Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Dollmaker by Mary Burton

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.

Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…

She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

Add to Goodreads

Book 2

Buy Links
Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Mystery
Triggers: Drugging, Murder, Stalking

Dakota is a hard man to like. He is surly and kind of gruff. Not only does he know that he's like that, he doesn't really want to change. He is good at his job and knows it, but doesn't want to let anyone in. He's afraid of losing them, just like he lost his sister.

Tessa is an amazing, dedicated person. She knows that her job is to speak for those who can no longer speak, and she does her job with such professionalism that she even tells her new boss, despite knowing that it might ruin her chances, that she and Dakota are separated, but married. Tessa is kind of at a loss about her relationship with Dakota – she knows that she can't live without him, knows that he won't really change his stance on life, but also sees something in him that she feels can help heal his old wounds.

The mystery is somewhat tedious, but in the most delicious way possible. Burton was able to really elongate the mystery and made the discovery of the "who is it?" incredibly fun for the reader. The clues are subtle and calm, but when you really start to piece everything together, it comes through like a crystal clear picture. Burton did a great job at not over describing things, which, I think, made the story that much more powerful.

I loved this story and can't wait for more.

4.5 stars

This is a thoroughly compelling romantic suspense story. Once again, the creepy serial killer story seems to personally involve one of the investigators – but this time it is Dr. Tessa McGowan at the heart of the story. The killer who alters his victims, turning women into dolls, is a chilling, worthy villain. The plot is more coherent in this story than it was in the first one and I was able to follow clues and piece together the story for myself. But I still loved that I didn’t guess the killer’s identity until just before the reveal.

I really enjoyed the shift of focus from Riley and Clay in the first book, to Tessa and Dakota in this second story. Mary Burton crafts fantastic characters and I found myself wonderfully invested in Tessa and Dakota’s failed marriage. I love Burton’s women. Both Tessa and Riley are strong and clever. Their relationships are complicated and both women are passionate about their jobs, families, and friendships. These aren’t simple women and they certainly aren’t simpering romantic leads. Tessa is older and accomplished. I loved her maturity and her pragmatic approach to romance.

While I loved the characters in the first book, this time the murder mystery has been equally well crafted. The combination of strong characters and a great story makes for a brilliant read.

This is suspenseful crime/mystery novel with a bit of a love story on the side. If you are a fan of shows like Criminal Minds and Bones (two of my favourites), then The Dollmaker will be right up your alley.

As the reader, we get multiple points of view, including Agent Dakota Sharp (our hero), Dr. Tessa McGowan (our heroine), and The Dollmaker (our serial killer). Adding the killer's point of view means the reader is aware of what he is doing in the here and now and we get to watch Dakota, Tessa, and their team follow the leads and find the serial killer.

Tessa and Dakota are more than work colleagues, they are husband and wife but currently separated. Dakota is a tough man not used to sharing his emotions. Unresolved issues surrounding the death of his sister more than 10 years ago haunt him and contributed to the breakdown of their relationship. Tessa is fighting to get her marriage back, but Dakota resists and doesn't make it easy.

The Dollmaker really sucked me in. I had my Saturday morning all planned out with lots of housework to do and errands to run. I was just going to read a chapter or two. Next thing I know, I've only got 20% of the book left and I'm scrambling to get the day back on track. That alone shows me what a great story this is. I highly recommend this to all the lovers of mystery and suspense.

Also Available in The Forgotten Files Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our The Shark post.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

Connect with Mary

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Dollmaker (Forgotten Files #2) by Mary Burton to read and review.

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