REVIEW: The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton

bookTitle: The Heart of a Killer (Amazon)
The Killer, #1
Jaci Burton
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: NetGalley
Published: October 18, 2011 by Mira

Before the Special Forces hero has even unpacked his bags from twelve years of active duty, he's embroiled in murder—corpses bearing the brutal trademark he's seen only once before—on the worst night of his life.

The last time Detective Anna Pallino saw Dante Renaldi, they were in love. Now, he's part of the connection to a string of fresh homicides and a horrible assault Anna only survived thanks to him.

More than anything, Anna wants to trust Dante. But as the bodies and the coincidences stack up, Anna will have to decide, and fast: Is the man she owes her life to the very same one who wants her dead?

Why I Read this Book: I’ve been wanting to read a book by this author for some time now. Her name is all over the book blogging community thanks to her infamous Play by Play series and I wanted in on the action. When I saw that she had a new romantic suspense novel, I jumped all over that!

What I Liked: The Heart of a Killer starts off with an intense prologue that had quite a numbing effect. It gives you the background story upfront. As a reader, you experience everything that sets the foundation for the rest of the story.

Things are not as they seem in The Heart of a Killer. I had a suspicion as to whom the killer was at about 46% of the way into the book. That is not to say that this book was overly predictable, because it wasn’t. I just had an inkling (which proved to be correct) but I didn’t know, or I should say understand, the motive at that point. I second guessed myself numerous times as I continued reading because I just didn’t see reasonable cause to support my assumption at that point.

There is a bit of romance in The Heart of a Killer (including a few steamy love scenes), however the mystery/suspense element was more at the forefront in this story.

The author wasn’t afraid to bring the reader to tears by killing off a character they’d grown to like. Jaci Burton made me cry!!

What I Didn’t Like: What happened to Dante during those 12 years he was away from his hometown? The reader isn’t given much to go on (just that he was in the Special Forces), which made it difficult for me to understand how he has so many convenient resources and credentials. I didn’t get a complete sense of who he is, the man that is Dante. I kept waiting for a glimpse into his past – memories or flashbacks – but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Overall Impression: Thank goodness The Heart of a Killer is just the beginning of a series. I don’t know when the next book will come out but I sure do hope it’s Gabe’s story. That man has secrets and I want to know all about them. I have my own theories about his ‘profession’ and can’t wait to see if I’m right. I’m eager to read more from this author. Perhaps I shall read her Play by Play series to tide me over - you know, the series with the hot males bodies on the cover.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I have this book on my Nook and I can hardly wait to read it. Great review. I LOVED Jaci's Play by Play series. Have you read either of those books yet?

    1. Not yet. I have the first book though. That's a series I need to own, solely because of their covers ;)


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