The Shark By Mary Burton (The Forgotten Files #1)

The Mary Burton books in order continue here with a new series called The Forgotten Files, which began in 2016. The first book, The Shark, starts with a bang.

Riley Tatum, a Virginia state trooper, while walking her dog, Cooper, stumbles upon a murdered prostitute who happens to look eerily similar to her.

Riley is a woman with a dark past who worked very hard to leave it all behind. As a teenager, she ran away from home because her stepfather was getting way too cozy with her.

During her time on the streets, she experienced something over 7 days that she can’t remember even after all these years, however, she knows that it was a traumatic event.

And for some reason, the playing cards left on the body of the victim she found just now, gave her a strong jolt. There is something about those cards. Some memories are just under the surface, ready to come bubbling up, but what is it with those cards?

Riley only remembers that she was abducted and drugged, but she can’t remember anything else that happened during those hazy 7 days. And how did she escape?

There is a reason why she understands where young runaways are coming from. She is even working on adopting Hannah, a 17-year-old runaway.

When more girls are found with similar MOs (playing cards are left on the bodies), Riley is asked to join the investigating team. What she doesn’t know is that Shield, a security company working alongside the FBI to solve murders, was keeping tabs on her for many years now.

When she realizes that Clay Bowman, a Shield employee (and also her past lover and instructor) will work with her on this case, she is not sure whether joining forces with him is a good idea. But those dead girls really haunt her, so she knows she has no choice but to solve those mysterious murders.

Maybe then she can finally let go of her haunting past as well.

As the story progresses, we get to learn more about Riley and why Shield was keeping tabs on her for many years now. The investigation brings it all back for Riley, and she now knows that the killings are not random at all. They are, in fact, connected with her deeply troubled past. And the Shark, as the serial killer is dubbed by the press, is at the center of it all.

And she is too.

Mary Burton has a way with words, and her stories pull me in all the time. I have read every book that she has written so far, and The Shark did not disappoint. The suspense was there, the dark chilling thrill was there, and the romance was there as well, although as usual in Mary Burton’s book, it never fully took center stage.

I guess that is one reason why I love this author so much. Her books are thrillers with a dash of romance rather than full-blown romantic suspense novels with the usual cheap sex scenes.

I have already read the second book in the series, The Dollmaker, and I will be reviewing it soon as well.

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