I picked up this standalone after I read Last Seen Alone, another standalone by Laura Griffin fully ready to devour another outstanding thriller. I have loved all of Griffin’s books even if some were better than others, overall I can say her books are all well research, fast paced, complex, with will developed characters. Sometimes the romance is better in some than others and sometimes I like other characters better independently, but I never finish one of her books feeling like the mystery was wanting in any way. She always does an outstanding job with her mysteries!
I feel like I have said this a million times but I will say it again incase you are new around here—all of Griffin’s books can be read as standalones, even the series. This book is actually a standalone book but if you are worried about what book to pick up, you should know that any book can be picked up at any time and you will be getting a unique mystery, character and story so don’t feel like you need to read her books in order etc.
While I look on all of Griffin’s book fondly, this one was my least favorite character wise. I didn’t like the main character, Andrea. I found her frustrating and her dedication to her brother was way too over the top for me and I had a really hard time relating to her, but I did love the plot in this one and I was really excited to see how it all came about and resolved. If you are looking for a solid well written thriller, Laura Griffin is it all around. Even if I didn’t love the main character, I did love the plot and couldn’t wait to see how it resolved.
To save her only brother, Andrea Finch must face down a criminal mastermind, the FBI, and her own demons in this thrilling novel from the author of the bestselling Tracers series.
Police detective Andrea Finch is a rising star in her department until a split-second decision derails her career. Disgraced and disillusioned, she’s on leave from her job when she gets an urgent call from her younger brother. She’d prefer to ignore his latest plea for cash, but this time instinct tells her something is very wrong. Andrea’s search for answers takes her to a dusty Texas border town where danger lurks in plain sight and nothing is quite what it seems.
FBI agent Jon North is working undercover in west Texas investigating an unsolved murder that may be linked to a broader plot. But when the evidence points to Andrea’s brother, Jon finds that persuading the stubborn cop to help will be harder than cracking his toughest case.
Andrea must find a way to do what’s right while protecting her only sibling. As the clock ticks down on a deadly plot, Andrea and Jon race to confront a heartless killer who will stop at nothing to deliver a final, terrifying message. (summary from Goodreads)
For me, Andrea was so pig headed, she was her own worst enemy. I had such a hard time reading her and was so frustrated by her flaw of being blind when it came to her brother. Now I can’t say that I would be any different when it came to my own sibling but at the same time there were so many red flags and her being the mother hen to him his whole life just felt exhausting. I really had a hard time with her character and didn’t like her even in the end when the book wrapped up. Her temper was too volatile and she just wasn’t my cup of tea. Though I did think her and Jon North did have a solid chemistry. I could see why Jon was attracted to her, she was passionate and dedicated to her brother but I could also see why it drove him insane because it drove me insane as well.
This one also had a lot of secondary characters, more than some of her other books. In this one we get to reconnect with Elizabeth LeBlanc from the Tracer’s series. I loved her and I loved getting to see her again in this book. I think this book was after the events of Scorched but before her own book so that was fun to get to see and interact with a series favorite again. But Elizabeth wasn’t the only POV character in this one, we also got the side of the terrorists occasionally. I liked that but it also made the story feel a little busy. Normally Griffin sticks with two, maybe three, POVs but this one I think had four so for me it just felt a little busy.
I did really love the plot though. I recently watched a show on History Channel about home grown terrorists and it’s really terrifying that these people are our neighbors and such. So this book really capitalized on that angle and really highlighted the fear of what’s going on in our own backyards. It was a great plot and even if there were some things about it that felt overly complicated, it was still suspenseful and kept me reading. I was anxious to see how it all panned out and what exactly the motive was behind some of the killings. This was a solid mystery but the execution was a little bumpy. Overall I ended up rating this one a 2.5 star—-without the interesting plot I would have gone with a 2 star but I ended up going with 2.5. It was good but there are better Griffin books out there.
Book Info and Rating
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2014)
ISBN 1451689349 (ISBN13: 9781451689341)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Genre: romantic suspense, mystery, thriller