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Series: Tracers #4
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Fourth in the Tracers romantic suspense series revolving around people involved with the Delphi Center, a veritable palace of forensic analysis. The couple focus here is on Sophie Barrett and Jonah Macon.
I do enjoy Griffin’s real-life writing with characters you’d enjoy meeting up with at the corner bar. It’s also like a read through on CSI with the talk of DNA analysis, ballistics, raising images of filed-off gun serial numbers and documents, and trace evidence.
It’s definitely Texas when students and bystanders jump in with their guns and rifles to help out the cops in taking down this shooter! All in all, a bit of hunting and shooting from target practice to sniper to sneakily through the woods.
The love angle is a bit odd with Jonah wanting to but recognizing that Sophie’s a bit stressed and this isn’t the time. At the same time, Sophie’s wanting to, but she’s using it to escape her own fears. An interesting conflict with a woman as the aggressor and the guy holding back…!
Part of Sophie’s new plan is to enroll in some evening courses to give her a heads up on the new career she’s planning. The kidnapping fostered fears of closed and dark places. Sort of ruled out those dark parking lots behind nightclubs. Instead, she’s going to apply for that job opening and she’ll show them what she can do.
But a lone gunman has other ideas for Sophie when he opens up on the crowded campus. And it rocks Jonah’s world when he sees Sophie bleeding in the midst of the carnage. It isn’t until later when a newscaster mentions a green VW Beetle, that Sophie really puts herself into the line of fire. She remembers that damned Volkswagen stealing her parking spot that day at the university. And she’s even more steamed when she presents her theory to Jonah who shoots it down.
It’s a dance of see-me, leave-me as Jonah and Sophie two-step around dating, believing, and protecting. With the “relatively” minor issue of everyone suing the police department, the city, and each cop who helped take the gunman down. “Cause, hey, it’s America. Sue everybody’s ass! And Sophie’s not helping matters when she takes her theory, obliquely, to CNN. The cops already think she’s just gunning for publicity.
It takes the Delphi Center to find the trace evidence that proves Sophie’s point.
Sophie Barrett hasn’t recovered from her kidnapping in Unforgivable. In fact, she’s given up her dream of singing and has channeled that energy into building a more traditional career.
Detective Jonah Macon and his partner went after the shooter and now Jonah is worrying about Sophie. He wants her. And he wants her safe. Ric Santos is his partner while Mia Voss is his partner (see Unforgivable). Wyatt Macon is Jonah’s dad, a retired cop.
Lieutenant Reynolds is the man in charge of the shooting case. Minh is their fingerprint expert. Chief Noonan is more interested in closing the case so he looks good even as he fusses over the bottom line. Detective Allison Doyle is in Property but her connections at the university place her on the team investigating the shooting—-Sean discovers she has some painful moves; and, Detective Sean Byrne makes some very impressive connections. They pull in a forensic artist, Fiona Glass, from Austin. Cosgrove is Jonah’s SWAT commander.
At the Delphi Center: Kelsey is a forensic anthropologist; Scott Black is ballistics; Mark Royers is a DNA tracer like Mia who tries on a date with Sophie; Alexandra Lovell is in computer crimes (see Untraceable); Roland Delgado is in trace with a garage you could literally eat off; and, Dr. David Lemberger is the head of Questionable Documents with some interesting methods.
James Himmel is the shooter who offed himself; when they process his motel room, they find a stuffed bunny head with its ears cut off. Gretchen Parker is the shooter’s ex-wife with their six-year-old twins, Angela and Amy. Marianne Parker is the sister who provides Gretchen with a safe haven for the girls.
Joe Shugart, a.k.a., John Sharpe, is an old buddy of Jim’s. He’s also a mysterious assassin who knows where everyone is and everywhere they went. Colonel William Fowler is the man in charge at Fort Benning. Master Sergeant David Wolchansky has some inside information for Jonah. Provided Jonah passes his tests. Tyler P. Dorion is a young mojo, mobile journalist, looking to make a name for himself. He simply forgets that not everyone wants his name in lights. Ryan Maxwell runs D-System, a tech company with contracts with the DoD, computer manufacturers, cellular phone companies, etc. Erick Emrick was one of the campus victims along with the pregnant Jodie Kincaid, and Professor Graham.
The Cover and Title
The cover is oranges and browns creating several flights of stairs heading up from the dark through a lovely stone arch with medallions carved into its underside and up into the light with a Sophie silhouette one step down from the top.
I’m guessing that the title could refer to Jim Himmel. Divorced, diagnosed with terminal cancer, he just Snapped.