Review: At Close Range (Tracers #11) by Laura Griffin

Throughout this series the stand out hero for me has been Derek from a few books back, as for stand out story, all of them have been so complex and interesting that it’s hard to pick a favorite. The last couple of books in the series have been a but disappointing in the romance category so I wasn’t really sure about picking this one up. I recalled Scott from a couple of books back but he didn’t really stand out to me as a swoon worthy hero.

I briefly skimmed the summary of this one mostly just looking for who the main characters were because I already know that Griffin’s mysteries never disappoint so knowing that I don’t really need to read the summary. So when I started this one I was like oh ok it’s featuring Scott and Daniele (Dani) as the principal characters—cool—and more or less went in blind.

When the book opens, I was instantly hooked on the mystery (as per usual), it features a double homicide that leaves two lovers dead in a local park. Dani is taking the lead of this case and it’s her very first so the pressure to perform and solve the crime is intense. Especially with the interesting twists the case quickly takes. Griffin does such an outstanding job at drawing readers in and leaving them eager for more about the case, victims, and of course the detectives and investigators that do all the leg work. But what grabbed me unexpectedly was the intriguing chemistry between Dani and Scott.

Summary

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers the goods” (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.

When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.

As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend’s younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal—identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on Dani, all bets are off. There isn’t a line Scott won’t cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights. (summary from Goodreads)

Review

This book stands out to me as THE BOOK for chemistry. I loved the chemistry between Scott and Dani. They clearly had a long term history as Scott and Dani’s brother had been best friends growing up and no doubt Dani had been in love with him since childhood. Even when Scott falls under suspicion in the story, Dani doesn’t waver in her devotion to him. I thought Scott had a complicated backstory and his attraction to Dani had clearly been going on for a while but he was too devoted a friend to make a move on his best friends sister. I couldn’t get enough of them together. I loved watching their romance unfold and this book really kicked the sizzle up a notch which I thought was a welcome surprise.

The mystery was really complex and I had no idea where it was going. As things unfolded there was a pretty science-y component to the mystery and while it was complicated and frankly a little weird, I thin Griffin did a good job at explaining it to a lay person which I appreciated it. The dialogue in this one also stood out. In this one the dialogue between Dani and Scott really stood out as well written and developed. It fit so well with their characters and the larger love story. It was really really good and I loved that they had a history rather than just meeting for the first time in this book. I thought it made their story seem more complex and nuanced.

The mystery at the end took a bit of a weird turn but it was no less heart pounding. Without giving anything away, it just took an unexpected turn that I wasn’t ready for but at the same time was interesting and kept me reading. I don’t know that it was my favorite mystery but it was definitely my favorite book in the series if that makes sense. Mystery good but the romance was better. I am so sad that this series is winding down and there are only a couple of books left but I have no doubt that Griffin has a few more books up her sleeve even if they aren’t Tracer books, anything she writes will be an auto buy for me!

Book Info and Rating

Format: 368 pages Kindle edition

Published: January 31st 2017 by Pocket Books

ISBN: 9781476761756

Review copy provided by personal collection, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: thriller, mystery, romantic suspense

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