I'll Never Let You Go
My first experience with Mary Burton was the excellent Senseless. I absolutely loved that book and based on that bought and devoured her entire backlist and placed her on my auto-buy list. However, her last few novels have seen me losing the love a bit. Her books are still good; the recent volumes however have not had that spark that makes them great. This novel follows that pattern.
The band Nazareth tells us that, “Love hurts, love scars, love wounds.” That is certainly true in the case of Leah Carson. Four years ago her ex-husband stabbed her twenty-three times and then fled into the night. The cops never caught him but they did find him – dead in a car accident several hundred miles from the scene of the crime. Leah has talked to the investigator that identified her ex numerous times and is confident he really is gone. Until the odd little incidents start happening again.
Her ex had been an expert in subtle terror. The kinds of episodes that leave you second guessing yourself and make you look like a nut to the police. Items removed from your home with no sign of a break in. Flat tyres. Mysterious noises in the night. Anniversary flowers. And a moving company paid for by your credit card when you have no intention of moving. Leah changes her locks, pays the fee for the moving company to put everything back, and cancels her credit cards. But there is nothing she can do about her slowly mounting certainty that her ex has somehow returned from the dead. When a friend of hers is stabbed twenty-three times she is certain he has come back just in time to give her an anniversary gift, the same one he had planned to give her years ago – her death.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan takes down dirty cops. That doesn’t exactly make him popular with the local boys in blue. That’s okay – he’s not looking for popular. What he is looking for is justice. When an investigation leads him to Leah Carson’s door, his original plan is to get the information he needs and get out. But the beautiful, vulnerable young woman intrigues him and he finds himself asking her out. When weird events start happening around her he becomes perplexed – and curious. Who would want to terrorize the seemingly harmless local vet? And why?
Suspense novels rely on readers’ mounting apprehension about the future. What keeps you flipping the pages is the desperate need to know what the heck is going on and where it is all going to lead. I didn’t really feel that with this book. I knew that Alex would save Leah or she would save herself and they would live happily ever after. From the start I had a pretty clear idea of who the villain was so I wasn’t kept riveted trying to figure that out. My feeling while reading the book could be summed up as ‘meh’. In fairness, that could in part be because I’ve recently read three or four books with the battered wife theme. Too much of the same thing maybe?
Regardless, the mystery left this reader bored and the characters left her yawning. Both Alex and Leah are so secretive, introverted and internalized that their romance lacks heat. I couldn’t really get behind them as a couple.
The prose is good and while I didn’t find the plot interesting I didn’t find holes or anomalies in it that pulled me from the story. It’s clear this is the work of an experienced writer who knows what she is doing. The book was in no way a difficult read – aside from its being difficult to stay interested in.
I think I’ll Never Let You Go will work for those who like reading all the books in a series or those just searching for a romantic suspense to get them through the holidays. If neither of those describes you, I would look elsewhere for entertainment.