Do you ever read and book and think to yourself—-wow this didn’t age well. I love Laura Griffin and have nearly read every single one of her books. I have loved them all for different reasons. Sometimes in her Tracer books, the technology has changed so much from the mid 2000’s and sometimes it feels a little antiquated or old but I still always find something to love in the mystery itself even if the technology might be out of date. But in this one, it isn’t the technology that’s out of date.
I will get more into that in a minute. What made me want to read this particular book is seeing Fiona in other books by Griffin. I thought she had a pretty cool job being a police sketch artist. That’s a job I never thought too much about but when I read about her in some of the other books I was really intrigued by how one becomes a police sketch artist and how they come up with their drawings etc. In this book as well as another, Griffin does a really good job of explaining how artists work with the victim. Now I have no idea if that’s legit but it sounds plausible and believable so that was the big thing that appealed to me about this book.
I was going to take a break after reading all the Griffin standalones, but who am am I kidding, I won’t stop until I have read ALL of her books at this point. So here we are, I am almost there and so far have yet to find a book that I truly haven’t liked. There were some parts or characters that I like and didn’t like for various reasons but overall I have loved all of Griffins books!
Forensic artist Fiona Glass is the best in the business — which is precisely why she’s quitting. Her skill at mining victims’ memories to re-create the faces of sadistic criminals has left her haunted and wary, and only Jack Bowman’s dogged persistence convinces her to help him. The rugged police chief is hunting a serial killer who’s targeting teenage girls. But what seems like a simple assignment is fraught with complications, including a searing attraction to Jack that’s tempting Fiona to let her guard down in potentially dangerous ways.
Jack never intended for Fiona to become so deeply involved in the case — or in his life. But every instinct tells him she’s his best hope for finding a psychopath who’s lurking in plain sight, growing more ruthless with each passing day. And now that Fiona is right in the killer’s crosshairs, the only way to keep her safe is to unravel a small town’s darkest secrets, one terrifying thread at a time. (summary from Goodreads)
Ok so back to how this book didn’t age well. This book came out in 2008. This was well before the #MeToo movement but it had a bit of a cringe factor when it came to the romance between Jack and Fiona. Jack is kind of this pushy cop who literally won’t take no for an answer. He shows up at her door when she declines his case, when they finally admit an attraction to one another, he flat out tells her to invite him up and says things that clearly sound like pressure. Now I am not saying that Jack is a rapist or anything like that, he’s totally NOT. He’s a stand up salt of the earth Southern gentleman but some of his actions felt really dated to me and didn’t age well in this new movement where no means no and men should respect what women say NO BUTS! And that goes for a physical relationship and professional cases. I did enjoy Jack and Fiona together and thought they made a nice pair but in a lot of ways I felt like the approach didn’t age as well as one would hope.
I really liked how humanized Griffin made Fiona’s job. It never occurred to me that maybe she would be haunted by the suspects she drew. In my mind a police artist just picked examples of noses and eyes from a book and put together a sketch that was ‘close’ to the suspect. It all feels very removed and straight forward so reading about how Fiona interviewed witnesses and made her sketches and then became haunted by what she had heard and drawn was really interesting to me and I found that it really humanized Fiona and her job which made me feel like I could relate more to her. I loved that about this book. Plus the plot was creepy and thrilling so I was fully invested in this story—–dated or not.
The romance between Jack and Fiona is complicated. Jack has a history with the victim which made things a little messy for them. I also felt like Jack (while maybe not for me) was charming in his own way and I think he and Fiona were evenly matched. Sometimes I found Jack to be high handed and a little over the top but considering the time period this book was written, I think that would have fit with the traditional male alpha romantic interest. I also loved seeing characters from other books again like Nathan from the first Tracers book! We also meet Fiona’s sister, Courtney, in this book. She has her own book next and honestly I hope I can stomach her because she was super extra in this one. Overall it was a good read and I am excited for the next Glass sister book!
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 371 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Pocket Star
ISBN 1416570632 (ISBN13: 9781416570639)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: romantic suspense, thriller, mystery
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