The Seventh Victim 

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton leaves behind her Virginia roots and moves the action of her latest novel west, where the Austin-based Texas Rangers are confronted with multiple murders in THE SEVENTH VICTIM. James Beck has just returned to Ranger Division Headquarters after three weeks on administrative leave. Glad to be back, he nonetheless doesn't regret having angered the higher ups or disobeying orders to track down the politically well-connected killer of ten-year-old Misty Gray. Today, he's facing murder again, this time a killing seemingly linked to one in San Antonio. Both involved young, blonde women found clad in white dresses. When a penny is discovered in the hand of the new victim, alarms go off for Beck as he recalls a case of serial murders in Seattle that was never solved. Six women were strangled. All were blonde and found wearing white dresses, and each held a penny in her hand. The seventh victim survived. Fear kept Lara Church moving from town to town for the last seven years, until eight months ago when her grandmother died. Lara inherited the home and land just outside of Austin where she had spent all of her childhood summers. The house had been a place of refuge for Lara and, though she had planned to settle the estate and leave, she remained, setting up her dark room, diving deeper into her art and accepting a job teaching photography. Comforting memories help hold her there, but those are not the ones that matter to her. She wants what she can't remember--being raped, beaten and strangled, her attacker, and the clues that could lead to the Seattle Strangler. Two months after the attack, Lara, whose name was never released, dyed her blonde hair brown, packed her bags and left Seattle forever, hoping to protect her identity and escape the constant pressure to remember. Lara's only just begun to believe that she may be able to stay in one place, that she may have a chance at a normal life, when Beck shows up demanding her help. But she's already tried to remember, over and over again, to no avail. There's no way she's going to let Beck drag her back to hell, back into the world of shrinks and crime scene photos that had nearly driven her insane. Yet, as the killing continues, a mother's plea pulls Lara into the heart of the investigation, struggling to remember and to face the terror, even as her home and life are invaded. Threats mount, the killer draws closer, and nothing and no one is what they seem to be.

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