Review: The Dollmaker by Mary Burton

Reviewed by Debz

Ah, finally a murder mystery I can sink my teeth into. I have been looking for some slasher romance all year and I just keep getting disappointed. This one has been such a joy for me to read. An author who knows how to write about serial killers and keep me interested. I’m in LOVE.

I’m kinda tempted to say the protagonist is not the heroine in this book. Even though it all points to her, she feels like more of a passive character compared to the hero. But I like them just the same. Dakota Sharp and Tessa McGowan have been married for about 16 months and separated for half as long. This is because Dakota is kind of a dickhead. He’s cold, brusque and only has time for his job as an Agent in the Virginia state police.

Okay, this bugged me a bit. After my extensive obsession with police procedurals on TV from Bones, Criminal Minds all the way to NCIS and the CSIs’ I know that Agents are from National Agencies like the FBI, Homeland Security and state police have detectives, lieutenants and commanders. So it was a little confusing for me that Dakota was an agent. So was another character in the book (Agent Vargas) but she wasn’t from the same force, but was kind of Dakota’s partner in the case. It was confusing as hell.

Dakota is called for the death of an 18 year old, Terrence Dillion, in what appears to be a drug exchange gone wrong. As he investigates this matter, other murders begin to pop up, and it becomes apparent that there is a serial killer on their hands.

This serial killer was super interesting and nuanced. I’ve read many books and watched many shows with a serial killer obsessed with making his victims into living dolls, but this was the first time I saw the serial killer use tattoos to make sure his dolls never reverted back to normal humans.

This is exactly why I say this book is more of the hero’s story than the heroine’s, because although she is the assistant medical examiner in charge of all these dead bodies showing up, the bulk of the book is of Dakota figuring out who the serial killer is.

Unexpectedly, Dakota finds out that there might be a connection between these recent doll murders and the death of his sister that had been ruled a drug overdose. He knows his sister didn’t do drugs, and sadly the passing of his sister tore his family to shreds. This made it super important for Dakota to solve the mystery.

I was excited throughout the book and I wanted to know who the killer was the whole time. I was very tempted to check the last page and just put myself out of my misery, but the anticipation was worth it. I was suitably surprised, because the killer had literally been hiding in plain sight; both in the book and in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would 10/10 highly recommend to anyone who wants to help solve a murder with the hero. It feels very immersive and I feel like I was a part of the police force; gathering data and interviewing suspects.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Dollmaker
by Mary Burton
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance

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