Sunday, April 01, 2012

Review: TWISTED, a Tracers novel by Laura Griffin

TWISTED was my first Laura Griffin book, but she’s by no means a new author. According to her website, her Tracers novels follow “an elite group of forensic experts who help homicide cops and cold case detectives solve the most unsolvable crimes.” I thoroughly enjoyed this offering in her series and will check out her backlist. I was quite happy with the killer (never thought I’d say that) and completely on board when he was caught and in handcuffs. Naturally there was a twist and it worked for me; it was obvious things were not as they seemed, but Griffin did a good job of keeping me on my toes.

Allison, the rookie detective, was a believably flawed character. Green and new, she made mistakes and struggled with the demands of her job. I liked that she knew she was the token women on the force, which to her was a fact of life and small town realities, not some feminist cross to bear. She knew she had to prove herself as an investigator. Her professional and personal attraction to Mark, the seasoned FBI veteran, was completely in character, but I didn’t feel like the two had any romantic chemistry.

Mark in turn was attracted to Allison’s idealistic qualities and her fresh-faced attitude, which hadn’t yet been tainted by years on the job. Her stubbornness, both professionally and personally, intrigued and impressed him. His initial refusal to act on his feelings made sense; he knew he was living out of a suitcase and didn’t want to make Allison a notch on his traveling belt. Again, I could totally see his attraction, but didn’t feel any romantic chemistry. His character didn’t seem nearly as fleshed out and multi-dimensional as Allison’s. Clearly the man had no life and only lived for his job, which makes giving him dimensions all the more difficult, but that made his epiphany and final decisions less convincing.

Twisted was a superb mystery. I definitely enjoyed the suspense and had a good time getting to know the Tracers, but felt underwhelmed by the romantic aspect of the novel.

On a side note, I was completely intrigued by Ben Lawson, the beer T-shirt wearing boy genius cyber sleuth at the Delphi Center and one of the Tracers. I hope he gets his own book. If he does, I’m pre-ordering.


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