Twisted by Laura Griffin (Tracers #5)
April 17, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
After a gruesome murder in the small town of Waynesboro, Texas, detective Allison Doyle is very disturbed. Things like this don’t happen in her town. At the age of 27, she is young to have made detective, whether it is because she is one of the few females on the police force or her brains, she doesn’t worry about it too much. All signs point to the ex-boyfriend, who had been served with a restraining order the day before her murder. But that theory is about to go out the window.
Special Agent Mark Wolfe has worked for the FBI a long time. At the age of 43, he has seen a lot in his time. He is a leading expert at profiling and has his own theory on this new murder. In fact, he thinks this murder is just one of a series that has taken place over a decade. Stretching from California to Texas, this killer has been quiet recently, but one look at the body and he thinks his killer has started again. Telltale sign is that the woman was jogging in the woods, but also her hair was cut off and left at the scene. But Mark has a hard job. Small town cops don’t like big fancy FBI agents to take over their cases. But he makes points that they can’t ignore. This killer seems to kill two victims a year – one on October 30 and another on November 19. The recent Waynesboro killing happened on October 30, which means they only have a few short weeks to stop another innocent woman from being killed. Allison and Mark start a partnership of sorts. When they discover that one of the earlier victims of this serial murderer survived the attack, they realize they might have a chance to stop this evil man.
Last year I read my first Laura Griffin book, Snapped (which is the previous book in this series). I immediately went and read her back list. I love this author’s voice. She writes very engaging, fascinating (and creepy!) stories and I really can’t get enough of them. Twisted is by far my favorite for a variety of reasons. First of all, this book (as in all of her books) is heavy on the suspense. She builds this serial killer up into such a haunting figure. The crimes are very detailed and explicit, which I think is necessary in a book like this. The details of the case are very specific but never weigh down the story. She brings in the supporting characters of the law enforcement and various lab workers as well as victims of these crimes so well. It is just an absolutely well rounded, fantastic story. The suspense at the end builds so well I am sure I was literally holding my breath at some scenes.
And let’s not forget the romance. While I absolutely give no hesitation in recommending this author, I always state that the physical romance in this series is light. There is definitely a romance with a HEA, but there is more emphasis on the suspense. That is not to say though that the romance feels lacking. I think in this type of book, if the hero and heroine were jumping into bed all the time, I would throw it across the room. With a case this intense, these two detectives acted, dare I say – professional. Laura Griffin never forces a romance, she just lets it unfold very slowly.
Mark Wolfe is a super sexy FBI agent. I was enamored with him from the start. He is 43, compared to Allison’s 27 and the age difference comes up a lot. Not just with a burgeoning relationship, but he also has more professional experience than her. I love that she actually tries to learn from him (although she does occasionally have her stubborn moments). I love that he is totally burned out, exhausted, feels like the weight of the world is on his shoulders, and Allison knows he needs a friend. These two worked so well together. I loved them. It is an extremely sexy romance, without taking away from the intense, suspense we get in this book.
Laura Griffin’s Tracer series can be read as stand alones. I started with book 4, and worked my way back. However, supporting characters are usually presented as the next hero and heroine, so it is fun to read them in order. Any way you choose to do it, I really recommend you try this author.