Laura Griffin really has a way of getting under your skin. Her mysteries always leave me more aware of cars following me, my cyber security, being on alert for terrorists, and of course watching out for stalkers who might tamper with my home security. She has such a great way of tapping into the very real fears that women live with—make sure you have a peephole, always check the inside of your car, have a home security system, keep your hedged trimmed etc. This book left me chilled to the bone even if I didn’t understand half of what was going on.
This book takes a much more techy turn. Up until now this series has been more about police procedures and DNA evidence but now Griffin has taken a new approach and moved into the world of cyberspace. As always I am amazed by the amount of detail and research that Griffin puts into each one of her books but this one really dove into the world hacking and frankly I was lost but I still loved the mystery and couldn’t put it down.
Every time I pick up one of her books, I am blown away by all the little details right down to the jargon. But she rarely makes readers feel overwhelmed or confused by the evidence or the police procedures. I will say this is the exception. I am not a hacker and I don’t know a lot of computer security but that is a huge theme in this book, but I think that Griffin did a good job dummying it down for readers who aren’t as familiar with technology as others.
The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.
As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim. (summary from Goodreads)
Like many people, I have an online presence. Both for my blogging and personally. I tend to post things without even thinking about how that info and/or data can be used to track me. So this book totally got me in the creep factor. The more I read the more I was like OMG SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET! I was absolutely terrified at how easily things could be tracked or found out about someone just though a few clicks of a computer. And as I mentioned before, I am not really that techy, but this book did a good job explaining it for lay people, however there were a lot of things that I was like—-what now??? It was mostly easy to follow but at times I was a little confused how all that works. In addition to the crazy hackers things, I was creeped out by the murder mystery too! It was super creepy and I think a lot of female readers will find it as chilling as I did.
The only thing that didn’t work for me in this one was the romance. I didn’t love Reed and Laney together. Reed seemed really caught up in their age difference and frankly he seemed more mature than Laney in a number of ways not just in actual age. Overall he just felt more mature and I had a hard time seeing him and Laney together. I also struggled with Laney’s characters, I actually would have liked her and Ben better together. She seemed so unconventional and opposite of what Reed was that I just had a hard time with them being together and I didn’t love their romance. I didn’t think they had the same chemistry that other couples have had in the series.
Even if I didn’t love the romance in this one, I still loved the mystery and how modern and relevant it sounded. I think a lot of female readers will enjoy this one for the creep factor, especially with the online dating scene playing such a big role in this book. If you love smart and twisty mysteries this is going to hit a lot of high marks for you. But when it came to the romance it simply just fell short for me and I wasn’t in love with either character throughout the book. But as always the overall series is clearly a 5 star series even if every book is not.
Book Info and Rating
Format: 368 pages, Kindle edition
Published: May 24th 2016 by Pocket Books
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: mystery, romantic suspense