Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: Twisted

Laura Griffin
Romantic Suspense
Tracers Series/Book 5
Pocket/April 17, 2012

Motive, opportunity, and no alibi—it seems close to a slam-dunk. But while rookie detective Allison Doyle’s department has ID’d a suspect in a young woman’s vicious murder, she is uneasy. Then legendary FBI profiler Mark Wolfe shows up with a startling theory: if he’s right, the real murderer is an elusive psychopath just days away from another kill.

Using Allison’s contacts at the Delphi Center crime lab, Wolfe is finally in striking distance of the monster he’s pursued for ten years. Except that as they work together, Wolfe finds the ambitious, stubborn woman a tempting distraction. And with this brutal predator, every thread of evidence can make the difference between being the hunter . . . and the prey.

If you haven't started this series, start it Now.  Griffin continues to get better and better, expanding her characters and plots while making them believable.  Not only do we get well developed characters, the police procedural aspects and the DNA analysis are well written.  This is one romantic suspense series, heavy on the suspense, that you do not want to miss!

Allison Doyle is a good cop but doesn't always get the respect her male counterparts get.  She knows some of the men think she got the promotion to detective because of her sex and not her abilities.  She doesn't let it get to her, instead working her ass off to be the best and solve the cases.  Allison isn't intimidated by the guys and boy did I like that about her.  She's learning to trust her instincts and those instincts are telling her that something isn't right about a recent murder and her boss might just be looking in the wrong direction for the murderer.

Mark Wolfe is an older hero, forty-three.  I liked that he had some years on him, nicely seasoned but not too old to have a huge age-gap between the hero and heroine.  He has a lot of experience but those experiences are getting to him.  Mark has no real home, instead living out of hotels, eating at restaurants and spending a lot of time in airports.   He's well known and well respected which puts him in high demand.  Add in the demands he makes of himself and you've got a guy with not much life outside of work.  Mark is a quiet alpha, the type that sits back and watches until it's time to take down his target.  He is such an interesting character - easily one of my favorite heroes of the series. 

Allison and Mark clash a bit at first.  They both think there's more to the recent murder than the  ex-boyfriend as the suspect but Mark is talking serial killer and Allison isn't even officially on the case.  Plus, Mark prefers to work alone.  They have some obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is Allison's idiot boss.  One of the things that made me enjoy the heck out this suspenseful romance was how Allison and Mark's relationship went from professional to personal.  Allison has respect for Mark's experience and what he can teach her.  Mark learns to respect Allison's tenacity and her raw instincts which continue to develop with her experiences.  Even when they venture into intimacy, they keep developing their professional relationship right alongside their romantic one.

The romance is there but it is muted, with the main focus on the mystery and suspense.  But what is there is very passionate, with Allison and Mark trying to keep their focus on the murder case while going through this fierce need for each other.  Mark thinks he too old, too jaded for Allison's far less jaded outlook but Allison is persistent in not only her search for the real killer but in her need to get even closer to Mark.

The suspense is so well done!  Griffin keeps the reader on edge, giving plenty of details of the murders and getting into the killers mind through Mark's profiling.  It's a scary place and one that Mark has been to, many times over.  I loved following Mark and Allison through their discovering evidence and putting the pieces together.  The brilliant minds at the Delphi Center also contributed their cutting-edge resources in helping Allison and Mark with the case.  I find the details of the DNA and the computer sleuthing absorbing without going over my head.  Seeing past and hopefully future heroes and heroines adds to the overall cohesiveness of the series.  There is enough back story given that this could be read as a stand alone but to get a greater enjoyment, I would recommend reading the series from the beginning.

Twisted is a highly addictive, fast paced romantic suspense.   Allison and Mark are two dynamic characters with very different experiences who kept this reader wanting more!

Rating:  A

Tracers Series ~ 

Unstoppable (novella in the Deadly Promises anthology)
Scorched (October 30, 2012)

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, an A! I have Unspeakable in my TBR! I've been dying to try Laura Griffin ever since Natalie recommended her to me last year? I have to get my butt in gear and read her work. ;P