BookHounds has moved!


Giveaway Interview NO ESCAPE by MARY BURTON @MaryBurtonBooks @KensingtonBooks

Book Description

 October 29, 2013

He Was Taught How To Kill
Even behind bars, serial killer Harvey Day Smith exudes menace. Psychologist Jolene Granger has agreed to hear his dying confession, vowing not to let the monster inside her head. And Harvey has secrets to share—about bodies that were never found, and about the apprentice who is continuing his grisly work…
And Now He’ll Teach Them
He buries his victims alive the way his mentor Harvey did, relishing their final screams as the earth rains down. And as one last gift to the only father he knew, he’ll make the most perfect kill of all.
How To Die
Everything about this investigation is unnerving Jo, from Harvey’s fascination with her to the fact that she’s working alongside Texas Ranger Brody Winchester, her ex-husband. Harvey’s protégé is growing bolder and more vicious every day. And soon the trail of shallow graves will lead them to the last place Jo expected, and to the most terrifying truth of

          Mary Burton enjoys the hunt.  This New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist, whose work has been compared to that of  Steig Larson*, Lisa Gardner**, and Lisa Jackson***, has been intrigued by investigative work and the people who do it since Virginia, her home state, was stung by a string of serial killings that spanned more than twenty years.  Not surprisingly, many of her suspense novels are fueled by the acts of multiple killers and the people who pursue them, as is NO ESCAPE, Mary's latest novel and the second in a trio of stories set in and around Austin.  There she calls upon the people and resources of the state's lead investigative team, the Texas Rangers.
            NO ESCAPE's predecessor, THE SEVENTH VICTIM quickly became a USA Today bestseller.  It was praised by reviewers, including Publishers Weekly, which says it "delivers action-packed suspense" and calls it "compelling.”  Suspense Magazine hailed it as “an excellent thriller” and a “saga that readers will find unbelievably hard to put down.”
            Mary's admiration for the work of law enforcement and the skills, insights and tools necessary to do it, is evident even in her earliest forays into suspense, such as In Dark Waters, in which a romance evolves when the Sheriff's office is called upon to solve a murder in rural Virginia. Future plots explored arson investigation, flaws within a witness protection program, and the reopening of a cold case. 
            Beginning with her novel I'm Watching You, Mary started connecting several cases and characters within the same department or agency. For I'm Watching You she invented a homicide unit for her hometown of Richmond, defined its strengths, weaknesses and resources, and kept those characters and elements in place through two additional stand-alone, but related, books, Dead Ringer and Dying Scream.
             The three-book arc provided numerous creative options, especially as regards character development. This larger canvas allowed her to incorporate more of the forensic and procedural detail that fascinates her and her readers, and created new opportunities to explore dynamics unique to investigators working together over time.
            Her other "connected" novels are Senseless, Merciless and Before She Dies, all set in Alexandria, and THE SEVENTH VICTIM, NO ESCAPE and YOU'RE NOT SAFE, which is being published in April 2014.
            Mary's research has led her to interview a wide range of law enforcement personnel, to attend forensic seminars and to handle weaponry at the firing range.  She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen's Academy, and has attended Sisters in Crime's Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina, where the focus was on undercover work, autopsies, and the theories behind why people kill.
            Despite her emphasis on hard facts related to the crimes she writes about, Mary's approach to each new novel is psychological. She backs away from details, whether it's forensic research or a plot point she's already fixating upon. To begin her story she needs answers to three questions about her killers:  why do they kill, what demons drive them, and how do they choose their victims.  The answers are critical to her plot, she says, just as they are for detectives solving a murder.
            A Richmond native whose family roots run as deep as the nation's, Mary has lived there for most of her life.  She graduated from Virginia's Hollins University and worked in marketing before deciding to write full time. Her first manuscript, a historical romance, was published in 2000.
            Mary wrote several more romance novels and three novellas before embracing the dark world of suspense. She even managed to bring danger to her holiday novella, Christmas Past, which appears in the New York Times bestselling holiday anthology Silver Bells.
            The author of twenty published novels and four novellas, Mary is a member of Thriller Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, for which she is president of the Central Virginia chapter. She travels frequently for signings, speaking engagements and other appearances.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences, book festivals, book stores and libraries regarding writing and genre fiction, and is frequently asked to present her "Unraveling Romantic Suspense" workshop or her day-long program "Writing Your Book...The First Step."
            An avid baker and an accomplished cook, Mary's discovered that the creativity of the kitchen entwines with her professional routine in unanticipated ways.  It’s her ideal retreat when the writing hits a rough spot. Once there, she's working out dialogue, untangling plot lines and figuring out how to trap a killer before the oven has a chance to preheat.
            When not committing murder, Mary pursues her Baking & Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond's Culinary Arts Program, and continues her involvement and appearances on behalf of Coordinators2inc, a lifetime adoption resource organization. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying and lamenting their newly empty nest and spoiling their miniature dachshunds Buddy and Bella. 
            Mary is currently at work on her next novel, set in Nashville, and anticipating the November publication of her new Union Street Bakery novel, Sweet Expectations, written as Mary Ellen Taylor. 
*Publishers Weekly, **Library Journal, ***Library Journal

Website *     Facebook  * Twitter * Goodreads



Mary, welcome!  Thank you for joining us.

You've created homicide departments for both the Richmond and Alexandria police departments for your books.  Why the switch to what seems to be a more formal "agency?"  Aren't the Texas Rangers more like the FBI?
 The Texas Rangers are an elite group of men and women within the Texas Department of Public Safety and have a lot more resources than most local Police Departments.  I thought it would be interesting (for me and readers) to have more and quicker access to information and forensic data in the pursuit of this particular killer, especially considering the condensed time period in NO ESCAPE. I was also influenced by the reputation and history of the Rangers.  They’re the source of legends.  Often you hear the phrase ‘One Riot, One Ranger,’ associated with this elite group of lawmen.  Created in 1823, the Rangers have state wide authority, which also opened up some plot opportunities.

THE SEVENTH VICTIM was the first time you set a book in Austin, the headquarters of the Texas Rangers. Now you're taking us back there in NO ESCAPE.  What's happening now?
I'm betting you've already guessed there's trouble afoot.  It begins with an old case, when serial killer Harvey Lee Smith insists on telling his deathbed confession to THE SEVENTH VICTIM's forensic psychologist Jo Granger. She wants to find out what Harvey has yet to share--the whereabouts of victims whose families hope for closure.  She doesn't expect him to get inside her head.  And she doesn't expect to encounter ex-husband Brody Winchester, who earned his Texas Ranger star arresting Harvey. And nobody expects a new killer, one that's mirroring Harvey's terrifying M.O. of burying his victims alive.

Harvey manages to "get inside" Jo's head by turning the conversation to her, asking her questions and telling her to "look inside herself." What makes her susceptible to his probing?
She’s grown up with questions about her family.  Her parents told her one story all her life and, for reasons she’s never been able to explain, that story just never rang true.  Harvey seems to understand that she has questions about her childhood.

Brody Winchester and Jo are suddenly thrust together because of Harvey.  It's the first time they've seen each other since they divorced fourteen years ago, after a brief, painful marriage. They have a lot of baggage.  What made you think they could ever get over their past?  
They were young when they were first married and both have grown up over the last fourteen years. I had confidence that they’d realize it was okay to forgive each other for mistakes that they both regret.

 Brody takes a lot of heat for his past behavior. How difficult was it to make him a character readers can root for?  
How many of us have made mistakes in our youth?  Brody is no different.  However, he owns up to his mistakes and he wants to make amends.  I thought he deserved a second chance and that readers would come to agree with me.

So many characters in the book are keeping secrets.  Harvey, the copy-cat killer, and Jo's mother keep people in the dark.  What are Jo's secrets?  Brody's? 
Brody’s secret is that he never believed he was good enough for Jo.  That belief plagued him greatly when he was younger and may have contributed to some of his bad decisions.  Now that he’s older, confident, and a success in his own right, he can be the man Jo deserves.  And Jo, well, I don’t see her as having secrets.  She’s the one honest person in the book.  She’s always suspected her mother held secrets and she decided early in her life to be upfront and honest.

Suspense novels and romantic suspense are consistently popular with readers.  Why is that?
 In my mind romance and suspense are the prefect blend of genres.  You’ve got the sizzle of romance and the smoke of the mystery.  One offers the reader hope at the end and the other offers justice.  And what I really love about the blend is that each creates such delightful conflict for the other. 

What makes you return to the suspense genre again and again?   
I love it.  There are so many angles that I can use to approach romantic suspense that when I’m writing one I just never get tired of it.

What's next?
I'm calling upon the Texas Rangers again for YOU'RE NOT SAFE, which will be published in April.  This time it's Ranger Tec Bragg and vineyard owner Greer Templeton.  Though favorite characters will return to the story, this is the first time readers will meet Tec and Greer.  And, as do NO ESCAPE and THE SEVENTH VICTIM, it takes place around Austin, this time on a vineyard in the Hill Country. 

Where can readers find out more about your books and work-in- progress?
I post updates and photos and check in often on Facebook, so there's lots of info there.  And my site is always open at  Now, as my calendar is shaping up for 2014, I also expect to have lots of opportunities to visit with readers and other writers in person.  Events are listed on my site at
Thanks for having me!

Want to win this book?

Ends 11/06/13
US only, PO Boxes OK
Open only to those who can legally enter
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.
You must be 18 or older to enter .
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Giveaway was organized by BookHounds and sponsored by the publisher

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The story sounds terrific. I hope I get lucky.

  2. This sounds like a great read plus Austin is one of my favorite cities so I'm anxious to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I love Mary's books, and this one sounds so good. It has a great story and characters. I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  4. I'm a fan of Mary's romantic suspenses. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I cannot wait to read No Escape. I loved the excerpt I've read. Thanks for this giveaway opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at)aol (dot) com

  6. this sounds like something i could pick up and not put down till i finished. its really good

  7. This sounds intense! Thanks for the giveaway, too!

  8. This book sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. The dachshunds alone would be enough to get me to read her books--the interview convinced me further. Thanks so much!

  10. thanks for this great giveaway. Love to read this book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. This sounds like a good book for me to read. Thanks

  12. I've read Mary Burton's work and would love to win this one.

    mybeachylife at gmail dot com

  13. This one sounds really good. I've never read any of Mary Burton's books, but I'm checking them out now!

    Thanks for the chance to win :)

    -Amber Terry-


Thanks for leaving a note! I try to reply to all conversations!