Senseless by Mary Burton
January 1, 2011
Paperback, 416 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “She thought for a moment he would reject her. She wondered if she could bear the rejection.”
Eva Rayburn lost 10 years of her life when she was convicted of murder. But she has served her time and now just wants to get on with her life. But when the business she works for is set ablaze and a dead body is found; the crime scene is eerily reminiscent of the very crime Eva was incarcerated for. A crime Eva isn’t even sure she committed.
Detective Deacon Garrison has been assigned to the case. As he investigates the murder and arson; the connection to Eva becomes apparent. As does the feeling that Eva didn’t commit the crime she was convicted of.
Eva and Deacon forge an uneasy alliance as they follow a twisted path of lies, secrets, and cover ups to a serial killer who won’t stop until Eva becomes their final victim.
This is my first foray into the world of Mary Burton and it won’t be my last. Senseless is an dark thriller whose taut police procedure blended with edgy suspense and had me hooked from page one. I found myself devouring the book with barely concealed impatience. Rich dialogue and an intriguing well plotted storyline provides us with a multi-layered who dun it that twists and turns with deception and misdirection.
I found our heroine Eva Rayburn to be a vividly drawn character who’s very essence keeps the story going at a steady pace. I liked that she’s an ex con and has had a difficult life. Ms. Burton doesn’t make Eva the perfect heroine. Nor does she imbibe her with an overly defensive shell that often comes across as bitchy. Her flaws are apparent and appealing. Intelligent and resourceful, she initiates her own investigation into the details of her crime. Trying to find any evidence to show she didn’t murder Josiah Cross all those years ago.
Detective Deacon Garrison is presented to us as a lothario who eats and sleeps his work; unable to commit to anyone on more then a physical level. His laid back easy going manner hides a sharp mind that peers easily into his suspects souls. His ability to see beyond the big picture leads him to Eva and we begin to see the crack in the shell he wears like armor. She appeals to him on a basic emotional level though he doesn’t realize why. This appeal drives him to investigate deeper into her case. I didn’t always like his methods but they were spot on as to how a real life detective investigating a case would be.
The secondary characters were a very strong supporting cast that creates and maintains the foundation our protagonists work from. I found myself connecting to them and wanting to know much more about everyone beyond what Ms. Burton had written. I enjoyed meeting King and his foster son Bobby. It was nice seeing someone unequivocally supporting Eva. Garrison’s partner, Detective Malcolm Kier, is the perfect partner for Garrison. His dry sense of humor and insight is a perfect foil for Garrison. We see more of him in the next book, Merciless.
The romance between Eva and Deacon is wonderfully slow to play out. It’s not a main theme and does not try to compete with the main arc. It simmers below the surface for most of the story, arching beautifully to the surface at one point, giving us a feeling of hope for Eva.
I did find that at times the character scenes between Eve and Deacon a bit choppy as if the the author herself wasn’t sure where they were going.
As with any good mystery there are multi sub plots running through the main storyline and each one is a key to the final outcome. Ms. Burton does a fabulous job of maintaining these separate entities without overburdening us with unnecessary information or complicated scenarios. When it all comes together in the end, we are treated to an astounding finale that ties it all together solid and tight with no questions left answered. Though there are multiple villains in here, each one vicious in their own right, the main one completely surprised me and left me reeling. I never saw it coming and was thrilled by the outcome.
Senseless is a fantastic taut suspense thriller that will appeal to all lovers of this genre.