Review: Never Look Back (Criminal Profiler #3) by Mary Burton

Print Length: 332 pages
Publisher: Montlake Romance (July 1, 2020)

From  After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone-wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina—why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim—and both with their sights set on her.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This one was very underwhelming.

From the way the synopsis was worded, I thought it would be much more interesting than it was. However, even though there are indeed two serial killers operating in the same area (and what are the chances on that), I never really felt like one of them was a threat to Melina. In fact, there was a thread regarding this particular serial killer inside her home which was forgotten about. It seemed more as a convenient way to get her to go to Ramsey's motel room, vulnerable and spooked so that the author could have them sleep together (another point that I didn't feel made much sense to the overall plot).

Convenience seemed to be the theme of this story, with things working out in favor of Melina whenever and wherever possible. Long-standing questions about who left her on the side of the road as a child? Answered. Needs a clue as to the whereabouts of a serial killer? They conveniently turn up (or in one case suspend decades of police evasion on a risky gamble that ends up getting them found out). 

I will admit that as these two investigate and start to piece together the puzzle of the two serial killers, there were some interesting aspects that kept this story from being a total flop - I just wish there had been more of a focus on those parts and less on the ones done just for the sake of being added in. I also wished I had seen more of Jerrod's character, I felt like he was very much your stereotypical lone-wolf, married to the job kind of cardboard cut-out that you see frequently in novels such as this while Melina's personality frequently dominated. 

The final complaint I have is even after all of this, the ending was just so anti-climatic that it boarded on insulting to the reader. To have gone through all of that just to have it end the way it did with everything conveniently tied up in a bow that way? Disappointing to say the least. 

                             Never Look Back is available from

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