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Before She Dies by Mary Burton
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Before She Dies

by Mary Burton

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11711161,519 (3.84)1
"No one knows about defense attorney Charlotte Wellington's murdered sister, or about her childhood spend with the carnival that's just arrived in town. For Charlotte, what's past is past. But others don't agree. And as a madman's body count rises, she and Detective Daniel Rokov are drawn into a mission that's become terrifyingly personal..." -- P. 4 of cover.… (more)
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Before She Dies
3 Stars

At first glance, successful defense attorney Charlotte Wellington has nothing in common with the women being targeted by a killer obsessed with witchcraft and the occult. However, Charlotte is keeping a secret - a childhood spent with a travelling carnival and the death of her sister at the hands of a maniac. As Charlotte's past and present collide, she and Detective Daniel Rokov will have to join forces to catch a madman before he strikes closer to home.

The beginning is excellent with a gripping suspense story and an intriguing romance, but the book ultimately fails to live up to its potential.

At the start, Charlotte and Daniel are already in a sexual relationship, which is unusual for the romantic suspense genre. Nevertheless, it is also very compelling, especially since their professions have them working in close proximity, and there is an almost forbidden feel to their romance. Unfortunately, the physical intimacy never manages to evolve into a believable emotional connection mainly due to Charlotte's reticence.

In terms of the serial killer plot, Burton's research is accurate and the descriptions realistic. That said, the villain's identity is predicable, and there is insufficient foreshadowing. Moreover, some of the situations feel contrived, and the info dump at the end would not have been necessary if the details had been merged into the narrative properly.

All in all, worth a read for the action and suspense even though the romance is lacking. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Charlotte Welliington is your typical woman that has risen from nothing to achieve what most only dream about. She has become more then the carnie and the environment she was raised in. Having to put the past behind her but still not ever truly shaking her roots. She keeps herself hidden from everyone around her. A product of the grief of losing her sister and her mother. I was rooting for her to open up to Daniel and realize that who she was may not be an integral part of her life now, but it did shape her into the strong woman she became. I did have to snort at one point when she reveals she stripped her way through law school. I thought that was so cliche and that Charlotte would have been better served to hold down 3 jobs then to do something that seemed far and gone from her character. For his part, Daniel was a incredibly devoted and talented detective who was willing to do most anything to make his city safe again. I loved the way his mind worked and the thought processes he went through to come to his conclusions about the killer.

My problem came with the connection with each other. I didn't feel it and even though this is listed as a romantic suspense I'd say the actual romance part was lacking. Both Charlotte and Daniel were so busy with their own story lines that we didn't get much of a combined one. As a suspense I'd say "Before She Dies" was right on. As a romance, it definitely faltered.

The array of secondary characters really revved the book up for me. Daniels Russian grandmother was such a great addition. I loved her being a seer and thought she really fit in with the essance of the book. So many people claiming to have the sight and yet the only one that truly does is a unassuming Russian grandma. She was as mysterious as she was loving and for that I feel she stole the show.

I give it 5 stars for a great storyline, believable, mostly likable characters, (got to have the bad guys), and for not dragging out the ending. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I received this book for free from Member's Giveaway and was extremely happy I read it. It's been a long time since I've read a really really good free book and this topped the cake. The premise is that a serial killer is torturing and drowning women he believes are "witches" and ridding the world of evil.

For the rest of the review, visit my book blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/66240.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Feb 17, 2014 |
It seemed to read like a poor romance pulp fiction kind of thing. The characters seemed shallow and stereotyped. Only got through about 30% when this became too frustrating, so I can't really speak to the plot. ( )
  zoomball | Oct 26, 2013 |
"Fresh Meat" by Laura K. Curtis for Criminal Element

The other night I was having a conversation about serial killer books on Twitter (because, seriously, where else can you have a conversation like that?) and one person mentioned that she didn’t like them because they all have the same motivation. Now, oddly enough, one of the reasons I like SK novels is the wide diversity of “crazy.” Oh, sure, all these guys are sick—you have to be to do what they do—but I really enjoy watching their lunacy develop.

Mary Burton’s Before She Dies provides a new slice of nuts for me. I mean, maybe someone else has written about a killer who wants to rid the world of witches, but if so I haven’t read it yet.

Read the rest at http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/01/fresh-meat-before-she-dies-by-mary-...
  CrimeHQ | Apr 11, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Burtonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Parker, JohannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He could pinpoint the day, the hour, even the second when he'd chosen his first kill.
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