Book review: I’ll Never Let You Go by Mary Burton

Friday, October 23, 2015 Permalink

The scourge that is domestic violence is only just starting to receive significant political attention in Australia. The issue has attracted media attention (off and on) in the past, but a recent series of tragic deaths has well and truly put the spotlight on something which has traditionally been swept under the rug for far too long.

Mary Burton’s latest novel tackles the difficult subject in an entertaining and non-sensationalist way.  It’s actually the third in her ‘Morgans of Nashville’ series, but not a problem for newcomers as I hadn’t read its predecessors and had no problem keeping up.

The book kicks off with an attack on Leah Carson on (what would have been) her first wedding anniversary. She berates herself for not seeing Philip’s true colours sooner, but left him after several months of marriage and he’s been harassing her since. Unfortunately he’s a police officer and her protective order has had little impact. And on the night of their anniversary he breaks into Leah’s apartment and stabs her 23 times before leaving her for dead.

We meet Leah again four years later and quickly learn that Phillip was killed in a fiery car crash while on the run. Leah knows she should feel safe, but has been unable to let her guard down.

She’s surprised however, when she feels a sliver of an interest in Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan.

I'll never let you go

Morgan investigates police officers suspected of misconduct and his latest target is Deirdre—a friend of Leah’s. In order to get the inside scoop on Deirdre he befriends Leah and asks her out on a date. There’s an obvious attraction but Leah’s holding back and Alex has a job to do.

Leah’s also on edge as her wedding anniversary approaches. She’s misplacing things and receiving anonymous flowers—all very reminiscent of her former husband’s menacing behaviour in the lead up to his deadly attack. Leah tries to remind herself that Philip’s dead. Long gone.

However, when Deirdre’s killed—stabbed 23 times—and appears to have had links to Leah’s former husband, Alex and Leah are forced to consider the possibility that Phillip may not have died four years earlier after all.

I’ve read two of Burton’s previous standalone novels but realise this series is similar to those by Karen Rose in that each novel centres on a character who’s played a role in the previous novel. Alex is from a family of cops. Two of his brothers are homicide detectives and his sister a forensic crime scene specialist… two of whom I’m assuming played a central role in the earlier books.

I enjoyed this novel and was pretty much kept guessing most of the way through. The eventual whodunnit seems obvious, and kinda is, but with a few twists thrown in for good measure.

Both Alex and Leah were nicely drawn characters—likeable and realistic. And I was relieved that Leah’s secret wasn’t stretched out over the entire book. I was internally rolling my eyes at the idea of a ‘big reveal’ about her past… knowing all the while that Alex had access to all sorts of police records.

Like Sandra Brown (and others), Mary Burton offers a good balance between romance and suspense. Neither suffers in the telling of this story and I’m keen to track down its predecessors AND will keep my eye out as there’s a Morgan brother who featured minimally in this novel and will (most likely) be the focus in the fourth and final book in this series.

I’ll Never Let You Go by Mary Burton will be be published on 27 October 2015 by Kensington Books.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

  • Kathryn
    October 23, 2015

    Sounds good Deb. While I scowled at the 23 stabs and thought no one could survive that but seemingly she does. Like suspense with romance!!

  • Jess
    October 23, 2015

    Ohhh this sounds like my kind of book!

  • Red Iza
    October 24, 2015

    Domestic violence certainly is an important subject (it’s not very cared about in France as far as I know, not as much as it should). It happens in one of the series I’ve been reading, though. I like a good romantic suspense !

    • Debbish
      October 24, 2015

      Yes, I struggle with the genre, but some authors do it well (Sandra Brown, Karen Rose, Nora Roberts… sometimes!).

  • Stormi D Johnson
    October 24, 2015

    Sounds like something I might enjoy, so it’s going on the list. 🙂

  • Rita @ View From My Home
    October 24, 2015

    I’ve read some of her previous books in the past, but not this series.

    Sounds like I would like it, I love a good romantic suspense, but as a person who was familiar with domestic violence in her early, first marriage years and years ago, sometimes fiction can bring back bad memories for me. Though I did very much enjoy several similar stories: The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner (her first book, I think), Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen and Sleeping With the Enemy by Nancy Price.

    • Debbish
      October 24, 2015

      Oh yes and it can be read as a stand-alone Rita.

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    October 25, 2015

    I’ve never read any Mary Burton though I have atleast one of her books. This sounds really good and definitely like a page turner. Thanks for the reminder about this author! I’ll definitely have to go find the copies of her books that I have!

    • Debbish
      October 25, 2015

      I’d read a couple of earlier standalones but enjoyed the characters in this series, so keen to read more of it.

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