You're Not Safe
“Rich. Apparent suicide. Murder.” Bestselling novelist Mary Burton’s latest release combines suspense/thriller and romance novel as only she can. Beware!
When the body of a former love interest is found hanging from a tree on her property, Bonneville Vineyard owner and potential victim Elizabeth Greer Templeton is haunted by nightmares that also drag the thrill-seeking reader into her ugly past. Complete with Texas accents, Stetson hats, string ties, black snakeskin boots, red-rope bracelets and sensory imagery, YOU’RE NOT SAFE yanks the reader into the setting of another soon-to-be chart-topping novel set in the Austin area of the Lone Star State. A perfect venue for star-crossed lovers and a serial killer? One must read to find out.
"Action, suspense and memorable characters are hallmarks of Burton’s writing, but the beauty of her language makes YOU’RE NOT SAFE an outstanding read."
Burton peoples the book with broken characters, women and men tortured by their histories, who have learned “Grief and sorrow could rob you of will and energy so that all you wanted to do was crawl under the covers and let life pass you by.” Just when the Shady Grove patients are overcoming the traumas of their earlier lives and regretting their suicide attempts, it appears someone is systematically murdering them and granting them a last wish. “Because not everyone believes life is preferable to death.”
“One down, four to go,” the killer says, and the reader knows the psychopath plans to kill five people if protagonist Texas Ranger Tec Bragg cannot stop the carnage.
Burton’s cliffhanging chapter endings, foreshadowing and red herrings keep the reader turning the pages and wondering if Greer will end up being the victim-lover Ranger Tec Bragg rescues or the villain he must arrest. Burton says of Greer: “She clenched and unclenched her fingers and then offered a big bright smile. To the casual eye, her smile was radiant but there were subtle cues indicating the opposite. A stiff back, raised chin, and a slight quiver in the corner of her mouth told him the smile was a lovely front.” The words paint a picture of the woman as the ranger sees her.
When asked why she chose the rocky, hot Bonneville Vineyard to grow grapes, Greer says, “The vines need to suffer to produce grapes of character. When the roots must burrow into the earth and fight to survive, they develop a wonderful complexity. The struggle is what makes them so flavorful.” The perceptive reader recognizes the metaphorical portrayal of herself.
Action, suspense and memorable characters are hallmarks of Burton’s writing, but the beauty of her language makes YOU’RE NOT SAFE an outstanding read. “Bragg…touched the tip of his hat out of respect before leaving the uncomfortable beauty of the camp.” What a powerful yet simply worded paradox. Burton effectively uses personification in a second apt description of setting when she writes: “The vineyard could be jealous and required she fill every pocket of spare time.”
Serial killers, vendettas, tortured souls, and romance are the main ingredients in YOU’RE NOT SAFE. Beware! As one of Burton’s main characters might say, she has all kinds of tricks up her sleeve.
Reviewed by Melody Dean Dimick on March 28, 2014