Today I’m spotlighting a book that sounds like a really good read, I only wish I had time to read and review it right now, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share some more information about this book with my readers. I have most definitely added it to my never-ending TBR list!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton lets loose an obsessed killer who’s granting the wishes of four former friends the only way he knows how—by killing them—in her latest suspense novel, YOU’RE NOT SAFE. It joins Burton’s highly praised novels NO ESCAPE andTHE SEVENTH VICTIM to complete her Austin-set trifecta featuring Texas Rangers confronting multi-layered crimes of passion and deceit.
YOU’RE NOT SAFE is Ranger Tec Bragg’s and vineyard owner Greer Templeton’s story. Greer has had enough pain in her life and has worked hard to move forward, to ensure the fulfillment of her aunt’s dreams for her fledgling Texas Hill Country vineyard and to stay out of the limelight of her past. Then Tec shows up on her doorstep questioning her about a suicide on the adjacent property, her relationship to the dead man and why her photo was found at the scene.
Tec, a no-nonsense, hardened professional isn’t sure what he expects to find when he heads to Bonneville Vineyards to question Greer. A broken body has been found hanging from a tree and his gut tells him it wasn’t a suicide. Greer is his best lead, and possibly his top suspect, and he’s determined to find out what she knows, despite her refusal to betray confidences of the past.
Soon, another death—also an unlikely suicide—makes it all too clear that something from Greer’s teen years ties her to the killer and his victims. The question is what? And, as not one but two more murders are discovered, can Tec find and knock down the walls Austin’s elite are hiding behind before the killer gets to Greer?
Mary Burton, the “modern day Queen of Romantic Suspense”* brings readers characters faced with daunting challenges that take them to the dark side and back again, not simply in the pursuit of justice, but as they come to terms with themselves and the lives they’ve chosen.
About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton has been intrigued by investigative work and the people who do it since Virginia, her home state, was stung by a string of serial killings that spanned more than twenty years. Not surprisingly, many of her suspense novels are fueled by the acts of multiple killers and the people who pursue them, as is YOU’RE NOT SAFE, which completes the trio of stories set in and around Austin she began with The Seventh Victim and continued with No Escape.
The author of twenty-one novels and three novellas, her earlier work includes I’m Watching You, Dead Ringer and Dying Scream, set in her home town of Richmond, and Senseless, Merciless and Before She Dies, set in Alexandria.
Mary’s intensive research has led to meetings with key members of law enforcement, to seminars and classes, and to the firing range. She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy, and has attended Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina.
A Richmond native whose family roots run as deep as the nation’s, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She graduated from Virginia’s Hollins University and had a career in marketing before deciding to write full time. Her first manuscript, a historical romance, was published in 2000.
She is a member of Thriller Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She travels often for signings, speaking engagements and other appearances. She is a frequent speaker regarding writing and genre fiction, and continues to present her “Unraveling Romantic Suspense” workshop and her day-long program “Writing Your Book…The First Step.”
Mary is currently finishing work on her new suspense novel, Cover Your Eyes. The first of three thrillers set in Nashville, it is being published in November. In October her novella, A Ranger for Christmas, will be featured in the holiday anthology, Our First Christmas, along with works by Lisa Jackson, Mary Carter and Cathy Lamb.
As he approached the building, a woman pushed through the glass doors of the main entrance. She wasn’t tall, barely standing over five feet, but she held her shoulders back and her clear green eyes cut. Not more than thirty, she had gently tanned smooth skin that accentuated a high slash of cheekbones. She wore her light brown hair in a braid that brushed slender shoulders, a white Bonneville Vineyards T-shirt billowing over full breasts and tucked into faded work jeans hugging gently rounded hips. Her boots were dusty, well-worn. “Can I help you?”
Her voice had a rusty, whiskey quality giving this wholesome farm girl a seductiveness enjoyed by older more sophisticated women.
She was a far cry from the girl in the old image or the pictures Rory had taken. The last dozen years had leaned out her frame and face adding maturity and an appealing naturalness. But Rory’s picture images had gotten her all wrong. What he’d taken for as anger and bitterness in the photos, in person, appeared to be a fascinating intensity. He suspected this woman did no job halfway.
“I’m with the Texas Rangers.”
Elizabeth cocked her head, studying him close, as if sensing this place wasn’t his kind of place. However, even as her gaze catalogued his large frame and the scar on his face she showed no fear. “How can I help you?”
He managed a smile. “You Elizabeth Templeton?”
Mention of her name triggered waves of tension that straightened her spine and narrowed her eyes. Hesitation flickered as if she seemed to toy with a lie. “That’s right. But I go by my middle name now. Greer.”
Elizabeth Greer Templeton. Greer. The woman who’d offered his boy a job. “Sergeant Tec Bragg.”
He studied her expression closely. “I investigated a murder bordering your land yesterday.”
A hint of remorse darkened her gaze. “I heard about that. Some fellow hanged himself.” And then as if to head off his next question, “A cruiser came by yesterday and spoke to my farm manager while I was in town. I’m supposed to call him back but haven’t gotten to it. “
“You hear anything else?”
“No. I don’t have time for gossip and news. So if you’re here to ask me about the dead person I’m afraid I can’t do much for you. I spend most of my days here working. I don’t venture out much.”
And yet you’d made your way into town yesterday to talk to my boy. “I think you might know the victim.”
“Could be, but I only know a handful of people in the area.”
He studied her face closely. “The victim’s name was Rory Edwards.”
Irritation gave way to surprise. Pursing her lips she drew in a deep breath, letting it out so slowly he barely saw her move. “Is this some kind of trick? Are you trying to prod information out of me because I hired your nephew?”
“No trick. The medical examiner confirmed the identity of the body yesterday.”
She folded her arms over her chest. “I’ve not seen Rory in a long time. At least twelve years.”
“You’ve had no contact with him in this time?”
Her lips pursed. “I had a message on my voice mail a week ago. The caller said he was coming to see me. He was an old friend. I did not return the call.”
Green eyes clouded before sharpening. “Some matters are better left in the past.”
“I get the impression he still cared about you after all this time.”
She shook her head. “I have no idea.”
“I searched his room last night. He had a box full of recent pictures of you.”
Her face paled. “I don’t know about that.”
“Can I ask how you two met?”
The grip on her biceps tightened. “I get the sense you already know.”
Apprehension rolled off her and all but slammed into Bragg. Rory Edwards and her past were sore subjects. “Answer the question.”
She glanced around as if making sure no one was around. “We met when we were teenagers. We were both in a clinic for troubled teens.”
“You both tried to kill yourself.”
The lines in her forehead deepened. “I’m not proud of that time, but what does it have to do with Rory’s death? Like I said, I haven’t seen him in a dozen years.”
Bragg unclipped his phone and scrolled to the picture he’d taken of the photo found at the crime scene. He held out the phone, coaxing her closer toward him. “You remember this picture?”
She didn’t approach right away but then moved closer. The soft scent of soap rose up around her. No flowery perfumes or exotic scents but simply clean soap. His body tightened, unmindful of logic or reason.
For a long moment she didn’t say a word and then she cleared her voice. “It was taken the last night we were both at the camp. Rory left the next morning.”
“How’d he end up with the picture if he left?”
“I sent him a copy from camp. I didn’t want him to forget me.”
“His brother said you wrote to him several times a week but Rory’s father threw out the letters.”
Her jaw tensed, and he suspected an old wound opened. “I guess one letter made it through.”
“Rory never forgot you.”
She stepped back. “I wish he had.”
“Really, do you have to ask? It was a painful time, and I’ve done my best over the last twelve years to forget about it.”
He locked his phone and tucked it back in its cradle. “Were you really able to forget?”
She cleared her throat. “Rory’s family did us a favor by keeping us apart. But the rest? No, I have not forgotten that I wrecked a car and killed my brother and his girlfriend. I ruined so many lives. I carry that with me every day.”
“That why you tried to kill yourself?”