You Twice by
Mary Burton is suspenseful with a heated plot. Fire is front
and center in this book, whose main antagonist is an arsonist.
An added feature of the plot is how Burton gives glimpses
and insight into an arsonist's deranged mind. This psychological
thriller intermingles a slight romance with family, fire,
mistakes, and second chances.
At the end of every chapter are confessions of an arsonist.
"I want readers to understand how they get a rush from
seeing the destruction of a fire and have complex psychological
reasons. Some of the reasons they do it can include financial,
revenge, and something deeply personal. They experience the
thrill, control, power, and danger. Since everybody is a creature
of habit, some arsonists can have their favorite technique
on how they set a fire. It is very creepy. I want the reader
to get a sense of what the arsonist is thinking. This is a
guy tracking his own thoughts and activity. I am looking to
create the scary factor."
quickly learn that ten years ago, college student Joan Mason
and her best friend, Ann Bailey, were rescued from a fire
that destroyed the house they shared in Missoula, Montana.
A fellow student, Elijah Weston, was subsequently tried and
convicted of the crime, though he professed his innocence.
Shaken, she fled the small collegiate Montana town, leaving
behind friends, and never looked back. Now a Philadelphia
homicide detective, Joan's trying to put her traumas to rest.
wrote Joan as someone who grew up rough. She came together
for me pretty quickly and drove the story for me. She came
to Montana to start fresh, to re-invent herself. All of a
sudden, she nearly dies in a fire and realizes there are no
safe places, so she goes back to her hometown of Philadelphia.
She becomes obsessed with stopping arsonists since she knows
first-hand the destructive power. Joan will not let her fear
stop her from getting the arsonist. What makes it interesting
is that she is terrified of fire but is determined to run
toward it. Joan has made it a specialty to figure out their
pattern and to stop them. Overall, she is stubborn, bold,
guarded, and direct.”
years have passed, and Elijah Weston is out of prison and
returning to Missoula. Gut instinct tells Joan he'll strike
again. To stop him, she returns to Montana. She now must face
not only the man she fears but Detective Gideon Bailey, the
man she loved and left behind. Staying with her friend and
former roommate Ann, Joan finds Ann is separated from Clarke,
her firefighter husband, and is living at her parents' ranch
with their son Nate.
relationship between Gideon and Joan was broken with both
having hurt feelings. Joan, because two months after she left,
she finds out he got a girlfriend pregnant and married her.
She had the attitude, "he did not even let the pillow
get cold." Gideon because he was madly in love with Joan,
and when she went back to Philadelphia, it threw him for a
loop. Now they are trying to figure each other out and have
a tendency to initiate low sarcastic blows."
after Joan's arrival and Elijah’s' release from prison,
an arson fire destroys the Beau- T- Shop. There is a fatality
with one of the stylists inside. Joan vows to find the culprit,
which requires her to examine her past and relive the terrifying
night she nearly died. The investigation draws Joan and Gideon
together, but it also sends them down a dangerous path, into
a troubling history that Joan, Gideon, Clark, Elijah, and
Ann all share. All are determined to find the arsonist before
other buildings go up in flames.
me, the fire was like a character, a living thing. It moves
through rooms with speed, makes noise, and its smoke changes
color. A jolt of oxygen can make it angry, and that is when
things blow up, almost like it was provoked. I remember five
years ago, at another Writer's Police Academy, how they set
fire to a building. I saw how quickly the fire consumed it.
After ten minutes, the whole thing was consumed."
Readers should be excited to learn that there will be a book
2 titled Near You. It will be out in the spring and will feature
Ann and Elijah.
The plot has scorching action. The twists and turns keep the
reader on the edge of their seat as they will not want to
put the novel down.