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Christmas Past    by Mary Burton order for
Christmas Past
by Mary Burton
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mary Burton's Christmas Past is a romantic suspense novella, set in the depths of winter, just before the holidays. Its heroine is photographer Nicole Piper, who fled a very difficult past and moved from San Francisco to Virginia with her baby daughter Beth.

There she met homicide detective David Ayden, a widower with teen sons. Though the attraction between them is strong, Nicole is very wary of entanglement, given her horrific previous experience with romance. Her husband Richard had been uber controlling and violent, yet claimed he loved her.

Out of the blue, Nicole receives a DVD from her dead husband - he'd left it with his lawyer to further disrupt her life. It tells her that Richard's nasty assistant Vincent had tortured and killed the woman who befriended her and helped her escape. Richard informs Nicole that evidence has been left with his attorney, available only to her directly in San Francisco.

Is it a trap? Of course, but Nicole owes it to the woman who helped her to act on this information. She leaves Beth with a close friend. When David hears of her plans, he insists on accompanying her. The attorney gives them an envelope with pictures taken by the killer and a safety deposit box key - it's a scavenger hunt, with Nicole as the prey.

Christmas Past is an over the top, yet gripping escapist read, that's very hard to put down once started.

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