Cover Image: Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire

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Member Reviews

Playing With Fire
by Mary Burton
Pub Date 06 May 2022 
 HQ,  HQ Digital
 General Fiction (Adult)  |  Mystery & Thrillers

I am reviewing a copy of Playing With Fire through HQ and Netgalley:

A year following the death of the infamous arsonist Nero who was found dead  one of his latest fires, journalist Darcy Sampson receives a tip that the body found at the scene wasn't Nero at all.   Darcy heads to her small hometown in Virginia to track Michael Gannon, an arsonist investigator who refuses to believe that Nero is dead, in determination to follow the case.

After a series of new fires in the area in the area have a remarkable resemblance to the arsonist's previous work, Darcy and Gannon are in a race against time to put a stop to Nero once and for all.

But Nero is ready and waiting for them, and he intends on teaching both Gannon and Darcy one last, fatal lesson.

I give Playing With Fire five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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I really enjoyed the characters and the storyline, but felt the story was a bit too predictable. Good mystery and interesting angles, but felt like the reader was led a little too much to the conclusion to make it suspenseful. Fun read, but not quite the suspense I was hoping for. I would try more of this author's books though!
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PLAYING WITH FIRE by Mary Burton will be published on July 7th 2022 by HQ Digital. The novel was originally published on March 1st 2006 under the title THE ARSONIST. 

Journalist Darcy Sampson returns to her hometown of Preston Springs, VA, in search of a story. Nero, the arsonist who plaque Washington DC a year, was believed to have died in his last fire. Darcy has evidence that Nero is still alive, and she wants to speak with former arson investigator Michael Gannon. Conveniently, Gannon is not located in Preston Springs and runs a motorcycle shop that is across the street from the Sampson family diner. While in pursuit of the truth, Darcy gets caught up in family drama, a romance with Gannon, and the search for the person who is setting fires around Preston Springs. Has Nero returned? Or is the new arsonist a copycat? 

I've read a number of Mary Burton's romantic suspense novels, and I have to say this PLAYING WITH FIRE was not one of my favorite. The story was interesting, but the plot was simplistic. The novel was heavy on the romance and light on the suspense. Overall, the novel is a quick read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Love anything by this author and this one did not disappoint! Absolutely fantastic. Thank you to publisher and NetGalley for access to ARC.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this very quick book

nero is the arsonist and there is nothing he likes more than watching his fires dance, but the police and their investigator are getting close

gannon is getting very close to discovering who is nero but before he can there is one more fire and a dead body with evidence that this was nero.....only gannon is unconvinced about it all

darcy is a reporter and looking for that next big storyline....she has uncovered what she think will win her a Pulitzer, but first she has to go undercover at home pretending she has been sacked so she can get closer to gannon and see if she can unearth the truth about nero...

its a quick read that wont tax your to read inbetween the heavier books that can bog you down...
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, HQ and  by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

Compelling, suspenseful thrilling and fast paced.
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Another great romantic thriller from Mary Burton. Well-developed and interesting characters and a fast-paced storyline makes for a wonderful read!!!  I received an ARC from NetGalley, and the opinions expressed are my own.
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Nero has been setting fires in the Washington, DC area for months when he is found dead/ burned inside a building. Did he make a mistake? 
Michael Gannon is an arson investigator who has been chasing Nero. After Nero’s death, Gannon moved to Preston Springs, VA and now owns a motorcycle shop. Darcy Sampson is a reporter looking back into the Nero story a year later. She’s from Preston Springs and plans to get an interview with Gannon to find out what he knows. When fires start happening in Preston Springs, Gannon and Darcy investigate. Is Nero still alive? If not, who is setting these fires and what’s their motive. 

This book was ok but some of the love scenes were a little cheesy. I’ve read a few books by this author and they have all been pretty good so I will hope the next is better. 

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a very intriguing book. I was hooked from the very beginning. The book is full of mystery and suspense. I really enjoyed this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Mary Burton novels are always a thrill ride of mystery combined with some very good character development. I enoyed this novel and the romantic pieces of it that went along with the story. Arson as a crime in murder mysteries can sometimes be on the dull side but this book handles it expertly and makes it compelling. I do believe this is also a re-release but honestly, the books are a pleasure to re-read or read for the first time.
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I did not know when I requested this that it was actually originally published in 2010 as The Arsonist, a decent earlier read by this author. I had read it before and enjoyed it, although not as much as her later work. I prefer more suspense than romance in a romantic suspense story and her earlier stuff, such as this, is the opposite. Still a good story though, just heavier on the romance for my tastes. Darcy and Michael are trying to stop an arsonist who may or not be Nero, presumed to have died a year before. Not surprisingly, they find love on the way. This was a fast-paced, well-characterized story, although the bad guy was no big surprise almost from the get-go, and I would recommend it. Especially if you prefer more romance. It was still hard to put down.

Thank you to #NetGalley, Mary Burton and HQ
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Another fast paced thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the back and forth between reporter Darcy and retired arson investigator Gannon. A quick read, and a stand alone. This was a good Sunday morning novel.
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By the third “new” Mary Burton book I realised it was again a rebrand of an early 2000s mass market Silhouette book. It was a totally fine read but read more as a novella than a novel and didn’t have the same punch as her more recent works. Would recommend to new fans more than current ones as it’s a good intro to Ms Burton but lacks her more recent thrillers.  I preserved and read all 3 because I promised an honest review in response to being given the Arc. I will still read actual new Mary burton books but will be more careful in selecting books to ensure they are actually new
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I love this author, I have loved every single book of hers that I have read so far. Well written with a strong plotline and well developed characters. I couldn't put it down it was gripping, twisty and unpredictable.
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The arsonist Nero has been found burned beyond recognition at a fire, case closed.  Or is it?  Arson investigator Michael Gannon isn’t convinced but no one is interested in what he has to say.  He has retired is now the owner of a motorcycle shop.  Reporter Darcy Sampson receives a phone call that causes her to track down Gannon and see if he has any information on the case.  When fires resembling the previous Nero fires start to occur near where Gannon now lives he is even more sure that Nero is alive.  This is a fast paced book with suspense and romance.  Can’t wait for the next book by this author.  Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
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Playing with fire by Mary Burton. 
An unsolved mystery ignites a deadly game of chess.
Darcy Sampson is a reporter who goes back to her hometown Virginia to track down Michael Gannon who believes an arsonists Nero is alive. 
A brilliant read.  I loved it. I loved Darcy and Michael and how they were together.  5*.
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An arsonist stays one step ahead of arson investigator, Michael Gannon, and then is trapped in one of his own fires.
Gannon quits the department and moves to a small town, but is clearly not convinced that Nero, the serial arsonist, is actually dead.
Darcy, a journalist, gets information that the body discovered was not Nero, and finds out that Gannon is living in her home town, and goes there to interview him and share her discovery.

A 'copycat' Nero starts fires in the small town, and Gannon and Darcy work together to track him down before people start dying. 

Loved this book, it was fast paced, had a bit of everything, romance, suspense and thrills. I read it in a day, as I was hooked from the first chapter.

I am a great fan of Mary Burton's books. 

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC.
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Playing with Fire - Wow Mary Burton this is what i call a THRILLER.
Gripping from the start when a dead body is found where it is decided it must be Nero the arsonist that is until Darcy and Gannon step into the picture!

Highly recommend this book.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read and leave an honest opinion of this book.
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Playing with Fire by Mary Burton is a chilling thriller. A deadly arsonist who set numerous fires in the DC area is presumed dead. Arson investigator Michael Gannon who has been trying to catch this arsonist in DC believes Nero is still alive despite the evidence left behind, but he moves on. Darcy Sampson, a journalist, does some investigating and comes to believe Nero isn't dead. She travels to find Gannon and fires start again in the area. I loved the suspense in this book. The storyline is believable. Both characters, Darcy and Gannon are strong, determined and likable. I very much enjoy Mary Burton's writing style.
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I knew this would be a quick read, even if it is a republishing of a 2008 title. This author had the ability to suck readers in then, just as she does now, and I wasn’t disappointed. Darcy and Gannon are both looking for something. One wants a story, the other wants peace. But can either of them get what they want? 

While I was pretty certain of my suspicions early on, this tale was no less engaging and kept me wondering about things like Darcy’s fractured family, her and Gannon’s possibility at something more than co-investigators, and whether or not the puzzle will be solved by the end. Add in a shallow, spineless snake of an ex and a conniving coworker and we have a book that just keeps giving on the emotions. When it all came to a head, I had to wonder how it would work out, and the ending was actually pretty masterful. So now I have some more questions and maybe some answers will come our way in another book? We can always hope.
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