Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: tracers
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-06-15 05:50
Thoughts: Stone Cold Heart
Stone Cold Heart (Tracers #13) - Laura Griffin

Stone Cold Heart

by Laura Griffin
Book 13 of Tracers



When local rock climbers stumble upon abandoned human bones in a remote Texas gorge, Sara Lockhart is the first to get the call.  She has a reputation as one of the nation’s top forensic anthropologists, and police detective Nolan Hess knows she is just the expert he needs to help unravel this case.  Although evidence is scarce, Nolan suspects the bones belong to a teenage climber who vanished last summer.

But as Sara unearths strange clues, she finds chilling similarities to a case from her past—a case that now threatens to rock Nolan’s community.  While Sara digs deep for answers, the stakes rise higher as another young woman disappears without a trace. Investigators work against the clock as Sara races to discover the truth, even if her harrowing search brings her face to face with a stone-cold killer.

Stone Cold Heart is another intriguing addition to Laura Griffin's Tracers series, and no matter that the formula always seems similar to a previous book in the series, I'm always excited to get my hands on the next book.  There's just something about the combination of a crime thriller and elements of the forensic investigations that gets me all pumped.  Forensic science is something I studied in college, even if it wasn't my ultimate career path, so books that have any kind of forensic angle are always up my alley.

In this particular case, the main heroine, Sara, is a forensic anthropologist, which makes me doubly excited!  There are also mentions of how Sara's career path having taken her on some missions to help uncover mass graves of massacre victims, which reminded me of one of the books I recently read, The Bone Woman, a memoir by Clea Koff.

Anyway, as I've already mentioned, I always enjoy these particular books by Laura Griffin, and Stone Cold Heart was no exception.

While this book didn't really stand out much, there were some interesting inclusions into the story line that kind of calls out to a few of the modern technologies and services we have in present-day, but putting a rather sinister twist to it.  The book actually opens with a young girl who is out on the town with her cousin, but gets separated from the party.  And while she's heading home, she comes across what can only be implied as an Uber driver, or whatever the fictional equivalent the author was going for, since the name Uber was never mentioned.  But the girl notes a sticker on the windshield, and tells the driver that she didn't call for a ride and doesn't have the app.  She gets in the car anyway when the driver tells her he'll make an exception, and the next thing she knows, she's being abducted.

There's also a scene with a drone, which is tech that I've been seeing a lot more in more recent books.

I don't know why, but those things kind of stood out to me.

The romance wasn't really much to write home about, but it DID come off quite sweet and fairly angst-free, so I found I enjoyed it in it's own quiet, unassuming way.

The crime thriller itself was quite intriguing, and the investigation was outlined well.

I DID take a bit of issue with Sara when she started jumping into the investigation in ways that were clearly outside of her expertise.  I admired her skills and her penchant for technical thinking and problem solving, and I don't mind that she also partakes in discussing the investigation with Nolan, as she is able to bandy some good ideas around with him.  But then she decides to pull a TSTL moment by chasing after potential suspects and I just felt kind of frustrated.

I mean, I'm sure she wouldn't appreciated it if the detective just suddenly decided to jump into her dig site and start digging without any proper training.  So I'm not sure how she could justify chasing after a potentially dangerous suspect (a serial killer nonetheless), unarmed, and without the proper training to keep herself safe if anything unexpected happens... like getting run off the side of a road into woods.

I mean, I thought that it was kind of cook when she just harnessed herself in, grabbed all that climbing gear, and went down the side of the mountain, as the fastest route to the first crime scene at the beginning of the book.  At least we are told that Sara used to climb when she was younger and used to volunteer for Search and Rescue.  She had the proper training for that, while any other person would have just taken the longer trail.

Nonetheless, those few questionable actions weren't enough to deter me from liking her, even if I felt like she could have exercised better judgment in some of her actions in the latter half of the book.

Nolan was a pretty typical romance hero, but he was also charming and sweet in his way.  He didn't exhibit any broody alpha male vibes, and he also didn't throw around any neanderthal tendencies.  So I liked him, even if he didn't really stand out much.

Overall, this was a rather enjoyable read!



Booklikes-opoly 2019

Roll #6:
Square: Mountain Cabin 18 | Read a book that is set west of the Mississippi in the USA, or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is considered part of the Western genre.

How it fits:  Book is set in Texas, which is west of the Mississippi.
Page Count:  357
Cash:  $3




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/06/thoughts-stone-cold-heart.html
Like Reblog Comment
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
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-10-31 00:00
Touch of Red (Tracers)
Touch of Red (Tracers) - Laura Griffin

Touch of Red is a murder mystery woven into a love story. Brooke is a crime scene tech and Sean is a detective. Their jobs have them crossing paths occasionally and Sean has always been attracted to Brooke. On their current case, Brooke takes a very special interest and this pushes her and Sean to work closely together. Brook is attracted to Sean as well but she is on a diet....a man-free diet!

Brooke's ex is a controlling jerk who happens to be a cop as well. He is struggling to accept that the relationship is over despite Brooke's repeated insistence it is, in fact, VERY over. She also doesn't want to admit that she can't handle this. Her track record with men is not good and she is embarrassed that she made such a colossal mistake in dating this guy. Sean picks up on  the issues Brooke is having and won't let her brush it off as if its nothing.

And all this happens while Brooke and Sean are attempting to find a missing witness that could solve a strange case with seemingly no motive. The murder mystery is one of the things I love most about the Tracers series! Griffin writes great mysteries that you have to peel back in layers. She mixes it well with the budding romance and adds just the right touch of steamy scenes! Touch of Red is perfect for those of us who like real mystery and suspense with our steamy love stories! While I appreciated the steaminess between these 2, I did feel that the romance left something to be desired. I am just not sure I believe these two could make it long term.

  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: murder mystery, coworkers (kind of)
  • Triggers: [spoiler]Brooke is being stalked by her ex which could be upsetting for some readers[/spoiler]
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
  • Cliffhanger: [spoiler]no[/spoiler]
  • HEA: [spoiler]more of an HFN; no epilogue[/spoiler]


Books by Toni Anderson, Kaylea Cross, Karen Rose...then you will probably like Touch of Red!


Touch of Red

ibooks-icon amazon-icon-star


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
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.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-01-23 00:00
At Close Range (Tracers)
At Close Range (Tracers) - Laura Griffin I have thoroughly enjoyed the Tracers series. At Close Range is another great addition to the series. There is a really well written mystery with lots of red herrings. The murder mystery is hands down the most intriguing and satisfying aspect to the story.

Dani is a detective who has just been made the lead on a very high profile double murder case. Scott is a ballistics specialist at the nearby Delphi center. Scott is called in to work on the murder case and examine the ballistics. Through several twists, Scott ends up as a suspect. Dani has known Scott for most of her life. He is her brother's best friend. She knows he didn't commit the murders, but she has to find the proof. Scott isn't about to sit back and let the investigation progress with him. Obviously, its a conflict of interest to have him involved since he is the prime suspect. The case takes Dani to a different state and more murders occur, all while she fights her attraction to Scott.

My discontent with the story was the romance. I really didn't find the romance between Dani and Scott credible or authentic. It felt sort of rushed and haphazard. By the end, I wasn't sure I believed they would stay together. I think that the murder mystery and all the danger took the focus of the story (and I loved it), but it did so at the expense of building up the romance.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?