This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Series: Tracers #2
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Second in the Tracers romantic suspense series. The series, so far, has always included Troy Stockton, a successful true crime writer and ladies’ man who has an in at the Delphi, a state-of-the-art forensics lab.
The mutilation murders of young women are Griffin’s excuse to introduce Elaina McCord with her zeal and insight into profiling a serial killer. Along the way, we learn of her childhood and her intense need to please her father, a renowned former FBI profiler himself. We also become frustrated with the patronizing male colleagues who refuse to think outside the box.
Griffin moves us right along; don’t start reading this unless you can set aside a chunk of time! Part of the book’s tone is attraction, part is Elaina’s desperate need to prove herself AND catch the killer. Elaina takes it to heart with each new murder even as she loses her battle to ignore how very attracted she is to Troy Stockton. He’s a journalist. He could easily destroy her career by publicizing her comments and yet…and yet, he is so supportive in what she believes and how she acts.
As much as I enjoy the romance between Stockton and McCord, I didn’t get a sense of the why for Stockton’s attraction to her. In the two other Tracers’ stories I’ve read, Stockton comes across as a perennial bachelor and here he is wanting to settle down with one woman… I’m confused. I look forward to reading Unforgivable to see how Griffin incorporates Stockton into that story.
Sent by the Brownsville FBI office when Lito Island Police Chief Max Breck requests federal assistance on a series of murders, Special Agent Elaina McCord is shut down as soon as Breck sees her. He won’t inform her about meetings, autopsy schedules, or listen to her suggestions or profiles. She just doesn’t fit his profile of an FBI agent.
Instead, she hooks up with Troy Stockton when he insinuates himself into her investigation providing background on the victims, the area, and forensic backup. Officer Cinco Chavez, one of the Lito Island cops, is also supportive of Elaina as he recognizes her intelligence and zeal for capturing the killer. A zeal he shares. A zeal which makes trouble for Cinco no matter how supportive Elaina is of him. Then Detective Ric Santos steps in with his two missing hikers…
Troy Stockton is the male lead in this story as opposed to a secondary character who somehow insinuates himself into Elaina McCord’s investigative activities when the local FBI office sends her to Lito Island. We briefly see Alex Lovell from Untraceable at the Delphi when Troy takes Elaina there to meet with Mira Voss, their specialist in DNA trace. I do suspect Griffin of setting us up for Mira and Detective Ric Santos, another bright, outside-the-box thinker, in the upcoming Unforgivable.
The Cover and Title
The cover is in tones of red with a channel of water leading us between low-growing trees and bushes toward a sunrise, bedraggled paper floating in the bloody water. I’m not sure where the title comes from unless it’s the block that exists between Elaina and her father? Or, it could be the fear Elaina has that Stockton will quote her in an interview or an upcoming book?