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Friday, January 07, 2011

Senseless by Mary Burton

( Dec. 11, 2010--when I started to review it) Senseless has more Preston & Childs than Steig Larsson in my opinion, but here is the Publishers Weekly review:

From Publishers Weekly

Stieg Larsson fans will find a lot to like in Burton's taut, well-paced novel of romantic suspense. Eva Rayburn returns home to Alexandria, Va., after serving 10 years in prison for a crime she's not sure she committed--the murder of Josiah Cross--after the terrible night when Josiah, the ex-boyfriend of one of Eva's college sorority sisters, terrorized Eva and the other residents of their sorority house, branding each with a four-pointed star. Now, the women who survived are starting to die at the hands of a serial killer, who first brands each victim with a four-pointed star. Eva joins forces with Deacon Garrison, an Alexandria city homicide detective, to find the revenge killer. Despite their initial distrust, Deacon and Eva end up unable to fight the spark between them. Burton (Dead Ringer) surrounds her appealing protagonist with a strong supporting cast, including a largehearted bar owner, a ruthless crime reporter, and a self-preserving socialite. 

I don't usually borrow reviews, but I'm so far behind that it will have to do.   I enjoyed the novel, but the emphasis is really more on the storyline than on character development.  There is enough character development for the reader to like the characters, however, and I did.  What I didn't care for (and this is such a frequent complaint of mine) is the tendency to sensational the crimes themselves, especially crimes of violence against women.  So many authors try to out-do themselves on gruesome crimes.

That is my main complaint with this and Burton's subsequent novel  (and many other crime/mystery novels), but I never found myself bored, and I like the characters.  It did remind me of Preston & Childs novels, highly entertaining, more fantasy than reality, evil characters, and pure escapism.

This was an ARC from Joan Schulhafer.  Thanks, Joan, I enjoyed this one!  

Fiction.  Crime/Mystery.  2011.  426 pages.


  1. I've had the same complaint with some crime novels. I feel like telling the writers, it's ok, you don't have to out do each other on the gruesome details. Just give me a good story with great characters.

    I haven't tried any of Burton's books but I like that they seem fast-paced.

  2. I'm not sure whether authors are correct in their assumptions that readers want more violence and/or sex. My personal opinion is that "hardcore" readers want exactly what you mention--good stories and great characters.