Fatal Burn

( 116 )

Overview

She's The Moth...

He's been waiting for this moment. With every kill, he can feel her getting closer. Very soon--just a few more victims to go. All he needed was the girl, Dani, and now that he has her, his plan is in motion, and no one can stop it...

Moving Dangerously Close...

The police don't believe Shannon Flannery when she says someone is out there, watching her, trying to kill her. The only person on ...

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Fatal Burn

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Overview

She's The Moth...

He's been waiting for this moment. With every kill, he can feel her getting closer. Very soon--just a few more victims to go. All he needed was the girl, Dani, and now that he has her, his plan is in motion, and no one can stop it...

Moving Dangerously Close...

The police don't believe Shannon Flannery when she says someone is out there, watching her, trying to kill her. The only person on her side is Travis Settler. The former Special Forces agent is convinced Shannon's dark past has something to do with the disappearance of his daughter, Dani--a child whose connection to Shannon is just the beginning of a nightmare...

To The Flame...

Secrets have been kept from Shannon. Dark, dangerous, and very fatal secrets. Now, with no one to trust but a man who has every reason to doubt her, Shannon's determined to discover the shocking truth, even if it brings her face to face with a serial killer whose slow burn for vengeance will not be denied...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although branded a "romantic suspense" novelist, Jackson keeps the sex to a minimum-for the better-in his latest. Featuring two secondary characters from 2005's Deep Freeze (Travis Settler and his teenage daughter, Dani), the detailed plot revolves around Shannon Flannery, a woman with four overprotective older brothers and a troubled past that includes being falsely accused of murdering her husband and giving up her only child, Dani, for adoption. When Dani is kidnapped from her hometown of Falls Creek, Ore., Travis sets out to find Shannon in Santa Lucia, Calif., thinking she may know the girl's whereabouts. The two eventually realize that Dani's disappearance, as well as several unsolved local murders and a series of arsons, are inextricably linked to Shannon's family history-including dark secrets her brothers have harbored for years. Naturally, in the midst of all the danger, Travis and Shannon fall in love; though Jackson indulges in only one major obligatory sex scene, she injects nearly every other scene with plenty of dread and drama, keeping seasoned suspense lovers reading. A tight, twisty plot catapulting toward a fiery conclusion will please fans and should earn Jackson new ones. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821775776
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 200,333
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson has been writing romantic fiction for fifteen years. Over sixty of her books have been published and reprinted in more than a dozen foreign languages. A single mother, she is a native of Oregon, where she still resides with her two teenage sons. Lisa is often asked what is the key to her success, and her unfailing answer is a keen imagination, incredible friends, loving family, and always, loads of laughter. As Oscar Wilde is purported to have said, "Life is too important to be taken seriously."
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Read an Excerpt

Fatal Burn


By LISA JACKSON

Zebra

ISBN: 0-8217-7577-4


Prologue

Indian summer The forest near Santa Lucia, California Three years earlier

He was late.

He checked his watch and the illuminated digital face glowed eerily in the pitch-dark forest.

Eleven fifty-seven.

Hell!

He'd never make it in time and would draw attention to himself, something he could ill afford.

Picking up his pace, he jogged along the uneven terrain, running downward in this stretch of low wooded hills, far away from civilization.

Far away from discovery.

The sounds of the night crept into his brain: the rustle of autumn leaves in the hot breeze, the snap of a dry twig beneath his hurried footsteps and the thunderous pounding of his own heart, thudding wildly, pumping adrenaline through his veins.

He sneaked a glance at his wrist, the face of his watch registering midnight. His jaw tightened. Perspiration seemed to pour from every inch of his skin and his nerves were strung tight as an assassin's garrote.

Slow down! Don't announce your presence by crashing through the underbrush like a wounded stag! Better to be a few minutes late than to destroy everything by making a clumsy racket.

He stopped, drew in several deep breaths and smelled the tinder-dry forest. Beneath his dark clothes he was sweating. From the hot night. From his exertion. From a sense of anticipation. And from fear.

He swiped at the moisture in his eyes and drew in a long, calming breath. Concentrate.Focus. Do not slip up. Not tonight.

Somewhere nearby an owl hooted softly and he took it as an omen. A good one. So he was late. He could handle it.

He hoped.

Once his heartbeat had slowed, he dug into the pocket of his tight-fitting jacket, found the ski mask and quickly pulled it over his head, adjusting the eye and nose holes.

Looking downward he saw the first flicker of light in the shadows. Then another.

Flashlights.

They were gathering.

His heart nearly stopped.

But there was no going back, not now. He was committed. Just as they were. There was a chance that he would be caught, that they all would, but it was a risk they were all willing to take.

He continued his descent.

As a full moon rose higher in the sky, he jogged the final quarter mile through the stands of live oak and pine. Forcing his heartbeat to slow, he slipped around a final bend in the trail to the clearing where the four others waited.

They were all dressed like he was, in black, their faces covered by dark ski masks. They stood about three feet from each other, in formation, what would be a circle as soon as he joined them. He felt all the hidden eyes stare at him as he stepped into the spot that completed the ring.

"You're late," a harsh voice whispered. The tallest was glaring at him. The leader.

Every muscle in his body tensed. He nodded. Didn't reply. No excuse would be acceptable.

"There can be no errors. No delays!"

Again, he inclined his head, accepting the rebuke.

"Do not make this mistake again!"

The others stared at him, the offender. He kept his eyes trained straight ahead. Eventually they all turned their attention to the leader who was slightly taller than everyone else. There was something about him that emanated power, a fierceness that came through-something that said he was a man to be respected ... and feared.

"We begin," the leader went on, mollified, at least for the moment. With one final glance around the circle, the leader bent down to the ground. With a click of his lighter, he touched the small flame to a pile of twigs which crackled and caught. Small, glowing flickers of fire raced in a predetermined path. The smell of burning kerosene caught in the wind. One sharp point of fiery light became defined, then another as the symbol ignited, a blazing star burning on the clearing.

"Tonight it ends." The leader straightened, taking his place at a tip of one star point. They each stood at the end of one of the projections, their boots dangerously close to the flames.

"No more!"

"Everything's in place?" the person to his right asked in a hiss.

Man or woman?

He couldn't tell.

"Yes." The leader glanced at his watch. There was satisfaction in his tone, even pride, though his voice was still disguised. "You all know what you need to do. Tonight Ryan Carlyle pays for what he's done. Tonight he dies."

The latecomer's heart clutched.

"Wait! No! This is a mistake," another one of the group argued, as if a sudden sense of guilt had claimed him. Or was it a woman? The dissenter was certainly the shortest of the lot and was wearing clothes baggy enough to be deceiving. He was shaking his head as if grappling with his ethics. "We can't do this. It's murder. Premeditated murder."

"It's already been decided." The leader was firm.

"There must be a better way."

"The plan is already in motion. No one will ever find out."

"But-"

"As I said, it's been decided." The whisper was scathing and cruel, daring the dissident to argue further.

All the unseen eyes turned on the one who had found the courage to object. He held his ground for a fraction of a second before his shoulders slumped in reluctant acceptance, as if there was nothing he could do. He argued no more.

"Good. Then we're all in agreement." The leader shot the protestor one final glance before outlining the simple but effective plan to put an end to Ryan Carlyle's life.

No one asked a question.

Everyone understood.

"We're in agreement?" the leader checked. There were nods all around, aside from the one dissenter. "We're in agreement?" the leader demanded again harshly. The dissenter gave up his fight and hitched his chin quickly, as if afraid to utter even the slightest protest.

The leader snorted, satisfied, then moved his eyes from the objector to each member standing at a point of the star before zeroing in on the latecomer again.

Because he'd arrived a few minutes after midnight, the appointed time? Because of a basic animal mistrust? He felt the weight of the tall man's stare and met it evenly.

"You all know your assignments. I expect you to execute them flawlessly." No one spoke. "Leave," the leader ordered. "Separately. Each the way you came. Discuss this with no one."

As the flames in the star began to spread, searching for other sources of fuel, each of the five conspirators turned from the fire and disappeared into the forest.

He, too, did as he was bid, rotating quickly, ignoring the thundering of his heart and the sweat covering his body. Inside he was thrumming, his senses heightened. He jogged upward and hazarded one glance over his shoulder. Straining to listen, he heard nothing over the sound of his own labored breathing and the sigh of the wind as it rushed through the surrounding trees.

He was alone.

No one was following him.

No one would find out what he had planned.

Far below, in the clearing, the fire was beginning to take hold, the fiery star splintering and crawling rapidly through the summer-dry grass toward the surrounding woods.

He didn't have much time. Yet he waited, eyes scanning the dark hillside, the seconds ticking away. Finally he heard the faraway sound of an engine starting, and then, barely a minute later, another car or truck roared to life.

Come on, come on, he thought, glancing at his watch and biting at the edge of his lip. Finally the sound of a third engine, barely discernable, revved to life, only to fade into the distance. Good.

He waited for the fourth vehicle to start.

A minute passed.

He lifted his mask and mopped his face, then pulled it over his head again. Just in case.

Another full minute ticked by.

What the hell was going on?

He felt the light touch of fear burn down his spine.

Don't panic. Just wait.

But it shouldn't take this long. Everyone should have been desperate to flee. Through the trees he spied the growing flames. Soon someone would see the fire, call it in.

Damn!

Maybe the leader had changed his mind, considered him a risk after all. Maybe showing up late had been a far worse mistake than he'd imagined and even now the leader of the secret band was stalking him, closing in.

Fists clenched, every sense alive, he searched the darkness.

Don't lose it. There's still time. Again he glanced at his watch. Nearly twelve-thirty. And the fire below was taking hold, crackling and burning, racing through the undergrowth.

His ears strained as the smell of smoke teased his nostrils ... Was that the sound of a car's engine roaring to life?

Five more minutes passed and he stood, sweating, muscles tight, ready to spring.

Still nothing.

Fuck!

He couldn't waste another minute and decided to risk his plan. Swiftly he began running up the trail again, heading toward the little-used logging road high above, but at a fork in the path, he veered sharply right. Heart pounding, his nerves twisted and jangled, he angled along the side of the hill. His muscles were beginning to ache with the effort when he finally saw the abyss ahead of him, a deep chasm cut into the hillside.

He was close now. Could still make it.

Without hesitation, he found the large tree he'd used as a bridge earlier and carefully eased his way along the rough bark and through the broken limbs to the other side of the cleft. Far below, the fire continued to take hold, the flames glowing brighter, the smoke rising toward the night-dark heavens.

Hurry!

At the root-end of the log, he jumped to the ground, picked up another trail and followed it unerringly to a boulder the size of a man. Five paces uphill he found a tree split and blackened by lightning, cleaved as if God Himself had sliced the oak into two pieces. At the base of that split trunk was his quarry.

Hands and ankles bound, tied to one side of the tree, mouth taped shut, his prisoner waited.

He flicked on his flashlight, saw that the captive's wrists were bloody and raw, the skin sawed by the ropes as the man had tried to escape.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Fatal Burn by LISA JACKSON Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 118 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Must read if you have read Deep Freeze

    The continuation of Deep Freeze. Keeps you on your toes but ends well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    As a Lisa Jackson fan this book was another edge of your seat thriller w/ romance. A good plot & sequel to Deep Freeze. Many secrets w/ twists & turns. I could not put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006

    The Book Burns me Slowly

    Don't get me wrong. I like this book as a good romance mixed with suspence. It may slowly drag me on from the beginning but towards the middle of the book it got better and better. Then I enjoyed it to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2006

    Lisa jackson book review

    As a fan of Lisa's books, I was a bit disappointed in this book, Fatal Burn. Although fairly good, it does not meet the muster of her other books. It was somewhat slow going until half way through, then it moved nicley. I would not put this in the category of any of her other books. They were dynamic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2006

    Disappointed

    It was a very slow read, I just couldn't get into it. But I finished it none the less and it took me about 2 weeks, normally I would finish in a day and a half. The most frustrating thing about this book is that the charactor's reactions to many of the scenarios were commical, frustrating and laid back to say the least. I don't recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Magicalsoul

    Paced angrily on the branch. She began talking to herself, reasoning things. "Sandstorm, hes on all the time and- Stop! Your bound to Flash! But hes on rarely- and Ive known him since i was born. Sure, hes never on, but-" she screamed, past frustration. "I should've been a medicine cat!" She swiped a small branch above her, still pacing. "I know, he saved my life when splint attempted to ki.ll me, and I go and become mates with Flash?" She growled, digging her sharp claws into the branch, splintering the wood. "And flash wasnt even on! He didnt help me train blind, and- and-" she slipped off the branch and ran off to woods result sixty, tears in her eyes. "I could have di.ed that night if it wasnt for sand..." she whispered between breaths as she ran.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Fatal Burn

    Excelent read, did not want to put it down! Would love to read more books like this one!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Fatal burn

    Such an amazing story could not put it down,it left me trying to figure out who did it while i was reading it.i dreaded finishing it though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Excellent mystery

    Good read if you like suspence

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Amazing book!!!!!

    A must read will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more!!!!

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  • Posted November 9, 2011

    great read keeps you interested

    I am always interested in reading Liza Jackson books. This book was very interesting and kept you on the edge till the last page i would recommend this read to anyone. it was worth the time

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Very exciting book, a must read.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I did not want to put it down. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys any of Lisa Jackson's books.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Loved it!

    I have read almost all of her books, by far my favorite author. Hope she keeps writing for a long time :) :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Impressed

    There's alot of twists and turns in this book. Once I got past the first 75 pages, I couldn't put it down. Lisa Jackson has quite an imagination to write a book of this calibur!

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not a keeper in the romantic suspense genre

    Initially, I wasn't going to write a review on this book. I have to be honest and say I did not finish it. It has taken me two days to read 155 pages, and though I thought to tough it out to see the kidnapping resolved, I went back and read some of the reviews by other readers and decided to let this one go.

    I have only read one other book by this author (Impostress) and really liked it, so I did not hesitate to pick this up. Quick synopsis: A woman believes someone is out to kill her and a man thinks it's tied to the kidnapping of his daughter. Sounds interesting right? It could have been, but the book was so slow and not having read the prequel I felt that in getting to know the characters I was missing something vital. I will give the benefit of the doubt and say perhaps the missing pieces fit together in the end, but after two days and only getting 155 pages into it (when normally I would have finished the entire 500 paged book in two days) I just decided it wasn't worth finding out. There are way too many good books out there to be bogged down by this one.

    In the end (or should I say by page 155) I decided the kidnapped girl was a smart cookie and probably helped herself get out of the situation and if not then I'm really glad I didn't finish it. I'll try something else by this author, but with caution.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    What a thrill ride!

    i love Lisa Jacksons books! I read fatal burn after deep freeze (my first book by her) and I have 5 more books waiting for me to read by her. That should tell you something.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    Another masterpiece by Jackson

    Fatal Burn was an intense read. I loved it and couldn't put it down. It is finally official, after finishing this book I've read every one of Lisa Jackson's romantic suspense novels, plus a few of her contemporary romance. Now, I have to wait till Left to Die comes out so I can get my Jackson fix. Though I had the 'killer' narrowed down to 2 possibilities half way through the book, and one of those was right, I was still surprised when the big reveal took place. Fatal Burn grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    There is a firebug out there. This firebug is trying to kill those loved by Shannon Flannery in a mean, sadistic way. Shannon feels like the world is closing in on her and she doesn¿t know if she is next on this killers list or not. Shannon love animals. She boards horses and trains dogs for search and rescue operations wherever needed. When Shannon awakes to the smell of smoke, looks out, and sees her barns and stables with fire and smoke pouring out of them, she runs to do all she can to save her horses and dogs. Travis Settler has a young daughter he and his now deceased wife had adopted. Travis wants to find the true birth mother of this daughter. Clues lead him to Shannon¿s area. Travis is ¿stalking¿ Shannon¿s house when the fire breaks out. Even though he did not want to let Shannon know who he was and what he was doing near her house, he ran to assist in rescuing the animals, beginning a good friendship and giving him the opening to obtain information about Dani, his daughter. Dani, had gone online to try to find out for herself who her real mother was, alerting Shannon that her daughter was active in this search. Many members of Shannon¿s family had disappeared or been supposedly killed over the past several years so she was getting frantic to end this killing and find the firebug that was getting too close to her. Shannon had been suspected of killing her former husband but there was not enough proof to arrest her and prosecute her. Shannon¿s brothers are very secretive in keeping information from her and she becomes more suspicious as she wonders what they were up to. She wants to build a new farm for her and her animals so she could increase the dogs she could train. Her relationship with her brothers gets very uncomfortable. Eventually she meets Travis but she has no knowledge what he is in the area for and he would not discuss much with her. I found ¿Fatal Burn¿ to be excellent in writing style and in keeping the readers interest solidly into the story. The suspense keeps you on edge and the book has many of the usual twists and turns. It is a page-turner you will enjoy if you like mysteries. I have an interest in most any fire or arson stories I can find. ¿Fatal Burn¿ is better than most I have read but it just is not about the fire aspect that makes it so terrific.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    Done in one day!

    This is the second book of Ms Jackson's I read. Each of them I blew through in one day each. Very Good And Very Recommended

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love a book I can read all night long. This is one you can't put down. I normally don't read fiction.. but I was hooked with this book.. I will definately be purchasing more books from Lisa Jackson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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