Cover Image: The Shark

The Shark

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Member Reviews

The Shark was a nail-biting suspense that had me completely invested. I loved the main characters and the plot was laid out so I was fully engaged from beginning to end.  (I'll admit that some of my housekeeping chores were postponed so I could read, read, read!) As the suspense built, I was anxious to discover who the Shark was. Throw in some tasteful open door bedroom scenes,  and we have a winning combination. 
5 stars
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The Shark is a dark and gritty serial killer story with characters who cling to the life they known. The story is more police procedural than romance.  The female lead is strong, smart and willing to work with anyone to find this serial killer while keeping her city safe.
Mary Burton is able to bring a gritty story and twist it with romance that will have HEA readers happy.

Thank you to nettgalley
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Oh Riley! 
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing and while I had parts right I missed a different right in front of my eyes part. Overall great book!
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I voluntarily read an advanced copy of The Shark by Mary Burton. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC.

This was such a great suspense story. I'm a big fan of the main character, Riley Tatum, and her take no crap attitude. The mix of current mystery that connects with Riley's past was a great story that kept the plot moving. And the little bit of romance just added a bit of spice to the suspense. I give the Shark 4/5 stars.
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What a way to start a series.  Riley and Clay are an outstanding duo dedicated to finding the Shark.  The rest of the characters are amazing (with a villain that is absolutely vile). The suspense is perfect and the action on point.  Love everything about it.
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Five stars all the the way , and loved the 2 main character's as well, loved how the author used the win or lose aspect of gambling in a twisted way .
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The Shark is the first book that I have read by Mary Burton, and it won’t be the last.  The Shark is a gripping story about a serial killer who after years of not being active is back and has their sights set on the one who got away years ago.  That is easier said than done, because the one who got away is state trooper who has some impressive friends to help her stop the killer and protect her as well.  Will the good guys be able to stop the killer before it is too late?  Read The Shark to find out.
I highly recommend this story to anyone who likes romance with suspense.  I can’t wait to read the next one.
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The Shark is the first book in The Forgotten Files series. Riley Tatum is a Virginia State Trooper with an SAR dog named Cooper. But twelve years ago, Riley disappeared after leaving her home when her stepfather decided to take advantage of her. While she is on the run someone offered her a bottled water, after she takes a drink, she wakes up at a bus stop and is rescued by Duke and Maria. She lost seven days of her life and has five playing cards as the only reminder of the missing time frame. Now a state trooper, a new case with a young girl found in a forest by a tree brings up memories when she sees the five playing cards in the girl's pocket. The only difference Loser is written on each card. 

Clay Bowman had first met Riley five years ago. His wife had recently died when he was training a group of police officers, including Riley. She was one of the best students. Riley is attracted to him, and they have one night of passion. After which he feels guilty and sends Riley away. Now five years later, they are brought together to work on the same case. Unbeknownst to Riley his assignment is to protect her at all costs.

This was a riveting and intense thrill ride as the bodies keep falling and Riley is having flashbacks but just can't remember it all. The reveal is shocking and unexpected. I have read many books by the author and have enjoyed each one. Every story is a puzzle with missing pieces until the last piece is placed. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.
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The Shark by Mary Burton
Romantic suspense. 
Virginia State Trooper Riley Tatum’s past comes back to haunt her. A body is found with playing cards in the pocket and Clay Bowman of Shield Security fears it’s a warning to Riley. Clay believes that Riley was a survivor of a deadly card game and the Shark is not willing to let her escape the destiny he has planned. 

Tense and gripping, the story is filled with the investigation to find the killer and reason behind the playing cards. Riley has built her life to protect and serve. She has also mentored and loved a teen and the adoption is pending. Riley will do whatever she has to, even revisiting her past. 

I received a copy of this from NetGalley.
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Mary Burton is one of my favorite authors so when I see a book written by her, I want to read it.
I really like the main character, Riley.  She manages to succeed in life having gone through so much.  On top of what happened to her as a teenager.  Her childhood was not an easy one in any sense of the word.
I’m hoping the next book in the series will have a bit more romance between Riley and Clay.
Off to get the next book in the series!
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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3.5-3.75 Stars
Great idea and concept but the pacing was a little slow.

Virginia state trooper Riley is currently working on the homicide of a teen prostitute. The teenager was barely 18 and a runaway. She was kidnapped, drugged, and killed for a high stake card game. Something Riley knows well.

The novel started off great. I was intrigued by The Shark and his motivation for killing young girls as part of his high stake card game. Why did he prefer his girls to all look a certain way? Is he coming after Riley?

My biggest gripe is the pacing. It was quite slow around the middle. Where is the sense of urgency?! Shouldn't Riley be in a rush to find The Shark before he strikes again? Before he comes after Riley or her loved ones? Things didn't pick back up until the last 15% of the novel. There was a twist at the end, it was a tad little predictable, but still entertaining.

Overall, if you're a fan of mysteries/thrillers and don't mind slower pacing, this is for you.

***Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Burton, and Kensington Books for graciously sending me the ARC to review. As always, all thoughts are my own.***
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As a teenager, Riley Tatum spent some time on the street, but after losing her memory of a week of her life after being drugged and abducted, she turned her life around. Now she is a Virginia state trooper and handler of a tracking dog. When a dead prostitute is found dead and Riley finds a poker hand in the girl's backpack that reminds her of cards she found in her pocket at the end of her "missing week", Riley begins to realize that she hasn't left her past behind. Romantic suspense, the story is a bit predictable but well written and held my interest to the end.
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Thank you Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was a cute and cozy romantic suspense.
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This is actually a re-release of this 2016 title, I believe. It is Book One from The Forgotten Files, an excellent 3-part series by this author. I have read all of Mary Burton's books and this one was another 5-star read. Yes, I already read this one back then, but did not mind reading it again.  I liked Riley and Bowman, lots of suspense, some romance and some surprises. As usual, I did not guess the ending. I encourage you to read the whole series. I may just go back and re-read the next two!

Thank you to #NetGalley, Mary Burton and Montlake Romance for this ARC.  All opinions are my own.
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3.5. this was a well written good story but a little bit too dark and violent for my liking.  Riley, a Virginia state trooper is called to an open field for a dead body.  The girl was a prostitute in the area for a large music event.  She is thought to be killed by a serial killer known as the shark.  If someone plays poker with him and he loses the Shark makes them kill a young girl.  I like Riley and her family life.
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Meet State Trooper Riley Tatum. Who as a teenage runaway was kidnapped, drugged and left unconscious on the streets of New Orleans.

But after escaping to Virginia and with the help of one man she survived got through school and community college and became the woman she is today.

Yet, lingering memories of what happened remain, with strange dreams of two men playing cards.

So, when Riley is called to the scene of a murdered young woman and the Sheriff mentions her similarity to Riley. Riley is rightfully shocked. Especially when playing cards with the word 'loser' are found close by.

And as Riley joins the murder investigation. So does her ex. Former FBI Agent Clay Bowman. Who is now working for Shield Security and believes a serial killer nicknamed 'The Shark' is responsible.

And as the bodies begin to mount up. So does the danger. When it becomes, apparent Riley is the Sharks number one target.

And with a little romance, big twists and a nice amount of suspense. This was a really enjoyable read. That at times I found hard to put down and it's a story I would happen to recommend to others.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this fantastic book

i was gripped from the very first page to the last page and i read it one day as it was so good i couldnt put it down....

riley tatum works with a k9 and she is good at her job as a police the moment she is hunting a man in the woods who is running from the authorities, he was filmed assaulting a young girl, a girl he pimps out, he is also injured and slowing down...

the other girl he pimps out has just been found murdered and that murder scene haunts riley for different reasons...

riley tries to help the young teenage runaways hopefully before the pimps get hold of them and pimp them out, her memories are vague but she is a victim as well...she ran away from home to get away from her stepfather and she lost 7 days that she cant remember...

and  as she looks into the young girls murder the 5 cards found with the body haunt riley because she also has 5 cards of her own... 

but what do they mean

its shocking in its extreme and man that ending what a shocker... i cant wait to read the next in this series of forgotten files
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This author always writes some crazy good thrillers and this one is no exception. The killer is evil to the core. This one one will keep you on the edge and guessing from start to finish.

Riley Tatum disappeared years ago with very little memory of what happened now she’s a state trooper. 
This case hits way close to home.

This is a reprint of the original story with a different cover just so you know.
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Mary Burton knows how to write a police procedural with plenty of suspense and thrills that allow readers to experience shocking action scenes from the comfort and safety of their homes. The Shark is the first book in The Forgotten Files series and features Virginia State Trooper Riley Tatum and former FBI agent turned private security specialist Clay Bowman.

Riley’s past comes back to haunt her when she is called to the murder scene of a runaway teen. Riley had been a runaway twelve years ago and had been kidnapped, drugged, and left unconscious on a bus that ended up in Virgina. She doesn’t remember seven days of her life. Clay has just started work for Shield Security. He and Riley had met when he was training police officers at Quantico five years ago. This case reminds Clay and his boss Joshua Shield of an unsolved case from New Orleans when a serial killer nicknamed the Shark murdered girls as part of a poker game.

Riley’s characterization is well done. She’s smart, physically fit, loyal, doesn’t like the limelight, and is driven to stop human trafficking of young girls. Clay’s character was not quite as well developed. He’s had trouble moving on after his wife died five and a half years ago and hasn’t settled into making a house a home. However, he is now renovating an old house he purchased. The remaining characters don’t have as much depth.

The book did a great job of bringing together Riley’s past and the present through flashbacks interspersed in the current story line. She is a strong but vulnerable protagonist who feels she can’t show any weakness to her colleagues on the various police forces.

The author is a great storyteller with gripping scenes and a disturbing story that depicts the devastating risks to runaways and the effects of human trafficking on them. The plot moves at a fast pace with some twists and turns. However, the antagonist was a little too predictable. The chemistry between Riley and Clay was there, but took a backseat to the crime thriller and police procedural parts of the book. There was a steamy scene or two. One quibble that I had was that the police let a civilian participate in so many of the activities.

Written for those who love crime thrillers and detective stories with a little romance, The Shark has plenty of action and is thought-provoking and an antagonist that is dark and sinister. The book has an intensity that hooked me easily. The author also does a great job of incorporating real-world issues into the story that add depth. Besides those already mentioned, they include grief, work-life balance, friendships, found family, murder, gambling, and much more.

Overall, this was an intense mystery with some chilling scenes. It’s an amazing story filled with drama, suspense, and action. I look forward to seeing what is next in this series. This appears to be a re-release of the book. Readers of gritty mysteries, crime thrillers, and police procedurals will likely enjoy this novel.

Kensington Books - Zebra and Mary Burton provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via Net Galley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for June 27, 2023. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
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The Shark (Forgotten Files 1)
Mary Burton

Mary Burton is the author of over 30 novels. This appears to be a 2016 re-issue. I have not previously read before. 

Riley Tatum, a Virginia state trooper, is in the woods tracking a wounded trafficker with Cooper, her police dog.  After members of her search party are injured, she continues on alone, or so she thought.  Shield Security has an operative on the hunt as well. The two hunters briefly connect before the takedown moving with perfect synergy. 

Riley & Clay Bowman meet again in a coffee shop. Five years have passed since their disastrous one-night stand after a Quantico training event. When Bowman was feeling guilty because he had just lost his wife 6 months prior.  Now he’s hoping for a second chance.

Riley has a full life raising her adopted teen daughter, Hanna, working as a trooper, and helping street youth. She doesn’t think there’s time for anything else in her life. 

One Tuesday in September Riley is called out on a dead body in a field. Turns out she remembers the young woman as being in the company of traffickers at a truck stop.  She is shocked though when helping search the victim and her belongings she comes across playing cards that throw her right back into the nightmare of her youth and seven missing days! Soon more calls come in about more dead young women who all share a resemblance to Riley.   

The race is on to find the serial who seems to know about Riley’s missing days.  With Riley, Clay, and the other troopers on the hunt. Everyone’s looking but no one sees the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Until, The Shark drugs and kidnaps Hanna, Riley’s daughter. Now it’s even more personal. The showdown is here winner takes all...

I’m not gonna lie. I’m still reeling from the ending!!! I never saw that coming.  Whoa, what an amazing book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and mentally...I just don’t have the words. 5***** 

An excerpt for the upcoming re-release of The Dollmaker (Forgotten Files 2) is included.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC. 
#Netgalley #TheShark #MaryBurton #procedual #Thriller #mystery #ForgottenFiles #gambling #FBI #police #Five5star
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