a nightmare years in the making is about to come to a bloody, terrifying end…

 

 

 

My Review

 

A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Talented Mary Burton returns with #4 “Morgans of Nashville” following I’ll Never Let You Go, landing on my Top Books of 2015and "Best Flawed Law Enforcement Family," with VULNERABLE, another gripping edge-of-your-seat suspense mystery crime thriller, featuring Forensic Specialist, Georgia Morgan, and sexy homicide detective, Jake Bishop.

Two cases collide, a five-year-old cold case. An anniversary of two high school friends who mysteriously disappeared in the forest, and never found. The third, Amber Ryan, was found in the wooded park, with no memory. She story has not changed. 

Four Morgans. Three boys and, Georgia Morgan, the youngest Morgan with a past of her own—her birth mother Annie (we met in earlier books), died tragically and she was raised by the Morgans. Annie left a legacy to her only child—her golden voice. Georgia was only five days old when her late father, homicide detective Buddy Morgan carried her away from the tragic scene. Buddy and his wife, Adele took her in, with open arms to join their family and three other sons. all in law enforcement. 

Big brother, Deke Morgan runs the Nashville Police Homicide Department; Rick Morgan (married to new wife, Jenna, former Baltimore police officer and trained forensic artist) works for the same unit, and third brother, Alex, works for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Dalton Marlow is a rich and powerful man—the father of one of the three teens who went into Percy Warner Park five years earlier. Students from an exclusive high school called St Vincent—the teens went hiking in the park- acres of trails and bike paths. The plan was to collect data for a science project, and return home by dark. 

Amber was found at the bottom of a ravine; however, Bethany Reed and Mike Marlow were never found, until possibly now. Mr. Marlow had been pressing the Missing Persons Unit, and after a sizable donation to the police foundation, the case is reopened.

Amber is back in town from Dallas--spending time with Georgia. She wants to cooperate, she says. However, shortly after arriving back in town, another’s woman’s body (Elisa Spence) is found near the woods—ultimately, unearthing more bodies in the cave.

Are the cases related? A necklace. A cave. Human bones. The killer’s special hiding place that no one had found in the last five years. How many times had the killer returned to this spot to gaze? Wrong place, wrong time? A serial killer? Revenge? 

Is beautiful and sexy, Amber hiding something? What really happened five years ago? Three teens – all different; a popular rich football player, a nerd, a smart girl from the wrong side of town. Mike’s dad blames Amber, since she is alive and his son is gone. Is she a good lair, innocent, or a master manipulator? 

Homicide Detective Jake Bishop from Boston-- (Rick Morgan's partner) is on the case. Working with Georgia, the pressure and tension is high to solve the case, along with romantic suspense between the two. 

Complex deadly secrets from the past. Georgia and Jake begin to dig into the pasts, from parents of the three teens, to where Amber has been the last five years. Collateral damage? The perfect crime? Why would three teens go into the woods and only one out. Three unlikely classmates working on a science project of ecosystems. 

In addition to the pressure to solve the case, Georgia remains in full battle mode, wound tight, always cool, and all business—keeping Jake at arm’s distance. Jake loves hearing Georgia sing at Ruby’s and is extremely attracted. However, he plays it smart. Jake also has a past and Georgia is also attracted to him. She does not want to let her guard down—a game of cat and mouse.

Georgia thinks Jake is arrogant, brash, a charmer, and a temper when pushed. However, he was a hell of a detective who read people well. The two, an impressive combination. As the two get closer to learning the truth, they are determined to find this monster--Jake wants to keep Georgia safe. 

From twists and turns with every page, Burton delivers top notch police procedures and impressive forensics, with a riveting crime mystery whodunit, and twisted psychological suspense. Hooking you from page one to the ending, a cast of flawed characters you continue to root for, with plenty of hatred, evil, and a web of deceit; with some smoldering romantic suspense, a strong match--to balance the good versus evil.

Burton is quickly becoming one of my leading favorite female crime authors! Fans of Karin Slaughter will enjoy this well-written dynamic series--an explosive plot, and an ending you do not see coming. Her best yet!



Join me, for Vulnerable launch, Mar 29. Upcoming Blog Tour Mar 22, and Book Giveaway Contest Mar 22-29  Enter Here . US only.

 

Highly recommend the Morgan Series: 
I'll Never Let You Go #3
Be Afraid #2 
Cover Your Eyes #1 

 

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About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense author Mary Burton’s writing has been compared to the works of Steig Larson*, Lisa Gardner**, and Lisa Jackson***. Her latest books, I’ll Never Let You Go, Cover Your Eyes and Be Afraid are the first of four set in Nashville and featuring the Morgans, Music City’s preeminent law enforcement family. Vulnerable completes the quartet in April 2016. Her earlier, highly praised novels include Senseless, Merciless, Before She Dies, The Seventh Victim, No Escape , and You’re Not Safe.

The author of twenty-seven published novels and five novellas, Mary is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America. In addition to her writing, she is highly regarded for her “Unraveling Romantic Suspense” workshop and her day-long program “Writing Your Book…The First Step.”

 

A Richmond native with family roots as deep as the nation’s, Mary has made her home there for most of her life. Her work also includes contemporary women’s fiction written as Mary Ellen Taylor.  Connect with Mary:   Website   Twitter   Facebook 
 

 
 

 

 

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