Unforgivable -- Laura Griffin
Book 3 of Tracers
2010 Release -- Pocket Books
Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery
Unforgivable was probably the more generic formula in this first trio of Tracers books. I realized this after I sat down to think about it, that it's got the typical formula of Romance novels:
Mia Voss is a beautiful, keep-to-herself type who has been holed up in her success as a Forensic DNA analyst for years. Enter Ric Santos, San Marcos PD detective--gorgeous, broody, and oh-so alpha (he even does the standard manhandling, jerking her around, and generally being an asshole thing that all alphas from formulaic Romance novels like to do). The two meet and sparks fly immediately. Mia wants something more than just sex (even though she tries to deny it), and Ric is a commitment-phobe due to his past romantic history. But the two bring out something in each other that changes things, because, well... HE's the one and SHE's the one.
Here's the surprising twist: I actually found that I enjoyed their little romance even with all the unnecessary angst and such.
Why? I'm not sure I can actually say. Maybe it's because the characters were fleshed out a little more than simply being beautiful and special and gorgeous and perfect. Mia is a DNA analyst and sees her career as the most important thing in her life--her career IS her life and she'll be damned if she has to rely on an jerk of a cop who only wants to get her into bed to salvage her career for her. Ric Santos is a homicide detective and works his job at extreme levels. While these two DO end up wallowing in a pit of Romantic self pity throughout the book, trying to figure out where to put these offending FEELINGS, they're also spending more time trying to do their jobs.
And also, it helps that there is a clear cut instalust development that slowly, but surely, progresses into a decent little love story. Maybe that's why I actually DID enjoy their romance despite the fact that it was so generic.
And yes, this is a Romantic Suspense and there is a crime thriller in here.
And that probably helped that there was an ongoing murder investigation tied to all sorts of conspiratorial connections going on in the duration of their love story. Or shall I say that the murder investigation actually balances out the romance enough that we're not really focused on one or the other? Except that sometimes it's hard to tell WHAT exactly was the main focus of the book.
Speaking of which, the basic summary goes a little something like this:
Mia Voss is carjacked after a long day of crap things happening to her at work. While the entire incident just seems like a robbery about to go south as the gunman intends to drive her out into the middle of nowhere and shoot her, later events transpire that connects to a homicide that Mia is working on at the Delphi Center. Someone has an agenda on Mia because she could possibly link one murder to another (both of them, extremely gruesome killings of young, twenty-something escort girls) and because she's also possibly the best analyst out there and would be able to find crucial breakthrough evidence to find the killer. But she later learns that this entire case goes much deeper and much higher than anyone might have suspected. And now she's been targeted.
Oh, right, then there's Ric, the police detective who is really just there to investigate the case and to bodyguard Mia. At least that's all he was until he believes that Mia's got a pretty concrete theory about these homicides. Then he's onboard and we're all content.
While there was excitement to be had, the ultimate conclusion of the murder investigation turned out a little flat. Everything just kind of fell into place within the span of one chapter and we end the non-romantic part of the story.
The romance, on the other hand, DID feel kind of drawn out. Then again, we're dealing with a man who has reserves about being in a relationship and who doesn't know how to communicate with people on a social level even if he's really good at communicating with people as a cop.
While I understand Ric's hot-and-cold demeanor towards Mia concerning their relationship-non-relationship status, I didn't quite care for his manipulations, manhandling, and general being an asshole when he didn't really need to be an asshole. A lot of his thoughts circled around getting Mia to do what he needed done, then walking away; a lot of other thoughts centered around getting Mia into bed so that he could get his answers. I'd argue that he's a good guy and a good detective if you can get around the fact that he doesn't handle anything surrounding Mia's situation agreeably.
As far as murder mysteries and crime thrillers and romance goes, Unforgivable's story is pretty uninspiring and mediocre. I imagine that it had been the steady forward progression of characters and story that made me find the book a little more than mediocre because I honestly DID enjoy it quite a bit.
Also, I quite enjoyed meeting all the new characters introduced, if only because these introductions are incorporated into the current story line in a more significant fashion than I've seen done previously. I'm actually quite interested to see what we've got in store for Kelsey Quinn, the bone expert, as well as Sophie and Jonah in the next Tracers book. And what about Mia's childhood friend, the ballistics expert, Scott Black? Does he get a book too?
I also wouldn't mind seeing the other DNA analyst mentioned in this book, Mark, get a little book time either.
I suppose I can say that the world created around the people of The Delphi Center have intrigued me.
This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):