Twisted -- Laura Griffin
Book 5 of Tracers
Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery
Twisted was a fast-paced, exciting, and decently enjoyable Romantic Suspense. While it lacked a bit of the excitement I had felt from the previous Tracers book, Snapped, I still found it engaging and fairly straight-forward as a murder mystery.
Allison Doyle proves to be just as spunky as I had anticipated, though Mark Wolfe was surprisingly a different brand of broody alpha male. Once again, I can’t seem to put my finger on how I like one of Laura Griffin’s male characters, but I also can’t dismiss him as the typical, standard, broody hero either. The FBI agent was definitely a bit different than what I’d been expecting.
The Story in Brief:
Mark Wolfe has been chasing a serial murderer and rapist for over ten years since the guy first appeared in California. Then the killer went to ground for about ten years and Mark still continues to check the cold case while working on his other never-ending criminal investigations. A new murder case in San Marcos, Texas has brought Mark into town to try and convince local law enforcement that their murder victim is tied to his serial killer, even though all evidence point to a different suspect.
Allison Doyle has been eager to flex her detective skills since she was last included in a Crimes Against Persons case during the school shootings of Snapped. Coming in contact with Mark Wolfe, she doesn’t hesitate to inquire about his own profile and theories on the recent murder of a young woman in Texas--a woman who was raped then killed in the same fashion that many other murder victims had been killed in the California cases.
Wanting desperately to get an ally with local law, Mark readily confides with Allison and tasks her to try looking at the case files of their local murder and see the similarities. Soon, with Allison’s help, an official task force is created to hunt down this serial murderer.
Again, my own paraphrased summary is more or less lacking. But this particular Tracers book was fairly procedural and straight-forward in the investigation aspect. You can’t really say much without giving away a few twists and reveals. It’s a little more lax in the suspense and more emphatic about the forensic aspects (which I have no complaints about) because we also veer into a cyber crime investigation route (which I loved), even if it was brief.
I have no complaints about the crime thriller part of the story.
In fact, I’m pretty much on a “This was decently enjoyable and exciting” line of thinking for Twisted and honestly can’t think of much else to say about it.
Allison was a great character to follow, with her fiery and blunt, no-nonsense personality; she had her flaws and made her fair share of mistakes as a rookie detective, but I can’t help but think that the story’s events didn’t really give her much of an opportunity to flex her kickass muscles. It wasn’t like she ever did anything overly stupid to land her in danger, she wasn’t connected to the killer in any secret, back-history aspect, and she did her job as any other police detective would; but the book’s events kept landing her in the position of damsel even when it felt a bit unnecessary.
As for Mark, he was hard to pinpoint. Being an older man with lots of experience in law enforcement, he’s like a legend with his “I’ve seen it all” jaded approach to investigation, but with an underlying desperation at continuing to do his job and save lives and put the bad guys away. Unlike the young, hot-blooded, broody alphas you often encounter in a lot of Romantic Suspenses, Mark Wolfe was calm, level-headed, and seemed to be almost all-knowing and too perfect. I suppose knowledge comes with experience and with Mark’s back-history, it wasn’t surprising that he was so good at his job and so good at trusting his own instincts.
I did, however, find the side cases highlighted in Mark Wolfe’s life a bit tedious; I know other cases were there to emphasize just how dedicated he is to his job and how burned out he’s become after all these years and how much of an experienced FBI agent he is. I just didn’t think it was really that necessary to make that point since it was pretty moot concerning the current story. It’s not like Mark had much development to grow on considering the type of character he was already made out to be.
Other characters from the Delphi Center and the police department were a delight to see as well, including Jonah, Ric, Mia, Kelsey, and many others who have so far only made brief appearances throughout the series and who may or may not get their own stories in the long run. I’m still curious about Scott Black, the ex-military ballistics expert at Delphi (who made his appearance in Unforgivable as an old friend of Mia’s and who did not show in this book at all, though he may have been mentioned). I’m certainly more curious about Delphi’s cyber genius, Ben Lawson (who made his first appearance in the first Tracers book and might have had a short crush on Alex Lovell since they are both cyber geniuses). I’ve also become interested in the eternal player and Allison’s ex-lover, Roland who also works at Delphi (another forensics geek who finds joy in discovering trace evidence connected to crimes, but who is yet another Adonis or Casanova with the body of David).
Yea… these books are definitely jammed packed with beautiful people. I suppose you learn to live with it after enjoying your twentieth Romance sub-genre novel.
Twisted was a fairly enjoyable read. Another one for those summertime R&R days when you don’t really want to do anything else.
This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):