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Criminal Profiler #6

Never Look Back

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After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina—why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim—and both with their sights set on her.

332 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 1, 2020

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About the author

Mary Burton

72 books3,158 followers

Mary Burton, whose latest novel is THE LIES I TOLD, loves writing suspense, getting to know her characters, keeping up with law enforcement and forensic procedure, morning walks, baking, and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner, and Fresh Fiction likened her writing to that of James Patterson.

Mary is routinely featured among the top ten writers in Amazon’s Author Rankings for romantic suspense, thriller and mystery. Upon publication, her novels, including NEVER LOOK BACK and BURN YOU TWICE, consistently rank high on the Kindle eBooks Store Bestseller List. Her novels CUT AND RUN and YOU'RE NOT SAFE were nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Romantic Suspense.

A Richmond native, Mary is the author of forty-five published novels and five novellas as Mary Burton and as Mary Ellen Taylor.

A member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America, Mary is known for creating multiple suspense stories connected by characters and/or place.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,046 reviews
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,294 reviews2,962 followers
June 1, 2020
This was my first time reading a Mary Burton novel although I have read one of the books she has written using the name, Mary Ellen Taylor. Never Look Back was a solid thriller with an intriguing main character. I didn't realize until after I had finished the book this is part of the Criminal Profiler series, however you can easily read this book as a standalone novel.

Agent Melina Shepard works for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and she goes undercover as a prostitute with the hope she can find some answers about the disappearance of two women. She barely escapes an attack by a john and soon it becomes clear that guy is a serial killer. FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey is sent to Nashville to help track down the killer. And that's all you really need to know other than Jerrod and Melina will be working together.

Melina is the main character but the story occasionally bounces back and forth between other characters, including Jerrod and the serial killer. Melina has an unusual but interesting backstory. I preferred the parts of the book that focused on her or Jerrod rather than the other characters however each character had a role in advancing the plot so I would say it was necessary to feature so many people in order to get all the pieces of the puzzle.

I will give the author credit because there was a major plot twist that I didn't see coming at all. Anytime a writer can catch me off guard that is a good thing. But I would say the rest of the novel follows more of a predicable path. It's enough to keep you entertained but I wouldn't place it among the best thrillers/mysteries I have ever read. It does make for a good, mindless escape from real life for a couple of hours type read. I would definitely read another book by this author as this book held my interest which isn't an easy task these days.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,233 reviews1,934 followers
July 2, 2020
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Never Look Back gives us not one, but two crazy storylines involving the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. Working together, Jerrod Ramsey's and Melina Shepard track down a serial killer that Jerrod has been after for years and a newly discovered killer that leaves behind gruesome trophies.

It may sound like too much for one book, two different serial killers working in the same town, but Ms. Burton weaved these different stories together perfectly and they had me so intrigued I didn't want to put the book down. The characters were well developed and I easily fell into their lives and wanted to know more with each page. Overall, this was an amazing book to read and one I definitely recommend for all Romantic Suspense lovers.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for julia ☆ [owls reads].
1,560 reviews309 followers
June 7, 2020
2 stars.


Never Look Back was... convenient? There were too many coincidences throughout the novel for me to really connect and engaged with the story. It didn't help that was a little lost in the beginning with the way the main plot was set up and presented and it took until about 30% for me to really get a good grasp on what was going on.

The characters were not that well developed? Melina did have a strong voice and distinct personality, and we did learn quite a bit about her as the story progressed, but Jerrod felt very one-dimensional. It was like his character development was sidelined in favor of creating extremely convenient plot points that connected to Melinda's past.

I'd say from the middle until around the 85% mark, the story was great and really interesting. The pace held steady and there was a lot of tension as the characters slowly started to put the puzzle pieces together. Then the romance kind of... appeared out of nowhere and put a damper on that. I wasn't a fan of how fast that developed and how it happened.

The ending was also a bit underwhelming? And again, it was rather convenient how everything was set up. There wasn't a lot of impact on me as a reader, personally, when it was supposed to be the climax of the novel. The final chapter was super sweet, though, and worked as a nice closure.


Series: #3 in the Criminal Profiler series.
POV: Told from Melina and Jerro'd POV.
Content Warnings:
Steam: Barely steamy!
Cliffhanger: No.


ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,300 reviews267 followers
September 5, 2020
Never Look Back was an enjoyable read that features two engaging storylines that converge in an action-packed finale.

After several women go missing, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Melina Shepard goes undercover as a prostitute in the hopes of catching the man responsible. But when she narrowly escapes becoming a victim herself, she quickly uncovers evidence that points to her suspect being a serial killer. In over her head, Melina receives help from FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey to work the case. But when the pair get called to the scene of a car crash with grisly evidence in the trunk, the pair quickly discover they’re hunting two serial killers with very different motives.

Initially I expected a plot centered around two different serial killers to be a bit convoluted, but ultimately the author does a great job keeping the storylines separate. The storylines do eventually converge in large part due to Melina’s involvement, but it happens quite close to the end of the book. Both storylines were interesting and I didn’t favor one over the other as is usually the case in a book with two plotlines. I was invested in finding out who the killers were and I actually was surprised by how early that information was revealed. The ending of the book was action-packed and I liked the way the author wrapped up both plots.

Melina’s character was interesting and definitely the strongest in the book. Abandoned as a child on the side of the road, Melina was adopted and her experiences as well as having a cop as her adoptive father led to her choosing a career in law enforcement. Melina’s background plays a big role in this book and I was curious what direction the author was going to take things. Ultimately I liked how the connection to Melina’s past played out. The romance in this book develops very late in the book, which isn’t that unusual for this author’s books based on most of the ones of hers I’ve read. Personally I enjoyed the addition of the romance and I liked that it took time for it to develop.

Overall I ended up really liking Never Look Back and I highly recommend this author’s books if you’re looking for great suspense with just a touch of romance.

**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Shelleen Toland.
1,339 reviews66 followers
July 28, 2020
After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute.
Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs.
This is the 3rd book of the series but I didn't read the other 2 and still understood what was going on.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book and even though it says romantic suspense there was more suspense for me than romance and the romance didn't take away from what was going on.
I received this from NetGalley for review.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,103 reviews146 followers
July 20, 2020
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Good suspense and so-so romance. It seems that more and more authors who call themselves "Romantic-Suspense" authors are shorting their readers on the Romance part of that label. The plot was fractured and had you going in a couple of different directions. It was interesting how the author chose to resolve it.

Melina Shepard is an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Her friend, who runs a mission aiding women working the streets, has alerted Melina to the disappearance of two women she has been working with. Melina goes undercover, but not officially or with backup, and gets a hit from a serial killer. She was lucky not to become his next victim.

The FBI take and interest in the case. They have been tracing this baddie for years without much luck is identifying him. Melina is the only woman to go up against him and survive. Special Agent Jerrod Ramsey is excited to finally have a starting point to track him. While working that case he and Melina are called to the scene of a car crash with a child left behind and a jar of severed fingers in the trunk. Now there are two serial killers working in Nashville

When the abandoned child brings up some painful memories from her past, she turns to Ramsey and they grow closer as they track down their killers. But, one killer will not be satisfied until he kills the one who got away.
3 1/2-Stars
Profile Image for Lori Boyd.
531 reviews71 followers
August 23, 2020
3.5 Stars out of 5.

Third in the Criminal Profiler Series, but the first I’ve read by this author. Started a little slow for me but once it picked up, I flew thru it. Writing style was easy, but for some reason I had a hard time time wrapping my head around following two serial killers...kept trying to make them one in the same.

Melina Shepard is a strong female protagonist with one heck of a backstory. She goes undercover, without approval, and narrowly misses becoming a serial killers next victim. Enter Jerrod Ramsey, FBI, who evidentially has been following one of the killers, and comes in to assist. My mind had a tendency to wander off and on thru this story. Not sure if it was due to the flip flop of killers. I would have preferred one strong storyline instead of the two. Melina’s backstory was interesting and heartfelt. The romance felt rushed and thrown in. Could have used more of the tension and slower follow thru.

One a whole, enjoyable reading if you are into crime dramas. Fast paced, good character development, unique storyline.

Thanks to Ms. Burton, Montlake Romance and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
Profile Image for Grace.
1,983 reviews89 followers
April 4, 2020
4.5 stars

It's hard to say if Agent Melina Shepard is lucky or unlucky in life.
She's lucky she managed to escape a serial killer's attempt to capture her.
She's unlucky that that serial killer is now obsessed with her.
That turn of events is the focus for the first part of this book. As she teams up with FBI Special Agent Jerrod Ramsey to find this serial killer who preys on prostitutes, torturing and eventually killing them. With Melina's close call, the two get an added jump on the killer.

I love a good detective procedural story, learning the process these bright people go thru to hunt down a madman. Melina and Ramsey work well together, feeding ideas and new intelligence to one another, and letting the facts guide them.

But things get complicated when a new crime occurs that ties to Melina's past and her luck.
Flashing back to your childhood, we learn that she was unlucky to be abandoned on the side of a road (it was unknown then if this was a family member or someone else).
She's lucky that the cop who finds her, takes her under his wing and later adopts her.
Why is this whole new story thrown in? It took me a while to sort it out but let’s just say that Melina past may tie to this serial killer.

The author did a good job playing with my head. There are so many details and revelations that it took me some time to sort them out. And while my mind is working overtime, she throws in a twist or two for good measure.

In the end, is Melina lucky or unlucky?
Well, she lives. So that's lucky, right? LOL.
But in all seriousness, I think her sharp wit, and maybe a little luck, win out, especially given what she was up against.

I really enjoyed this story. The pace was steady throughout and the direction of the plot was unexpected and unpredictable. The perfect kind of detective story. If you love this genre as much as me, this is one worth checking out!

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*An ARC was received for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,778 reviews96 followers
July 14, 2020
This is the third book in the 'Criminal Profiler' series by Mary Burton. I really enjoyed the series opener Hide and Seek and this book, Never Look Back was a real humdinger, too!

The action begins immediately when the reader, in a suitably chilling and ominous prologue, is introduced to the unidentified serial killer at work, allowing initial insight into the perpetrator’s mind so they can see their innermost thoughts. In this suspenseful, race-against-time thriller, Agent Melina Shepard, and FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey are working together. This novel was brilliantly written by Mary Burton with regard to both the well-drawn characters and the plot. Melina was fierce, hardworking and independent, though still very likeable.

Never Look Back is tremendously good romantic suspense, and Mary Burton achieves the perfect equilibrium between the two. Overall, plenty of action and memorable characters make the ‘Criminal Profiler’ a must on my list of great series'.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Montlake via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,177 reviews188 followers
June 8, 2021
Another good addition to the series. I really enjoy Burton's writing style and the complexity of her cases and characters.
Profile Image for Stuart Brkn Johns.
Author 18 books194 followers
May 5, 2023
#abrknpoet reviews Never Look Back

Never Look Back by Mary Burton is a gripping thriller that follows FBI agent Zoe Spencer as she tracks down a serial killer who is obsessed with her past. The book is full of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The author does a great job of creating suspense and tension, as well as developing the characters and their relationships.

Positives: The book is well-written and fast-paced, with a compelling plot and a strong heroine. The book also explores some interesting themes, such as trauma, identity, and justice.

Negatives: The book can be a bit predictable at times, especially if you are familiar with the genre. Some of the scenes are also quite graphic and violent, which may not be suitable for some readers.

4.1 stars
Profile Image for Lorna.
1,347 reviews62 followers
July 8, 2020
I discovered Mary Burton’s books about a year ago and have been reading/listening my way through her large body of work. She writes thrillers with female main characters and of course there’s always a romance. Romantic suspense used to be my go to and is rapidly making a comeback in my tbr books. The delight for me is any new book by Mary Burton that I can get my hands on!

Melina Shepherd is an agent with the Tennessee Crime Bureau and works to solve murders or find missing people. After putting herself out there(literally)to solve the case of missing prostitutes she just barely escapes a mad man’s clutches. So of course the FBI sends Special Agent Jerrod Ramsay to try and connect the case to serial murders that he has been dealing with for years. The two end up working together and before it’s over with they’ve discovered that more than one serial killer is at work here. They’ve also discovered each other. Of course, there’s a lot more going on here. Melina has a very interesting back story. Who knew it would come up in the investigation?

I really liked Melina’s character although sometimes she is, shall we say, too curious for her own good? She manages to put herself into precarious situations. She’s the ultimate investigator and immerses herself into her cases to the exclusion of having a personal life. Jerrod was also kind of different. He’s all business and no play. He, too, has no personal life to speak of either. He’s older than Melina and the job of being the leader of his team is weighing on him. It’s unusual for him to be in the field and he is realizing how much he has missed it. They start opening up to each other after rescuing a small child from a wreck. A character named Bonnie was a piece of work. She’s older but could possibly be up to her neck in a serial killer’s world. She cunning and conniving and I wanted to shake her at times. Of course we have suitably horrible villains in the form of serial killers and we get drawn into their world as well.

I’m mostly going to leave it at that about the story. I will say that Burton’s work is always well written, researched and paced. I’ve probably read more than my share of serial killer books and this ranked up there with some of the best for me. The romance is a slow burn and I appreciated that as well. He’s based in Washington D.C., she’s in Nashville. How could that ever work? I enjoyed seeing how everything played out with both the romance and the mysteries.

If you haven’t read Mary Burton yet and like a good romantic suspense book, you are definitely missing out. I rated this 4.25 stars and recommend it to adult readers that enjoy crime drama with romance. FYI-there is some violence and some scenes are not for the squeamish.(Originally posted on Delighted Reader)
Profile Image for Kevin Dowson.
103 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2020
This was so very nearly a 5 star review.

I haven't read anything by Mary Burton before but she is evidently a very accomplished story-teller with a flair for suspense and procedural detail. This is an excellent tale with not just one but two serial killers being pursued, their cases not exactly intertwined but colliding so that our detective heroes need to find both of them before more lives are lost. Damaged but talented investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (I have no idea if such a thing exists) meets up with highly ranked but lonely FBI Senior Agent and embarks upon a search for the killer who nearly took her, and then later a hitherto unknown serial killer operating under her very nose who may be closer than she could ever have imagined.

The characters are strong and the suspense and mystery build very well. So why, why, why do so many female writers insist on building a romance into the middle of a thriller or procedural? If I wanted to read a romance, I'd select a romance. I don't mind a bit of love interest in a book, but this is ladled on with a whole bottle of syrup and actually adds nothing to the story whatsoever (for me and in my opinion, that is). I know, it's a generalisation to level this accusation at women writers, but this is one book that proves my stereotypical view.

Great story, well written book, excellent character development, just lose the love story wrapped up in it please. 4 stars could and should have been 5.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,727 reviews6 followers
June 7, 2020
I think this might be the first Kindle First book that I downloaded and read on the same day. Yay!

While the plot of this story included some really dark and creepy elements, overall I enjoyed it . The MCs were likable, the intertwining plots were interesting, and the identity of one of the killers surprised me. The other killer was, unfortunately, rather underdeveloped, so I docked a star for that. The other star went away when, like always, Ms. Burton ended the story too soon after the MCs got together. Maybe there'll be more books featuring these characters? I'd like to think so. It's a testament to the author's writing ability that I want to read more about the MCs and their relationship.
Profile Image for Christa.
2,214 reviews421 followers
March 2, 2020
This fast paced book with lots of action kept me completely engaged. I thought it was a good storyline with great characters. I liked the two main characters, Jerrod Ramsey and Melina Shepard, very much. I enjoyed their interactions and the way they worked together.

In this story, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Melina Shephard and FBI Agent Jerrod Ramsey are thrown together as they chase what ends up being two serial killers. They have a dangerous venture ahead as they work to find these killers.

This was a good romantic suspense, with a nice balance between the two.
Profile Image for Courtney McGhee.
265 reviews6 followers
October 21, 2022
This was my first Mary Burton book and I’m glad I chose this one to be the first! I really enjoyed the story. I live in Tennessee and in college I lived in Nashville so reading the story and it taking place in Nashville was pretty neat. I won’t lie, the actual storyline is pretty far-fetched. What are the odds that the same woman that dropped Melina off when she was five dropped another girl off when she was five in the same area? Made for a great fiction story but definitely not something I see actually happening. One thing that I really liked about the story was that there were two serial killers with two completely different stories that end up coming together at the end. Another solid point for the story was it having a neat bow tied to it at the end. I hate when I read stories with open endings and no second book to follow it up. Great detective story in all! Will definitely be reading more of her stories!
Profile Image for Leah.
4 reviews
December 6, 2022
The issues with the setting of this book ruined it for me. Without them, I likely would have rated it a 4, although the two storylines were largely disconnected until they awkwardly crashed together and connected at the end. It was very disconnected and probably would have read better with one storyline. I'm not sure the second was necessary. Now about the issues...

It's extremely obvious Mary Burton is not familiar with Nashville and picked the location at random. For someone who is not from the area, there are no issues. For someone who is, they are glaringly obviously and almost resulted in me putting down the book. I had such a huge list from just the Prologue that it became a running joke with my friends to see how many more I would run across and that is the only thing that kept me motivated enough to read the story. It's possible Ms. Burton was taking creative liberties with some of the names, but with so many other details that were factual, it did not read well. Natives know the places being described and understand the wrong terminology/locations have been used.

1. There is no area called the Bottoms. There is a Shelby Bottoms, but it is farther north and does not feature hookers and drug dealers. The area being described as being between the 24/65 split and the airport is Murfreesboro Rd, and that is how is referred to by locals. It is SE of downtown and connects to the airport area from the south. This area strangely moved to East Nashville toward the end of the story.
2. There is no Mission in that area. although the Mission might have been a made up entity, when you say the Mission to a native, their thoughts immediately go to the Nashville Rescue Mission, which is a fabulous organization in downtown Nashville, on Lafayette Street, on the other side of the 24/65 split from where it is supposed to be in the story. There is a Reverend on staff, not a Priest, and the language regarding the specific religious seems to flip-flop in the story. It is not common place for the Mission staff to be on the streets interacting with the homeless community. Outreach groups primarily handle that process. The Mission is in need of an expansion to handle all the people who need them now and willingly come to their doors. They don't have space to invite in others.
3. There are no mountains in Nashville. Nashville sits in a huge basin. There are foothills east of Nashville and the Highland Rim borders the NW, N, and NE areas of the basin. There are zero hills in the area tall enough to incorporate multiple switchbacks as described in the story. There are definitely no hills that large anywhere along the length of Highway 25, which is specifically mentioned in the story.
4. Locals would NEVER refer to the interstate loop downtown as The Beltway. It's the east bank, west side, and old 265 for those who have been here our entire lives.
5. While the building is technically on RS Gass Blvd, the TBI Building is referred to as being "off Ellington at Hart." It does not overlook the old children's home. There is the ME building, a hill, and a whole bunch of trees between the two.
6. Metro Nashville is incorporated and the Nashville Police Department patrols the entire county. The Davidson County Sheriff's Department does not investigate accidents. They are almost entirely a warrants and corrections division. They find the bad guys for the PD, lock them up, and keep them there.
7. The Smoky Mountains are at least 3.5 hours east of Nashville, often longer depending on traffic, not "a couple of hours" as stated in the book.

My advice is to not mix factual with created facts. I was looking forward to reading a novel set in Nashville, but the factual errors ruined it for me. The details should have been 100% factual or completely made up, not a mix, even if deliberate. There was definitely a breakdown in fact-checking and research in this novel.
Profile Image for Vikki Vaught.
Author 12 books157 followers
July 20, 2020
Another thriller for Mary Burton with intrigue and mystery abounding. Two not one villain with a surprising finish. Happy reading and listening!
Profile Image for Virginia Campbell.
1,282 reviews244 followers
July 1, 2020
"Never Look Back" is Book Three in the "Criminal Profilers Series" from master of contemporary romantic suspense, author Mary Burton. An appropriately creepy prologue gives us a chilling look into the mind of a serial killer--and that's just the beginning of this suspenseful race-against-the-clock thriller in which a Tennessee state investigator and an FBI agent must work together to stop a killing spree and solve a mystery. When women who earn their living by walking the streets of Nashville begin to disappear, Reverend Sarah Beckett, who runs "The Mission", a halfway house for prostitutes, calls a friend for help. Melina Shepard, who works for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, doesn't hesitate to go undercover posing as a prostitute while searching for clues to the disappearances. After surviving a too-close call with a serial killer, Melina joins forces with Jerrod Ramsey, and FBI agent who has been chasing this particular killer for years. As the danger around Melina and Jerrod grows, so does the awareness between them. The investigation becomes more complex and more perilous when it becomes clear that there actually two killers at work, and each has Melina in his target sights for his own twisted reasons. Working together as a team, can Jerrod and Melina bring to an end a deadly double reign of terror? They can protect one another's lives, but can they protect their hearts from each other? Mary Burton's suspense thrillers are rich in procedural detail, and "Never Look Back" is entertaining and addictive as the lead characters put their criminal profiler skills to use analyzing those around them--and each other. A highly-recommended series for lovers of top-notch contemporary romantic suspense.

Book Copy Gratis Author
Profile Image for Kayleigh 2babesandabookshelf.
408 reviews33 followers
July 2, 2020
THANK YOU, oh THANK YOU, #AmazonFirstReads for introducing me to the fantastically talented, Mary Burton. This was my first novel by her and I am already researching which books to add to my TBR pile immediately!

It's no secret - I love serial killers. And I love a good book about CREEPY, get under your skin and stay awhile serial killers ... and this hit the nail on the head. What I also loved? This book solved 2 cases in 1 plot ... that were seemingly unrelated, but 100% connected. The main characters were very memorable, smart and skilled at their job. During many chapters, I felt like I was next to Melina and Ramsey in their squad car, chasing the suspect(s) and saving the day!

It takes a very skilled writer to pull off a faced-paced and intricate thriller that is heavy on police procedure (which I adore) and Mary did this with grace and a whole lot of expertise. I found it difficult to put this down, in all of the chaos of my life right now and that it a telltale sign of an incredibly well written novel. I'm the newest member of your fan club! Thank you for brilliant read!
Profile Image for Jacquie.
Author 91 books872 followers
May 1, 2020
When several women go missing in Nashville, TBI Agent Melina Shepard heads undercover and almost becomes a victim of a sadistic killer.

Career FBI Agent Jerrod Ramsey is on a fast track to DC and the latest serial killer case he’s assigned could be his ticket, but too many things about the investigation don’t add up- and an attraction to his temporary partner, the beautiful Melina Shepard, doesn’t help.

Soon, the two find themselves up against not one, but two vicious predators. What is the connection, and what does it have to do with Melina’s past?

This story had so many converging plotlines, it was hard to keep track. I’d hate to be the investigator chasing after either one of these creeps!

While well-written, I had a hard time connecting with Melina. It starts out with her going undercover as a prostitute to gain the other girls’ trust and hopefully find out information on two missing women. Within moments, a john appears in a white van and propositions our heroine, but she senses something and refuses- good thing, too, as he tries to grab her and she gets an eyeful of an elaborate torture chamber in the back of the van.

Furious, and injured, he drives away vowing revenge and you’d think that would be the premise for the story, right? Wrong. From then on, van guy barely makes an appearance until the last few pages of the book.

Instead, we focus on Melina’s past and how it affects another killer on the loose in her fair city.

I think the author would have done better to turn this into two novels in order to do justice to the individual storylines. The way it is, details are left out and the ending is rushed and dissatisfying.

On that note, I thought the plot was suspenseful and unique enough to keep my interest. I would read more from this author.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

Profile Image for Anne - Books of My Heart.
2,995 reviews192 followers
July 3, 2020
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Each book in the Criminal Profiler is truly a standalone.  The connection is each one has a criminal profiler as a main character. Oddly, Hide and Seek is more related to the standalone Cut and Run where the main character Macy Crow is introduced, and it should follow that book in reading.

The main character, Melina, is not a criminal profiler. She is with the state bureau of investigation in Tennessee, TBI and is based in Nashville.  She is looking for some missing women and nearly gets abducted.  Her information gets to an FBI profiler Jerrod,  who comes to Nashville and they work the case together  We learn a bit about him, but Melina is primary and we get more development of her character.

A second serial killer  crosses their path and they end up working both cases.  Melina ends up having some connections to this killer and the first killer is still mad she got away. I worried Melina would be stupid but she stays with the partner and they work well together.  They are smart and have good resources. Forensics, a little luck and those good resources find some leads for them.

There is not much of a romance here although there is an attraction and a relationship develops. I enjoyed the police procedural with its smart tracking of leads. The suspense with the danger to women and children is tense, and the action keeps the pace moving. Never Look Back is another book I would recommend from this author. I have enjoyed everything of hers I have read so far.
Profile Image for Ashley G.
92 reviews6 followers
January 19, 2020
I'll begin with the positive, I loved the ending. Melina and Ramsey's connection was compounding and riveting. However, it wasn't until chapter 14 that I began to gain interest in this book. The junkie hooker, white van villain thing has been done so many times I would not have finished this book if it wasn't gifted for reviews. In the end, I am glad I finished the story. I want to know how things end. This book would be intriguing for someone who hasn't read many crime novels with the same storyline.
Profile Image for Mrs Ruth.
66 reviews
March 16, 2022
I'm a fan of women lead detective novels and this one very much lived up to expectations with a sprinkle of romance as well. The interwoven story lines of the main characters provided a good level of plot twists which kept me entertained. I liked the authors writing style and will definitely be reading more of Mary Burton's books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bob.
1,982 reviews16 followers
August 2, 2020
Criminal profiler for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation while working on a missing person case barely escapes when she is the subject of a kidnapping. This is the beginning of a a case that has become very personal as the kidnapper is intent on being more successful the second time around. There is another case where a young girl is found after a care crash and the driver is nowhere to bew found. This case opens up the profilers past as also an abandoned child and discoveries about her past. She ends up working with an FBI Profiler on both cases that eventually come together. A good read with a few twists along the way.
Profile Image for Jackie.
503 reviews
May 26, 2023
This was a gritty, tense FBI thriller, and also a first read for me of Mary Burton novels. I loved the three-dimensional main characters who were perfectly flawed and brilliant. The plentiful plot twists kept me guessing from start to finish. This wasn’t as gripping of a thriller that I typically prefer, however, it was entertaining. 3.5 ⭐️
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