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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
The saying "Never make a deal with a scorpion, it will sting you every time" proves to be very true for Angie Carlson. "First One" and "Other" target Angie for their diabolical scheme. They are merciless--a terrifying pair.

Angie, called the barracuda by some because of her tactics as a defense lawyer, pulls out all the stops to get her clients cleared of all...
Published on February 1, 2011 by LAS Reviewer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Suspense despite some stumbles
The challenge of sequels is to provide enough information to update new readers without boring returning fans. This book takes up where Senseless left off, focusing on Eva's sister Angie and Deacon's partner Malcolm. I thought the background information bogged down the suspense.

A pile of human bones is left on a picnic table in a park. The bones belong to a...
Published on December 23, 2011 by Antigone Walsh


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read, February 1, 2011
This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
The saying "Never make a deal with a scorpion, it will sting you every time" proves to be very true for Angie Carlson. "First One" and "Other" target Angie for their diabolical scheme. They are merciless--a terrifying pair.

Angie, called the barracuda by some because of her tactics as a defense lawyer, pulls out all the stops to get her clients cleared of all charges. The idealism of her youth has faded but her dedication to her clients holds strong. However, she comes to question her wisdom in getting Dr. James Dixon set free as a new series of crimes start.

After Detectives Malcolm Kier and Deacon Garrison rescue her half-sister Eva from a tortuous death, Angie is more inclined to help them when the bones of young women start showing up for all to see. When one of the victims turns out to be one of her clients, Angie becomes totally involved in the search for the criminals.

Malcolm Kier is more cynical and brusque than his partner and makes no bones about hating Angie Carlson for getting Dr. Dixon set free. Some of the names he calls her are harsh but she `gives as good as she gets'. In time, Kiser's hate morphs into an entirely different emotion that subtly weaves its way into their shaky-truce relationship. They like to spar, talk, and make love, but a permanent relationship seems impossible. Their strong attraction to each other has to duck, dodge, and sometimes hide as the bone-chilling crimes create a dangerous, terrifying environment with suspects galore.

Many of the characters in Senseless along with additional characters from Angie and Eva's past ratchet up the terror, suspense, and horrifying happenings as every aspect of law enforcement in Alexandria, Virginia works around the clock to find who is killing young women and cleaning their bones to pristine condition then displaying them in a prominent place.

Other characters like baby David and his grandmother Vivian Sweet add a new dimension to this complex story. They give Angie a different perspective on life.

Mary Burton's writing style with its realism, strong sense of place, and diverse characters makes Merciless throb with life. The twists, turns, surprises, horrors, and vast range of emotions make this story breath-taking, heart-pounding, super reading.

Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sure-fire hit, January 25, 2011
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If it's not bad enough finding a dead body, imagine how awful it would be to find a pile of bones, completely stripped of all skin, flesh and muscle, then bleached and piled neatly on a picnic table? A pair of sick and twisted killers is making their presence known in Alexandria. One of them hunts down a victim, has his perverted way with them, then leaves them for the Other to perform the ultimate kill, finishing with a ritual so sick it will leave even the veteran thriller-reader sick to their stomach. This time the victim is an actress who had been missing for days, who just happens to have a six-degrees-of-separation connection to attorney Angie Carlson. Just back from a weekend away, Detective Malcolm Kier and his partner, Deacon Garrison are assigned to hunt down this deranged killer.

Angie Carlson has made a name for herself as a no-nonsense, tough as nails defense attorney. Determined to do whatever it takes to get her client off, even if it means making enemies with the police. Angie got plastic surgeon, Dr. Dillon Dixon off on charges of raping a prostitute (see Senseless), having ripped the victim to shreds on the witness stand, after proving she lied about her drug use. As a favor to her sister Eva, the same prostitute now wants Angie to help her get her child back, swearing she is clean and no longer hooking. But when the client doesn't show up for her court appearance, something doesn't sit right with Angie. After more bones are found, and they are believed to be that of Angie's client, it doesn't take long for the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Adding in a slew of other prostitute murders and a 30-year-old murder, it becomes quite clear that there are three common denominators - Angie, Dr. Dillon Dixon, and once again, the Cross Family. Could Angie have helped get a madman back on the street to kill again? Or is Dr. Dixon just another pawn in this killer's sick game? Malcolm, fighting his attraction to Angie because of his involvement with another woman, knows he must do whatever it takes to protect Angie from this obviously incredibly bright killer before he takes her as his final prize. The question is, can he save her in time?

Merciless is the intense, on-the-edge-of-your-seat follow-up to Senseless. It can be read as a stand-alone book, as there are references to the previous book, but I think you will get more out of the story and the characters by reading Senseless first. I enjoyed how Ms. Burton switched viewpoints between Angie, Malcolm, and the killers. We get to see the same scenes from the eyes of the cop looking to play protector, the possible victim trying to save herself, and the devious minds of two sick, demented killers. It's nice to see that Malcolm and Angie don't rush into their relationship. They are each given the time they need to deal with issues in their lives that, when resolved, will make their explosive union even stronger. Merciless is a taut, action-packed thriller that will hook you in from word one and won't let you go until the final, mind-numbing, truly unbelievable, out-of-left-field ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Merciless, February 14, 2011
Detective Malcolm Kier and defense attorney Angie Carlson have a tumultuous "relationship". Malcolm doesn't like Angie since she got Dr. James Dixon acquitted of the murder charges that Malcolm and his partner Garrison tried to convict him of. Now a killer has struck, leaving the victim's bones as clues. Angie is somehow at the center of it all and her life is soon in danger. Working together isn't easy, but it brings them close, and that closeness leads to something neither of them could have anticipated.

Twisted killers and an unlikely romance make Merciless a compelling and thoroughly engaging novel. The animosity between Malcolm and Angie doesn't feel contrived for the benefit of the story. The friction between them is solely based on their professions, but attraction always simmers just below the surface. Their dislike for each other in the beginning makes their romance that much sweeter. Angie carries the burden of her past around with her, making every day a struggle. Her cool, calm exterior is just that--a façade. As much as Malcolm and Angie are at odds at first, they're actually across-the-board perfect for each other. Senseless (the first in this series) and Merciless are very connected stories. I highly recommended reading them both, in order. Merciless is full of danger and excitement, is suspenseful and surprising, and has a wonderful, happy ending. Mary Burton is a must-read author for me, and Merciless is another reason why

Nannette
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars taut police procedural, February 6, 2011
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He diligently selects them; he cleverly kidnaps them; he hedonistically tortures and rapes them; but he leaves it to the Other to make the final kill. A group of boys in Angel Park find her bones nearly arranged on a table. Detectives Malcolm Kier and Deacon Garrison lead the official investigation. After scrutinizing missing person's reports, the cops identify the victim as actress Sierra Day, who was a client of defense attorney Angie Carlson and a patient of plastic surgeon Dr. Dillon Dixon who the lawyer recently got the doctor acquitted of a charge of assault and torture of a hooker.

A second victim appears; she was the prostitute who testified against Dixon in court. The two deceased are connected by Angie, who Kier believes is the next target of the killer who seems to be cleansing those women who were in court. However, neither Kier nor his partner knows there are two predators involved; both want Angie dead.

Known for her exciting suspense thrillers (see Senseless starring Garrison), Mary Burton provides another taut police procedural with a romantic subplot enhancing the tension. Perspective changes between Kier, Carlson, and the two culprits. The killers' viewpoints provide insight into deranged minds as this dark story focuses on people who know right from wrong intellectually but are so amoral they could not care less about others; reminiscent of Compulsion and Murder By Numbers.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping, emotional thriller, February 4, 2011
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
The first set of bones is discovered by an off-duty police officer in the middle of a picnic table in a city park. They have been displayed to send a message, and the Alexandria, Virginia, homicide detectives are called in to investigate. After returning from a much-needed vacation in the mountains, Detective Malcolm Kier joins his partner, Deacon Garrison, who is already at the crime scene.

The bleached human bones are identified as belonging to a local actress who had been going through a divorce. As the detectives dig into the victim's past, eerie connections begin to form. The deceased woman's attorney is Angela "Angie" Carlson, who defended Dr. James Dixon, a plastic surgeon with a taste for violence and rough sex. Dr. Dixon also has a connection with the deceased actress, who was a patient of his scheduled to have plastic surgery.

Angie is a creature of habit who "lives and dies by her routine" and is familiar with the seedy side of human nature. Years ago, she became an attorney after her younger half-sister, Eva Rayburn, was falsely accused of arson and murder and served 10 years for manslaughter. Eva is out of prison now and in a relationship with Deacon. Because of Eva's background, she is an advocate for damaged people living in the shadows. Eva encourages Angie to take on a pro bono child custody case to represent the woman who was the key witness in the trial against Dr. Dixon. But after the woman disappears, Angie and Eva put themselves in harm's way to find her.

With the discovery of even more bones, the police turn their attention to Angie. Because of her connection to another victim --- and the suspected killer --- she's in danger herself. Malcolm also has a special interest in Angie, and not all of it is professional. Also on the scene is a ruthless and ambitious crime reporter, Connor Donovan, who will do whatever it takes to get a story, including putting the lives of others at risk.

In MERCILESS, Mary Burton brings back some fascinating characters --- both heroes and villains --- from her previous novel, SENSELESS, which released earlier this year. She also introduces a few new characters, along with family secrets, a brutal serial killer and steamy romance. Once again, she has woven a captivating tale, this time showing the best and worst of human nature --- love, hate, selflessness, greed, madness, murder, and the twisted mask of evil. MERCILESS is a gripping thriller with twists and turns, honest emotion and the perfect dose of suspense.

--- Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt
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4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, one of her best a real page ..., July 10, 2014
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This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
I loved it, one of her best a real page turner. Suspected who the killer was, but did not see the twist at the end coming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow a twist and turn I did not expect, June 9, 2014
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This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
You know the book, you read and you know who is doing what by the third chapter.. well this one keeps you going. Very suspenseful and great.
The characters don't fell in love by the second chapter. This book was great and I had to go purchase more of her books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Merciless, May 22, 2014
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This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
This is a wonderful book and I couldn't put it down. This author is wonderfully talented and the story is a page turner. I strongly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, April 18, 2014
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This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
I have been reading books from this author for a few years. So far I've enjoyed every one and will continue to purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Merciless by Mary Burton, April 15, 2014
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This review is from: Merciless (Zebra Romantic Suspense) (Kindle Edition)
Great story line that keeps you wanting more. Love her books great writer. Would read more of her books. thanks
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