Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Before She Dies by Mary Burton

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I loved this new Mary Burton (Merciless, Dying Scream) book! The carnival setting grabbed me immediately, and I couldn’t turn the pages (or in my case, swipe) fast enough to learn how the two intense plot threads would eventually connect.

Detective Daniel Rokov and his partner have entered a very eerie crime scene where a woman’s body had been staked to the ground of an abandoned building, and the word “witch” was tattooed on her forehead. It seems their victim was a psychic, so they suspect the killer has something against the occult.

Rokov’s lover, attorney Charlotte Wellington, only wants a sexual relationship with him and won’t let him get too close. What he doesn’t know about her is that she has spent the last eighteen years hiding under a new identity. When she left the carnival life of her childhood, she also left Grace Wells behind, hoping to never look back.

Now that the traveling carnival is back in her home town of Alexandria, VA, Grady Tate, her stepfather, wants her services. If she doesn’t give in to his demands, he will reveal her identity and shatter the life she so carefully built. He wants her to check in on Sooner, who is trouble with the law. Sooner is the now grown child of her deceased sister and has taken over as the fortune teller role that Charlotte abandoned. Grady promised to put her up for adoption when Charlotte left, but he couldn’t let go of the potential revenue he could get out of the kid.

As another woman is murdered and the only lead Rokov has that connects the two is a carnival ticket stub, he is in a race against time to stop the killer before another innocent “witch” is slaughtered. When Charlotte steps back into her previous life to help solve the crimes, it might just be that someone from the carnival is the culprit, and her sister’s untimely death may not have been an accident as she thought for so many years.

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