Review: Touch of Red (Tracers #12) by Laura Griffin

In this book, we meet Detective Sean Byrne. Well that’s not quite accurate, we met Sean in a couple of other books prior to this one and he is always portrayed as the cocky devils advocate. At least that’s how I read him. I wasn’t really a fan of him in previous books but at the same time I was intrigued a bit by his character so when I saw he was getting his own story I was excited to reconnect with him and see what he was like as the hero.

Brooke was also in a couple of other books but we barely get a glimpse of her beyond just a passing nod. Not in the way we see series favorites like Mia, Alex, or Kelsey. So I was excited to read and get to know Brooke as well as Sean plus the summery promised a shocking carnage of a crime scene and the macabre in me was like—-do tell me more.

This book really reminded me of an episode of Law and Order SVU, especially with the way things wrapped up. In this book we get to know the ADA (Rachel) a bit, not necessarily as a main or even secondary character but this book clearly has an ‘order’ part to it in a way that many of the other books do not. In the other books its about forensic evidence helping solve the crime and the police investigating. In this book we have that but we also have the added layer of how to secure a warrant etc. That’s what made this book stand out for me.


When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke. (Summary from Goodreads)


As I mentioned, we meet Sean in some earlier books. I can’t recall which one (maybe book five or six) where we meet Sean and he came across as this hard ass detective but he also had this kind of sweet side. In one book he was reaching out to the widow in one case offering her advice and comfort which seemed at odds with his character in that same book. In that book he was more of this hard ass detective so to see this caring side was unexpected. Then we don’t see him again until book eleven with Scott Black. In that same book Sean just comes across as kind of an ass so I wasn’t really a fan of him. Now in this book, we meet him post personal injury and he claims to be a changed man. I was skeptical but as the story went on I could see he wasn’t exactly different but he wasn’t exactly the same character he had been either. In short I liked him as a romantic interest and thought he did a great job making readers swoon (as well as Brooke).

Brooke on the other hand bugged. I didn’t love her, she seemed too unsure of herself for someone like Sean. She clearly had some history and baggage from previous relationships that she needed to work through and even if I didn’t love her character and felt she made some questionable decisions at times, I thought her and Sean worked well as a couple. Their love story was more tedious than some of the others and Brooke made Sean work for it and he delivered, ultimately I felt satisfied with how things turned out for them.

They mystery was intriguing but I think could have been beefed up more. Knowing how it ended I think Griffin could have really built this one up to be dark and creepy. The murder was intense and I liked the motive that developed but I think there was a lot of focus put on finding the eye witness that I think could have been used to develop the motive more. It was still a good mystery and well written book, but I would have liked to have seen this one elaborate a bit more on the why. Overall this book was pretty good and I enjoyed my time with the characters and getting to solve yet another dark mystery. Love this series so much!

Book Info and Rating

Format: 368 pages, Kindle edition

Published: October 31st 2017 by Pocket Books

ISBN: 9781501162374

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

Rating: 3 stars

Genre: mystery, thriller, romantic suspense


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