In other news, Deimyts has not been with us because he was putting together a portfolio. He recently received acceptance into his college's graphic design program. Therefore . . . congratulations! I've got some academic news myself, but I'm going to save it for a review (coming soon) that I think it will go well with.
By Mary Burton
The police discover the body of a woman strangely wearing a charm decorated with a name that's not her own. Soon, another woman with similar facial structure and coloring is found dead. Detective Jacob Warwick notices their resemblance to reporter Kendall Shaw who really gets under his skin.
At the same time Kendall has her own concerns. The Stranger (the killer in I'M WATCHING YOU) kidnapped and terrorized her and now she's having nightmares. Oddly, they aren't of her recent experience but of a little girl and baby hiding in a closet. This renews her interest in her adoption. Her parents never wanted to talk about it, but now both of them are dead and she's curious about her ancestry. Of course, her curiosity is also encouraged by her roommate Nicole Piper's pregnancy.
Nicole doesn't know whether she wants to keep her child or give it up for adoption. She does know she doesn't want her creepy customer anywhere near her or the baby. (And that might not be the only creeper after her.) Burton knows how to keep multiple storylines with multiple shady characters in play.
She also knows how to develop a relationship well. Kendall and Jacob are both very independent, career-driven people. With that in common it's hard for them to make connections. It takes them awhile to take steps toward a relationship, but it's satisfying when they do. There are interesting side relationships going on as well. Burton offers glimpses into the life of reunited couple Zach and Lindsey, the hero and heroine of I'M WATCHING YOU. They don't get more screen time than necessary, but they do get enough to show that their marriage has improved.
In addition, Nicole begins a very sweet relationship with widowed policeman Ayden. Well, they don't actually begin a relationship, but they clearly like each other. Nicole deserves it after all she's gone through in this duology. I believe this relationship is the focus of Burton's novella in the SILVER BELLS anthology, which makes me want to pick it up. I'm a sucker for cute, sweet romances. And a cute, sweet romance is exactly what DEAD RINGER needs at points.
Burton doesn't shy away from dark material, which is needed to make a romantic suspense suspenseful. In the end I find the killer a bit overly capable. Just how did he manage to find all his victims? (For that matter, why did they all live so close together?) However, she kept the story moving and I didn't begin to think about these questions until the end.
If you aren't into romantic suspense, this likely won't be the book to convert you. If you are, it's a good one to pick up. It's not too gory and it's there's plenty of lighter stuff to balance out the killers. Please read my review of I'M WATCHING YOU and my interview with Mary Burton as well. Burton's other current release, SILVER BELLS, is currently on the NYT bestseller list. DEAD RINGER is available in stores now. More information can be found at Burton's website.
My review copy was received through PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROMOTION.