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Summary

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?

©2016 Mary Burton. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Okay.

Nothing to really write home about. Usual brooding detective who has a broken heart but still full of feeling. The crackpot who does all the killings. Then the Chase.
Broody,lengthy,and just okay.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a real page turner.

If you could sum up The Dollmaker in three words, what would they be?

The Doll Maker is a well-crafted thriller with a real twist at the end.

What other book might you compare The Dollmaker to, and why?

Any of Karen Rose's books, which is a very high compliment. The clear way the story is laid out is right throughout this book, but it does seem to give the perpetrator more voice than would Rose, but that is fine.

What does Christina Traister bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I liked her clear accented voice and her steady and precise diction.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but it was too long for that, but I did find myself saying "just one more chapter" several times late at night.

Any additional comments?

I have liked the two previous books in this series which I read on Kindle and would recommend them to those who like thrillers with just a touch of romance.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • shelley
  • 17-11-16

Creepy!

This is one of those books that makes your skin crawl. A group of teenager girls goes out for Halloween and one is kidnapped. She spends the next few days being abused by her abductor until he finally ends her life. Twelve years later her friends start to disappear and are later turning up dead and posed. They have had every bit of hair removed from their bodies and have been tattooed to look like porcelain dolls. White skin, freckles little bow lips and wigs where their hair used to be.
There's a whole convoluted story about how the abductor came to be so twisted, but the lead investigator's sister was the first victim, only they don't know it yet.
Christina Traister does a great job narrating.
This is a very good suspense story and the abductor's identity is not revealed until almost the end.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

62 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy T
  • 03-12-16

Great Psychological Romance Mystery

This was a great story. I really enjoyed it.

Wow what a story. I love a good fast paced romance mystery with a serial killer. The characters were great. Loved Dakota and Tessa chemistry together. I was real and genuine.

The story line and plot was great. It was fast paced, not full of filler nonsense. The story flowed very well and was easy to follow along. The bad guy?? Yeah he had some issues for sure! Psycho.. It had me guessing almost to the end so that is good.

There was lots of great dialogue throughout the entire book. I love lots of good dialogue.

As for the narration. I really like this narrator. I hope she narrates many more books. She has a great reading voice. The men sound like men and everyone gets their own distinct voice. She reads with emotion as called for too. ie whispering, yelling, laughing, etc. Fantastic narration for sure.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 15-12-16

Hooible narration

this narrator's portrayal of male characters was so bad it was difficult to finish book

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Charles Atkinson
  • 28-03-18

Burton does procedurals like a pro.

It is pretty easy to guess what the doll maker does with women. It’s pretty sick stuff, borderline horror material. Nevertheless the police procedural part was terrific.

Christina Traister does another great job with narration. However, with the male leads in both The Shark and The Dollmaker her voice is low and unemotional. She does an excellent job with accents and both sexes otherwise.

This is the second novel of 3 in The Forgotten Files trilogy. This time the focus shifts to Detective Dakota Parks of the Virginia State Police. His estranged wife has returned to his life and he isn’t sure how he feels about their relationship. She is the new Medical Examiner, which means they must work together. The Dollmaker case suddenly takes a personal turn for the couple, which furthermore complicates their lives.

Mary Burton is a great mystery writer!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • 11-03-17

Fantastic Romantic Suspense @$7.34 A Bargain

Agent Dakota Sharp works homicide for the Virginia State Police Department. He chose this career after his half-sister Kara died from an apparent overdose of drugs. He was devastated by her loss and filled with questions nobody could answer. Kara never used drugs. Years later, while attending his step-father Roger's funeral, a private investigator approached Dakota stating he was hired by Roger to gather all the evidence surrounding Kara's death. Roger never believed Kara died the way the authorities claimed and his dying wish was to have Dakota re-examine all the information one last time.
Dr. Tessa McGowan is a forensic pathologist and also the estranged wife of Dakota Sharp. She spent the last year working outside the country helping identify remains of American soldiers who went missing in Vietnam. She is ready to come home. She wants to reconnect with Dakota and save her marriage. She accepted a job in the Virginia State Medical Examiner's Office in Richmond which would force them to work together. She was best friends with his sister Kara in college and knew her death had a huge impact on Dakota but his unyielding determination to solve cases made her believe he was not committed to their marriage.
As he starts to unwind the puzzle pieces of these homicides, he begins to fear there might be some kind of personal connection from his past with this psychopath committing these homicides. Worse, Tessa might be in the cross hairs of this killer.


Christina Traister was very good with the delivery of the story

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 21-11-16

Solid thriller; very eerie novel

This is my 5th Mary Burton novel, so I knew what to expect: blood and gore, serial killer, strong suspense, offbeart story line, solid writing, gratuitous graphic sex scenes. It's all there! The excellent narration was not a surprise either. Worthwhile listen!

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 03-12-16

Thriller?

This was too much sex and not enough thriller. With the careers they had it seemed way too much time in the bedroom.
The narrator was a bit on the dramatic side. I would have to stop and take a break. She had a way to get on my nerves.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Grace
  • 29-01-18

Great performance, engaging story line

The performance was amazing. Christina Traister acted perfectly. She screamed when the author said scream, sounded shaky when the author described nervous feelings, did a great job at "crying," etc.

Overall the book was very interesting. Played out kind of like a CSI episode, minus the cheesy one-liners. Nonetheless, it's a thrilling ride. Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • 22-12-16

Awesome read and Awesome narration..

What a fabulous book. It was exciting from beginning to end. Tessa and Sharp was such a great pair. They were separated after 8 months of marriage then she came back to town after 8 months of being in Viet Nam looking for American soldiers who’d been shot down in the war. She had changed and wanted to make their marriage work but he was afraid that if she left him once that she’d leave him again. It was a good love story but it was a better murder mystery.

Sharp was looking for a serial killer while having Andrews, a computer genius, look into his sister’s 12 year old death. He refused to believe she died from and accidental overdose but he was out of clues.

Oh, and the serial killer he was looking for? He was one sick puppy. And I was surprised to find out who it was.

There was more sex in this book than in other of Ms. Burton’s, more desire, more romance. It wasn’t just a vanilla sex scene that I couldn’t wait to get past. It was nice and romantic. I’ve read 3 or Ms. Burton’s books and this was the best one so far.

And the F-bomb was used 14 times.

As to the narration: Absolutely phenomenal. I thought Christina Traister was good in The Shark, Ms. Burton’s other book that I really liked, but she was fantastic in this book. Women’s voices were great, men’s voices were perfect, but she really read with such emotion, suck feeling, that it was awesome. She laughed, she cried, she whispered, she did everything. She gets better with each book she reads. After listening to her in this book Christina Traister has become one of my top 5 female narrators.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie J. Dumond
  • 26-11-16

Great mystery

Mary Burton has done it again!! The mystery was good, the story line was beyond creepy and it kept me interested. This being said, the narrator's voice for the main male character was awful! Her interpretation was slow, drawn out, and down right dull!! I had to keep rolling my eyes because it was so lifeless. Don't get me wrong, her voices for all the other characters was done well, but Jee whiz, she needed to put some life into Sharp!!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful