Mary Burton's characters in SENSELESS include Detectives Deacon Garrison and Malcolm Kier, convicted felon Eva Rayburn, and her half-sister Angie Carlson, a high-profile, high-priced criminal attorney. They are a among the connections between SENSELESS and MERCILESS, which is published the next montn Also in both stories is King's, a no-nonsense neighborhood bar, that Eva calls home. As always, Burton's careful use of forensic detail is evident in each book, a result of her commitment to remain current with the science, as well as with law enforcement evidence collection procedures.
In SENSELESS, Eva Rayburn has cobbled together a living of sorts as a part-time waitress and bartender, process server, and night attendant at a homeless shelter. It is the latter that brings her to the attention of homicide detective Deacon Garrison when an explosion and fire destroy Hannah's House. Though everyone escapes the fire, the body of a woman who has been tortured and murdered is discovered in the yard. She has been branded. Four-pointed stars encircle her navel. That's what brings crime journalist Connor Donovan into the picture. An anonymous tip alerts him to the branding and the fire. Both are hallmarks of the Sorority House Murder, the case he covered a decade ago that put him on the journalistic map.
The killing and the subsequent fire ended Eva's life as she knew it. Josiah Cross had raped her, and she remembered struggling, but after that had no clear memory of what happened. Eva, portrayed as a heart-sick scholarship student who became enraged when her rich boyfriend broke up with her, was charged, convicted, and sentenced to ten years in prison. The single star burned into her shoulder is a memento of those lost hours. Thanks to Connor, Eva is back in the media spotlight, her life an open book. Meanwhile, Garrison is certain she has something to do with murder at the shelter.
As the killer's confidence grows, another death occurs. Garrison wants answers. He's determined to find the connection the victims share with a dead rich-kid-rapist and the girl convicted of killing him. Eva wants answers, too. She wants to remember every second of that fateful day. It's been ten years and now-finally-she's ready to fight for herself-even if it means dying.