Cover Image: The Shark

The Shark

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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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A Great Psychological Thriller

This book was full of suspense and it was a huge page turner for me. When Riley was young, she had an experience that left her with so many questions as to what had happened to her. Now years later she’s a state trooper and her past is coming back to the forefront. The Shark is on the attack and lives are being lost. Her relationship with Clay Bowman only added to the story.

If you want a dark suspense/thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat this is the book for you. I have read this author’s work before and they have been five star reads for me.

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The Shark by Mary Burton is an intense police procedural. That being said, it is not your typical police procedural. I often find police procedurals to be dry, but this book will hook your attention from the start. The plot is intense and traumatic at times. It is a very interesting read from start to finish. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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I’ve been a Mary Burton fan for quite a few years now. I love her Criminal Profiler series about a team of FBI profilers. I’ve also read several of her romantic suspense books too. She’s a pretty good writer and storyteller.

The book summary basically just introduces the premise for the primary storyline: the investigation of a killer dubbed The Shark who uses teenaged prostitutes as wagers in a card game where their lives depend on a winning or losing hand. Most of the story revolves around the investigation of the murders of the prostitutes by Riley, and her K9 partner, Cooper, along with state agent, Dakota Sharp, and Clay Bowman, who works for Shield Security, a high-level, private, security company that has been investigating The Shark killings for 12yrs.

While the book summary mentions the secondary storyline of Riley and Clay knowing each other, it really made more of it than it really was. It wasn’t like Riley and Clay were ever a couple or had even a friendly beneficial type arrangement; they were simply a one-night stand, many years ago. Heck, Riley doesn’t even recognize him when he first crosses her path (literally on a mountain path) again. There’s also another secondary storyline of Riley trying to help prostitutes get off the street and out of the life of prostitution. She tries to get them to go to a group home that is run by her friend, Duke, and his wife, Maria. Duke and Maria helped Riley 12yrs ago when she was a runaway.

Deep into the second half of the story, the investigation gets some new leads that gets Riley, Dakota, and Clay closer to The Shark, an old and wealthy card player. The ending comes fast after that and ends in a life and death battle for Riley and Clay. A sad but very satisfying ending. This is categorized as mystery/romantic suspense that definitely leaned more towards mystery/suspense than romance; the romance (between Riley and Clay) was brief and really late in the story.

I want to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for sending me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

#NetGalley #KensingtonBooks #TheShark

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I requested this before I realized I've already read it and it's a re-release. I have inhaled EVERYTHING Mary Burton has written. Ready for the next release!

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The Shark is the first book in Mary Burton’s Forgotten Files series. It is a second chance, romantic suspense story with great, well developed characters, an amazing K-9, and a fantastic storyline.

Her past comes back to haunt her, when Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum is called to investigate a murder scene of a runaway teen. With no memories of that time and sense of impending doom, Riley is forced to turn to former FBI agent Clay Bowman, an old flame, and newest member of Shield Security for help to solve a case that mirrors her forgotten past. Can Riley and Clay stop the Shark from playing his final hand or will their happily ever after be torn away? Read it and find out.
I am a huge fan of romantic suspense involving K9’s and the military/ law enforcement and Burton is a phenomenal writer, who uses these elements to create stories that keep the readers hanging as they go page by page. I loved the theme of this series and I can’t wait to read the next book.

This is a voluntary review of an advanced readers copy received from Netgalley.

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I was given an ARC of The Shark from NetGalley for an honest review and this is my review.
Mary Burton was definitely on her game with The Shark, her first book in her new series, and if this book is any indication of what we as readers have to look forward to with the Forgotten Files I can't wait for more. This book had it all: romance, suspense, murder and a few twist that most people will not see coming, in short it was the whole package for a great summer read.
I loved the characters Riley and Clay. I also liked the fact that they had a bit of history with each other as well so this was sort of a second chance book for them to get together as a couple. As for the idea behind the story I found that intriguing as well, using young women who live on the streets as stakes in a poker game. If you win the game the girl lives, if you loose she dies. What a twisted way to play poker and a brilliant idea for a book. Years ago Riley was the only girl who lived in a game against the Shark and now he is back and wants the one who Lady Luck thought fit to let go. Clay and Riley work together to make sure that this time the Shark and cards don't have a different outcome for Riley this time around.
I am giving The Shark five out of five stars.

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I see on Amazon that this book was first released in 2016, so I suppose this is a new release? Would be nice if a note like that could be added at the galley. I have always loved Mary Burton's books, will continue to read more in future.

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I really liked this book. Riley was a fighter, runaway to cop. She was strong, focused and she was one to give back. And boy what a twisty end.

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📚Book Review 📚
The Shark
by Mary Burton
Pub Date 6/27/23

Riley Tatum, a Virginia state trooper, and Cooper, her tracking dog partner, are investigating female teenage runaways who are being murdered. One clue stands out. Five playing cards are left in their back pocket. Riley has a secret that could help the investigation. Twelve years ago she was kidnapped and can’t remember what happened, only vague memories that don’t make sense.

Clay Bowman, former FBI agent and Riley’s former trainer and lover, is working for Shield Security. He’s looking for a serial killer called the Shark. Clay believes Riley may be the key to finding and solving the case. Getting Riley to trust him is a challenge.

This is the first in the Forgotten Files trilogy. I couldn’t put this book down. The story kept me wanting to find out what happened. A great mystery/thriller with some romance thrown in. I’ll be on the lookout for the next two books.

Thank you @netgalley @kensingtonbooks @maryburtonbooks for an electronic book ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) in exchange for an honest review.

#theshark #maryburton #mysteryandthrillers #mystery #thriller #romance
#literaryfiction #fiction #NetGalley
#reviewer #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviewer #kindlebook #ebook #arc #books #read

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A fast-paced thriller where the protagonist is also a previous victim. This murder mystery was the first I've read by this author, and I will definitely pick up another one in the near future by her. The story is action-packed, there's lots of twists and turns, and the author does a good job of humanizing a disadvantaged and often demonized group of victims. A couple of scenes were predictable, but overall, this novel is a worthy thriller.

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This was my first read by author Mary Burton and I really enjoyed the story and the characters were brilliant.

We meet Riley who is a state trooper, to say she is a tough cookie is putting it mildly, she is an incredibly strong and powerful woman and I loved her as a character. We learn that many years ago an unthinkable thing happened to her and that shaped her into the woman she is today.

We also meet Clay, Riley's ex, so they have quite a bit of history between themselves. They are on the hunt for a serial killer known as The Shark. The Shark is terrorising woman and playing a sick and twisted game with women, The Shark has Riley in his sights and we are taken into a dark world in this novel.

I loved Riley as a character and the tension between herself and Clay is felt throughout the novel. For me this was a good read and I will be reading more of Mary Burtons novels for sure.

Full of thrills and grit, this novel will be any romance/thriller readers dream.

Thanks to Netgalley, Mary Burton and the publishers for allowing me a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Well, unfortunately The Shark ended up being a dud for me. The description intrigued me. But the story didn't quite live up to the hype. I probably expected something different from the given narrative. The most off-putting item in the novel was that The Shark himself doesn't commit the murders. He has his poker playing partner commit the crime. What's the thrill in that?

With barely a thrill with the first murder, there wasn't anything left to keep me going. And with nothing left on the horizon at 33%, I threw in the towel. Too bad. But that's not going to stop me from trying Burton's other works of fiction. For now, The Shark is a one star DNF for me.

I received a digital copy of the book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

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The Shark by Mary Burton is the #1 book in the Forgotten Files series. After consuming this one, I’ve now moved onto book 2 as well as read other standalone books by this author. I picked this one up as I’m a huge fan of crime thrillers with interesting perpetrators and crimes and I couldn’t go past a card playing serial killer. I loved the connection between past and present as the horrific reality of this one comes to light in a fast-paced twist-filled conclusion. I was drawn in by the exciting and captivating cover but stayed for the non-stop thrill ride of a story. A new favorite author.

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For twelve years Riley Tatum has eluded the grasps of a serial killer, and she hasn't even known it. But now the killer is back, this time with plans to never let Riley go again. With the help of ex-FBI Agent, and former lover, Clay Bowman, Riley starts a dangerous cat and mouse game with a killer hellbent on getting to her.

The romantic part wasn’t very prominent, crime mystery was the main storyline.
Ok hero, no epilogue.

4 and not 5 because of 1 twist, which disappointed me a lot.

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