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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Requested Review: Laura Griffin - Unspeakable



Mass Market Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books - June 29, 2010
ISBN-10: 1439152950
ISBN-13: 978-1439152950
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Book: Book Two in Tracers Series
Main Characters: Elaina McCord & Troy Stockton
On sale at: The Bookdepository Store

Summary:

ELAINA MCCORD WANTS TO FIND A KILLER.
BUT HE’S ALREADY FOUND HER.


Elaina McCord’s dream of being an FBI profiler is in danger with her first case—investigating a string of murders near a Texas beach resort. The victims, all young women, were drugged and brutally murdered, their bodies abandoned in desolate marshland. Elaina’s hunch—met with disbelief by local police—is that these are only the latest offerings from a serial killer who has been perfecting his art for years, growing bolder and more cunning with each strike.

True-crime writer Troy Stockton has a reputation as an irresistible playboy who gets his story at any cost. He’s the last person Elaina should trust, let alone be attracted to. But right now Troy, along with the elite team of forensics experts known as the Tracers, are her only allies in a case that’s turning dangerously personal. A killer is reaching out to Elaina, taunting her, letting her know how ruthless he is and how close he’s getting. Now it’s not just her career that’s in danger—it’s her life. . . .

Pearl's Review: Elaina McCord wants to follow in her legendary profiler father’s footsteps and be a profiler too. Elaina is ambitious and responsible. She’s a no-nonsense type of woman with a hidden softer side. Fresh out of the Academy, she’s sent to a small Texas FBI office instead of one of the hotshot big town offices. A homicide investigation on Lito Island is her first shot at proving herself. Elaina has ideas about the homicide and suspects a serial killer but her male colleagues and the local police don’t care much for her opinion.

One of the few who believes her and is willing to help her prove her suspicions is former newspaper reporter turned crime writer, Troy Stockton. Troy is a smooth charmer and despite his surfer-dude look and his seemingly laidback attitude he’s as sharp as the come. When they start working together the sparks fly between them but both know that they have to focus on the case rather than the sizzling chemistry between them, especially when the killer starts focusing on Elaina.

Just as with all the previous Laura Griffin Books I was entranced from the moment I cracked the spine and started reading the prologue. UNSPEAKABLE is a romantic suspense novel that turned out to be right up my alley as it focuses on FBI and suspect profiling, which is one of my preferred suspense/law enforcement tropes. Reading it felt like watching a mix of my favorite TV crime shows (Criminal Minds and CSI) all rolled into one, topped off with a subtle yet sensual romance. Laura Griffin had me speculating and guessing who the killer was and it wasn’t until about 2/3 into the book that I pegged the killer after two false guesses. With subtle hints and clues she leads you in a certain direction and then steers you in the right one at the end. I love how she does this.

As with the first book in this Tracer series, the Delphi Center (elite forensic lab) and some of the Tracers played a significant role in the solving of the plot and finding the killer. There’s a cold case subplot with Mia Voss, the DNA expert, and police officer Ric Santos that not only gets nicely tied in with the main plot but is also a prelude to the next book, at least I think the romance part of that sub plot is. However, Laura Griffin has been known to lead me in a certain direction when pairing characters and then surprise the heck out of me with the end product, so I am not putting all my money on the Mia and Ric match.

When reviewing Laura Griffin’s books I am afraid I sound like a broken record. Again I loved the clean and crisp writing and the subtle way the romance was set-up, imbedded in the story and woven through the suspense plot. Again I was mesmerized by the suspense that made me go through the book like a warm knife goes through butter. UNSPEAKABLE is a quick-paced read as I couldn’t stop reading and had to know the outcome of the plot and I was kept entranced by the search for a (serial) killer who crept me out. And again I have nothing but praise for Griffin’s knowledge of law enforcement, her excellent writing skills and the amazing way she combines the two to deliver a story that wasn’t as heart-pounding as some of her other books I’ve read but this absolutely didn’t diminish the wonderful reading experience I had with UNSPEAKABLE.

For me Laura Griffin never fails to deliver and I hope this Tracer series won’t end with book 3: UNFORGIVABLE as there were enough secondary characters in UNSPEAKABLE to warrant at least a few more books in the future. Among them are Troy’s friend Cinco Chavez, Tracer Ben Lawson (cyber crime expert) and Tracer Kelsey Quinn (forensic anthropologist). With these three I think there’s enough material there to continue the Tracer series for a while, if not with their own books, maybe with secondary storylines. I’d especially like to reacquaint myself with Cinco in the future.

UNSPEAKABLE is another awesome Laura Griffin book. It was fast-paced with excellent suspense and just enough romance to take it out of crime fiction/thriller and into romantic suspense territory. When the Dutch networks fail in offering me new episodes of my favorite TV crime shows I know whose books I can turn to instead.



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