Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.
Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…
She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?
Dakota is an excellent cop but he’s haunted by the death of his younger sister. He wasn’t even in the country when it happened but he still feels guilty. The worst part is that it’s a cold case. It’s worse than cold for him, it’s frozen part of his heart.
Ms. Burton writes suspenseful novels and this is one of her best so far. She makes you wonder how she can imagine a monster so well. Did she have one in her life? Once you start reading her novels, you don’t stop until it’s done. Then you might have to sit and take a few breaths before you return to regular life. Her stories are smoothly done, the horror is real, and the danger gives you chills.
When Tessa, Dakota’s wife, returns from working overseas, she’d like to get back together with him. He tells her he hasn’t changed and what broke them apart before will do it again. Since she’s a medical examiner, she has to work with him. She also plans to work on him.
The newest death is a young man who was found in a dark alley. They believe that it was a drug deal gone bad. The young man was a good boy, but he had a bad father. What makes them wonder about it is the manner of death. It’s almost like a doctor killed him.
Then a woman is found dead and she’s been remade. All her hair has been removed. She’s tattooed as a doll and her wig and clothing are unusual. When she’s identified, she’s part of a group of girls that Tessa and Dakota’s sister hung out in high school. Then they find another one in the same type of tattoos and handmade clothing and she’s another of the group. All of sudden, Dakota has more to worry about than his dead sister…
Ms. Burton, draws you in, gives you pieces of the puzzle from all sides, and manages to scare you to death on the way. Her books are exciting and an excellent read.