The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton
ISBN: 9781420125054 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781420130966 (ebook)
ASIN: B009AY43IW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication date: January 29, 2013


It’s been seven years since the Seattle Strangler terrorized the city. His victims were all young, pretty, their lifeless bodies found wrapped in a home-sewn white dress. But there was one who miraculously escaped death, just before the Strangler disappeared…


Lara Church has only hazy memories of her long-ago attack. What she does have is a home in Austin, a job, and a chance at a normal life at last. Then Texas Ranger James Beck arrives on her doorstep with shattering news: The Strangler is back. And this time, he’s in Austin…


He’s always craved her, even as he killed the others. For so long he’s been waiting to unleash the beast within. And this time, he’ll prove he holds her life in his hands—right before he ends it forever…

Lara Church has been on the run for seven years. Unfortunately she doesn’t remember who she’s running from since she can’t remember her attacker. She has spent the past seven years crisscrossing the country, never spending more than six months in any one location. The only thing that ties her brief stays anywhere is murder. Lara was the seventh victim of the Seattle Strangler and the only one to survive. Now the strangler seems to be making a reappearance in Austin. Will Lara run again? How do you run when you don’t know who you’re running from?

Fortunately for Lara, she has the Texas Rangers on her side in the form of James Beck and Rick Santos. These Rangers are driven and simply will not stop until they’ve solved the case. Just to shake things up a bit, a former Seattle detective shows up and wants to help solve the case. Add in an art show featuring Lara’s photographs of death scenes, her willing exposure as the last surviving victim of the Seattle Strangler, mutual attraction between Lara and Ranger Beck, and the anniversary of Lara’s survival in Seattle and you’ve got the makings of one volatile romantic-suspense story . . . which is exactly what Ms. Burton has provided.

I found all of the characters in The Seventh Victim to be very well developed and likeable. The settings and action are realistic and well described. James Beck is somewhat stubborn and single-minded when it comes to his cases. Lara Church is stubborn when it comes to her art. Former Seattle police detective Mike Raines is, by all appearances, just as stubborn when it comes to solving the case of the Seattle Strangler. But all is not what it appears and the little twists and turns in the story are what made for an engrossing read. The Seventh Victim wasn’t a quick or easy read, primarily because of the subject matter (rape, murder and even child abuse), but I was simply unable to put the book down once I started reading. If you enjoy suspense stories with a mix of romance, then you may want to add The Seventh Victim to your reading list. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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