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review 2018-01-15 15:30
Thoughts: Touch of Red
Touch of Red (Tracers) - Laura Griffin

Touch of Red
by Laura Griffin
Book 12 of Tracers

This is a Laura Griffin Tracers novel, so it is dark and gritty and real where you need it to be.  The premise was typical of most crime thrillers, and I'm always in love with how crime scene investigation and forensic science is incorporated.

Unfortunately, I'm not much enamored with TSTL characters.  I can't say that I've come across too many of them in the Tracers installments previously, but I also can't say that they didn't exist.

In Touch of Red, she certainly did exist.

The Story:
At the scene of a gruesome murder, Brooke Porter discovers evidence that a witness might have escaped after the fact.  What ends up being more surprising is who this witness may be, and the fact that said witness is probably in a lot of danger.  Without hesitation, Brooke is determined to find this witness and keep him safe.

Detective Sean Byrne is in charge of this homicide case, and realizes that he may have to keep an eye on Brooke when the Delphi Center trace evidence expert decides to play at being detective.  While he's more than happy to get a chance to spend more time with Brooke, it doesn't escape his notice that the murder has become just as sinister as the carnage at the crime scene suggests.

My Thoughts:
There's very little to say about this book without getting into a rant.

Don't get me wrong--I really enjoyed Touch of Red, much as I've enjoyed all the Tracers novels.  It's intriguing, it's fast-paced, and it involves one of my favorite subjects.  I also love how Laura Griffin incorporates more than just the current criminal case, showing us a scene where Brooke has caught up with two days worth of work, just analyzing fingerprints from different cases on her workload.  She's not just narrowly focused on the "case of the week," but because crime labs have more than one case going at a time, they've got backlog, and they've got piles of work yet to be finished.

So I love how the focus of the "case of the week" is balanced enough to be realistic.

The romance was sweet, and probably could have been better if I had liked Brooke a bit more.  In fact, I absolutely loved her character from the previous book, and was set to enjoy her from the beginning of this book.  But at some point, she became so narrow-sighted and focused on "her witness" that she seemed to be teetering on reckless obsession.  I get that she was worried for the safety of the witness she discovered; I get that she felt it might have been her fault for bringing this particular person to the killer's attention.

What I don't get is how a level-headed trace evidence expert, who is supposed to also understand how the law works, as a medico-legal specialist, throws all of her common sense out the window for the last half of the book.  She also ended up kind of irrationally screechy...  Okay, well, she didn't really screech or anything, but she might as well have been.  Because she just started making all sorts of general, blanket assumptions that made it seem like she was the only one concerned about the witness's safety and finding the killer and blah, blah, blah...

She was basically telling all of her colleagues that they weren't doing their job.

It got a bit old.  Especially when she started imagining slights from Sean based on her own history with men.  I don't really think it was fair to him.

On the bright side, we have a not-broody alpha male this time around, who didn't feel the need to tell the heroine what to do all the time.  I'm not saying that he didn't try once or twice, but when he realized it was not the way to Brooke Porter's heart, he let it go, even if grudgingly.  And he never really went as far as caveman-styling his way into her life.

Anyway, the book was enjoyable on a certain level, and we do get to see more of some past characters as well as an introductory to what seems like the next couple in the Tracers installment--once again, somehow managing to seamlessly being part of this book without sticking out awkwardly.  And I approve.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/01/thoughts-touch-of-red.html
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review 2017-02-05 22:58
At Close Range (Tracers) - Laura Griffin

I got my first taste of Laura Griffin’s work when I read Deep Dark, book 10 in the Tracer series, which I enjoyed as such when the opportunity came to read At Close Range, I could not resist. There is no need to read the earlier books in the series before reading this installment as it is possible to read it as a stand-alone.

In this installment, we meet Daniele Harper, a detective who came from a family of law enforcement officials. She became the lead investigator on a high-profile case, which involved the murder of a professor, and his mistress. This case had the potential to make or break her career. Her involvement in the case led to her working closely with her longtime crush Scott Black. Scott is a former Navy Seal who now works as a ballistics expert with the Delphi Centre, a private forensics laboratory.

The attraction between Dan but they were off-limits to each as Scott was her brother’s best friend. Things between them became tense between them when Scott became a suspect in her current case. He was not about to sit back and wait for things to play out, his priority was in proving his innocence. Not only does Dani have to deal with her feelings for the man, who is the main suspect, she has to face resentment from colleagues who felt she did not deserve the role of lead investigator on the case. Then more bodies began turning up causing all involved to step back and view things differently. Things became more complicated when Scott discovered that someone wanted Dani dead. Is this related to the current case or is it isolated?

Daniele is stubborn, tenacious, determined and brave; however, there were times when her actions went a bit overboard. I guess this was mostly due to her wanting to prove that she could handle the role of lead investigator. Scott is a protector by nature and he would do what it takes to protect Daniele even if it meant interfering with the investigation. He is not afraid to colour somewhat outside the lines when the need arises.

When the story began, it had me on the edge of my seat due to the tense, edgy and thrilling scene that was taking place. At that moment, I knew there would be interesting times ahead for this story. The pace slowed down somewhat, but this was due to the ongoing investigation. Twists and surprises permeated the pages of the book. When I thought I had it figured out the author throws in a twist that had me rethinking my original stance. The pace picked up at around fifty percent (50%) of the book. From then it was an adrenaline-pumping ride.

These two danced around each for a long time, that when they finally took the plunge, it was explosive. In spite of this, however, I felt that the romance needed more developing.

If you enjoy stories with lots of action, suspense and mystery, you will love At Close Range. It will keep you guessing at every page turn, which makes it an exciting and thrilling read.

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review 2017-01-16 11:22
At Close Range (Tracers) - Laura Griffin Oh what can I say about this book? This is definitely not my genre. This review is going to be negative and it by no means should be taken negatively by the author. This is just not my thing I guess you would call this book romantic/suspense/mystery? However, there was more sex than mystery. I think that if the characters in this book were to think more about the crime they were trying to solve instead of getting into each others pants, the crime would have been solved much quicker. I would say more than half of this book was the romance/sex part. So if your into that, this is the book for you. I, myself, would much prefer the mystery. I see now, while providing my feedback that this book is listed as romance. This is my fault as I thought it was romantic suspense. Thanks to Gallery, Threshold Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-07-02 02:39
Thoughts: Deep Dark
Deep Dark (Tracers) - Laura Griffin

Deep Dark

by Laura Griffin
Book 10 of Tracers

One of the things I like about Laura Griffin's Tracers series is how readily the world reminds you that the series and the characters are bigger than just the fictional Delphi Center.  The Delphi Center, known in the Tracers world as the best forensic crime scene lab in the nation, is an ever present background factor in Tracers.  But I like that Griffin shows us that all of her books don't depend on the Delphi Center to forward the investigative progress of her stories.

If any of that above makes any sense to anyone, then kudos.  Because I'm not entirely sure what point it was I was trying to make.

Of course, I guess I was just trying to point out that I liked that we get to see a CSI from local law enforcement who is just as intelligent and competent as all the prodigies working at the Delphi Center.  Or something like that.

So my second point in this rambling introductory is to say that:  One of the other things I love about Laura Griffin's Tracers series is how easy it is to get hooked into the action, the suspense, and the entire criminal mystery of it all.  And also how easy it is to like all of our characters.

Deep Dark was readily entertaining, and it was definitely a page-turner once I had time to finally dive into it.  And aside from a few quibbles here and there, and also aside from some conflicted feelings about the romance, I very much enjoyed this book.

The Story in Brief:
Delaney Knox is a white-hat hacker working for the Delphi Center's cyber investigative team.  She's good at what she does, using her skills to help uncover some of the most heinous cyber crimes surfacing with the present-day advancement in technology.  When a woman is murdered, Laney can't help but notice the similarities between this case and her own assault years ago; because of this, she decides to slip the leading detective Reed Novak a few clues to point him in the right direction.

There is a connection to a dating website called Mix.com that Laney is convinced will lead Reed to the killer.  But this link is still a flimsy one until another woman turns up dead in a similar manner, and another previous murder is brought to light, cementing Laney's theory.  However, as she inserts herself into the murder investigation, it doesn't take long to realize that she's just put herself in danger.  Because the murderer is a sophisticated computer tech much like herself, and it's possible he's following and watching her every move.

My Thoughts:
I like the concept of cyber crime investigation.  It sounds pretty damn cool!  That was one of the reasons why I'd been looking forward to reading this latest installment of Laura Griffin's Tracers series.  The only other romantic suspense I've read so far that involved forensic cyber crime investigation was the Black CATs series by Leslie A. Kelly, which highlighted a specific FBI department that investigated violet crimes committed with the aid of advanced computer technology.  Aside from that, some previous Tracers books had touched upon the use of computer technology to solve other crimes, but Deep Dark is the first book in this series to place the focus on cyber crimes committed with the aid of modern computer technology.

The idea of it, if you really think about it, is enough to make anyone paranoid.  To think that there are hackers out there capable of doing the things our serial killer in this book can do might make you want to strengthen those firewalls and change your passwords.  It's a scary thought, you know--to think that a simple application into some social media network would be enough to bring a stalker to your physical door in real life.

As many others have said:  Anything you post on the internet is seen by all an never goes away.

Anyway, Deep Dark, much like the rest of Laura Griffin's books, is highly enjoyable and exciting.  The action starts immediately and the investigative aspect is engaging.  The tone of the book itself feels a bit detached, but I'm not sure if it's just because nothing really stands out outside of the forensic cyber investigation and Laney's personality.

As per usual, the romance feels almost too standard.  Even with Laney's withdrawn, introvert character, she doesn't stray far from the typical feisty heroine of most romantic suspense books.  I love that she's kind of a geek in her own way; but I don't like that she's not immune to the same TSTL moments we love to hate heroines for because we definitely know that she should have known better.  Reed Novak is just the usual hardened, broody, alpha male detective who needs to be in control of everything, especially the woman he's sleeping with.

It bugged me that everything was fine and dandy until the couple's relationship changed.  Then all of a sudden Reed was not okay with Laney helping with the investigation because he decided to turn caveman on her.  But then he'd turn around and consult with her on his investigation anyway, even after pulling her off of it.  The guy was kind of pushy and it made me a little irritated that Laney didn't seem to mind his irrational pushiness and let him get away with it.

But otherwise, Deep Dark was a very entertaining read.  We get to see old characters and new characters, which is always great, because Griffin seems to have picked up a knack for including side characters and making them significant without making their scenes forced.  I like that, and I look forward to whichever character will be the star of their own story next.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
COYER Summer Vacation 2016 -- Bingo Board Two | Square C1 -- Suspense

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/07/thoughts-deep-dark.html
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review 2016-06-01 12:27
Deep Dark (Tracers) - Laura Griffin
Let me begin by saying that I have never read anything written by Laura Griffin prior to this. I was going into this story blindly as I had no idea what to expect. When I realised that this was part of a series and book number 10 at that I was a bit concerned that it could not be read as a stand-alone. However, my concerns were short-lived as I discovered that all the books in the series can be read on its own. I have read several books in the romantic suspense genre and I come to realise there are few authors who can provide the right balance of romance and suspense. Laura Griffin has proven to be one of those authors.

The story started out with a bang. This set the pace for the remainder of the story. I knew from the outset that this was going to be an exciting and suspenseful read. I could not wait to see how the story would unfold.

The female protagonist, Delaney Knox, clearly stole the show. She is a cyber-investigator/white hacker who works for the Delphi Cybercrime unit. She is good at what she does. She is a loner by choice. She avoids socializing. She was not keen on law enforcement officers as she thought they were rigid and authoritative. However, she will find herself providing unsolicited assistance to them when a past acquaintance was murdered. This murder hit close to home as such she felt compelled to provide clues via text messages to the lead detective Reed Novak.

Detective Reed Novak has found himself embroiled in a homicide investigation that is proving to be the most challenging case of his career. The killer is sharp and the cops are stunned as he leaves no trace evidence. It was assumed as a result that this was not the killer’s first victim. As the investigation progresses Reed’s theory had been proven and the cops have come to realise that there was a serial killer in their midst. The receipt of text messages from an anonymous source providing him clues about the murder had him intrigued, and so he set out to uncover the identity of the sender. However, he was not prepared for his reaction to the mysterious sender.

It was evident that there was chemistry between the Laney and Reed. Reed, however, was a bit wary due to the 15-year age difference between them, but this did not phase Laney one bit. She knew what she wanted and she was not afraid to go for it. It was this approach, she applied to every aspect of her life. I thought they were worked well together in all areas.

I thought the plot was well researched. The story was detailed and easy to follow. The plot was believable and the pacing was good. "Deep Dark" is the type of story that grabs you from the first page and holds you in its grip until the end. It had me turning the pages as I was eager to discover who the killer was. I thought it had the right blend of romance and suspense. This was one of those times that I had a hard time guessing who it was. Even at the end when all was revealed I was in a state of shock as I never saw it coming.

This story highlighted the inherent danger of dating sites. It also demonstrated how the electronic devices that we have come to rely on daily can be detrimental as such, we need to exercise caution when using them.

Verdict: This was a fun, exciting and suspenseful read which I recommend to fans of this genre. I will be looking to read the other books written by this author.


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