Mary Burton’s ‘Near You’ is a Perplexing Mind Game That Keeps Us Guessing [REVIEW]

His penchant for arson nearly cost her life. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Two women are murdered by fire. Now a doctor has been asked to solve the crime. But a man from her past has other plans for her. Can she catch a killer before she gets caught in his tanged web of obsession? Find out in Mary Burton’s breathlessly paced new novel, Near You.

Mary Burton's NEAR YOU

Forensic psychologist Ann Baily has a knack for untangling the motives of depraved minds. That’s why the single mother has joined forces with Montana Highway Patrol officer Bryce McNabe and has been tasked to help solve the mysterious deaths of two women who were doused with gasoline and set on fire. Sometimes the past creeps up to haunt us though, and that’s what happens when the case takes Ann back to another crime, one which nearly ended her life.

Elijah Weston is the charismatic psychopath who served a decade in prison for arson, and although he was exonerated, Ann can’t help but compare the current case with that one, especially when one of the victims is identified as an obsessed Elijah groupie. Meanwhile, Elijah is fully aware that Ann is back in town, and since her arrival, he can’t take his eyes off her. After all, she has a secret, and therefore makes the perfect target for an infatuated psycho.

As Ann and Bryce dig deeper into the case, they find themselves drawn to one another even as they inch closer toward danger. When a third murder happens close to home, Ann becomes afraid that there’s a clue in her closely guarded past. But the only thing scarier than her secret being outed is becoming a victim herself.

Near You is my first time reading a Mary Burton novel, but it definitely won’t be the last! I was captivated after the first few pages. You see, I am a person who likes to understand the human psyche. I constantly try to understand why people behave the way they do, much to my husband’s chagrin. He is always telling me, “Acknowledge what they did and move on. Don’t put any meaning behind their actions. You have better things to do with your time.”

While part of me understands this, I can’t help but think if I truly understood others, I would react differently and make better choices. Hence, forensic psychologist Dr. Ann Bailey’s mind intrigues me. I could feel mental wheels turning, her curiosity about the human psyche piqued from the start!

Instantly, Burton had me turning page after page, eager to discern who the culprit behind the killings is as well as their motivations and the meaning behind them. Near You is a psychological race against time and place that is impossible to put down. Plus Burton is one of those authors who keeps a card hidden up her sleeve, because just when the reader thinks they have figured out the ending, it doesn’t lead where you might think. Don’t miss reading this tightly written, nail biting mind game!

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Mary Burton
Mary Burton


Mary Burton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 35 romance and suspense novels, including Burn You TwiceNever Look BackI See You, and Hide and Seek, as well as five novellas.

She’s a graduate of Virginia’s Hollins University and and she worked in marketing before her first book was published in 2000. 

She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America. When not on the road for research or visits with readers at bookstores, book festivals and conferences, Mary remains very much a homebody.

A Richmond native, she currently lives in Virginia with her husband and their three miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella, and Tiki.

For more information, visit her at

By Mary Burton
347 pp. Montlake. $12.95.

Purchase Near You direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Target.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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