Exclusive Excerpt from The Hangman by Mary Burton

The Hangman by Mary Burton

THE HANGMAN by Mary Burton  

Julia Vargas is a cop with a mission. When she’s not chasing down bad guys, Julia dedicates her time to investigating the Hangman serial killer…the same unsolved case that her father, Jim Vargas, was working on when he supposedly shot and killed himself three decades before. While rumors continue to swirl around her father’s death, Julia attempts to hunt down the truth.


The Hangman by Mary Burton

About the Book

Title: The Hangman

Author: Mary Burton

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Julia Vargas is a cop with a mission. When she’s not chasing down bad guys, Julia dedicates her time to investigating the Hangman serial killer…the same unsolved case that her father, Jim Vargas, was working on when he supposedly shot and killed himself three decades before. While rumors continue to swirl around her father’s death, Julia attempts to hunt down the truth.

The case once again hits dangerously close, however, when a woman’s bones are discovered in a historic downtown home, together with a photograph of Jim and Julia as a young girl. As horrifying as this discovery is, it may just be the break Julia has waited for. Working alongside Tobias Novak, a homicide detective with whom she shares a complicated—and steamy—history, she’s forced to confront her own past even as the Hangman looms in the shadows. But as the mysterious killer circles closer, Julia can feel her own noose begin to tighten…

Exclusive Excerpt!

“Julia, you’re too close to the Hangman case. Agent Novak will see the facts with an uncolored view.”

Both were right. But Novak saw too much. “Worried I’ll steal your thunder?” Novak challenged.

Julia’s practiced smile brightened. “You’re welcome to all the credit for all I care. I want answers.”

“We want the same thing.”

He brought objectivity to the case. And she had only five more days before her vacation was up and she would be back to working her regular cases. “Sure. Let’s do it. Makes good sense.”

“That makes me feel a lot better,” Cindy said to Novak. “She goes it alone too much.”

“I’ve noticed that,” he said.

“I’m standing right here,” Julia said.

“Cindy, any fresh coffee in the bar?”

“You bet.”

When Cindy was out of earshot, Novak said, “Now, tell me who you think left the noose outside of your place.”

“I have this under control.”

He grabbed her arm. “Whoever did this also knows Cindy works here. Your stubbornness could get her hurt.”

She cared about Cindy’s safety more than her own.

He tucked the pictures in his breast pocket. “Talk to me, Julia.”

If not for Cindy, she’d have blown him off. “I think it was someone associated with Benny Santiago.”

“Tell me about his case.”

The nudge of the painful memories scratched inside her. “Long story short, I hurt Benny’s operation worse than he hurt me.”

He was silent for a second. “Why hasn’t Benny sent one of his people after you?”

“I’m sure it’s on his to-do list. Right now his goal is to compel his very expensive attorney to file an appeal. Benny may have a hair-trigger temper, but he’ll get his revenge when it suits him best. I’ll be watching my back for a long time with this guy.”

“You don’t look too concerned.”

“Believe me, I’m concerned.” She shook her head. “More and more, I understand why my father stayed away from us. He was trying to keep Mom and me safe.”

“So you tried to save the girlfriend, and she turned on you?”

“I ruined a good gig for her, sans the beatings, when Benny was arrested. I guess she thought that like before, she could take the beating, he’d cool off, and life would go back to normal for a while longer.”

“And if it’s not Lana?”

“Benny has lots of people who work for him. Lana might have voiced her frustrations loud and clear with me at the courthouse yesterday, but she’s only posturing. I’d wager his crew is acting on Benny’s behalf. Hurting me could leverage anyone up Benny’s food chain.”

“Let’s drop it off at the lab. Then we can walk the old crime scenes.”

“Sure, we can do that.” He looked around the alley. “You don’t think it’s odd that you grew up and still live near the site of the murders?”

“My mom needed a place to live after Jim died. Cindy’s bar was here, and the rent was free. None of this area had much significance to me until I read up on the case. And I don’t plan to stay here forever. But Cindy’s getting a little older, and she likes having someone on the property after she goes home at night.”

“Good place to be until this case is solved. You never forget about it.”

“Doesn’t matter where I live. I never forget about it.” The intensity of Novak’s stare had her shifting her stance, eager to get going. “You don’t have to come with me to the lab.”

“We’re a team.”

“Maybe we should get jerseys and a mascot.”

“Smart-ass.”

She muzzled a grin. He was right. The lone-wolf act had not cracked the case so far. And yes, Shield was helping, but no guarantees there. Still, this case was a deeper quagmire than a guy like Novak deserved, especially with her on the team. “Be patient with me. I’m not the easiest person to work with.”

A dark brow rose. “You’re funny.” He pulled keys from his pocket. “I’ll drive.”

 

MaryBurtonAuthor Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.

Website: http://www.maryburton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryburtonfanpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryBurtonBooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15020.Mary_Burton

 

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