Untraceable: Tracers, Book 1

UntraceableAuthor: Laura Griffin
Book Name: Untraceable
Series: Tracers
Order: #1
Genre: Suspense/Romance
Rating:  Okay
3+stars



Blurb:  ALEX LOVELL MAKES PEOPLE DISAPPEAR.
TURNS OUT, SHE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive cop husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst, and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on — including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy Austin PD detective — Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth.

As far as homicide cop Nathan Deveraux is concerned, no body means no case. But as much as he wants to believe that Alex’s hunch about Melanie’s murder is wrong, his instincts — and their visceral attraction — won’t let him walk away. As a grim picture of what really happened begins to emerge, Nathan realizes this investigation runs deeper than they could ever have guessed. And each step nearer the truth puts Alex in danger of being the next to disappear….

Review:  This was a frustrating read because the blurb leads you to expect one thing, but you really kind of get another.  I really was expecting more of a true police/crime drama or even something focusing on forensic or computer investigation.  What I got instead was something that felt like I was missing a whole heck of a lot, as if I jumped into the middle of a series and didn’t read the books that lead up to this one.  Since this is the first book in the series, that is apparently not the case, though after some deeper digging, it looks like there may be at least one book that has some of those missing pieces, but it isn’t in this series.  Even though you can supposedly read the books in this series in any order, there is still enough that transfers over, by the looks of it, from one book to another to leave you feeling as though you missed something if you don’t.  I’m so not a fan of that.

I also struggled with the characters.  There was just too much jumping around and not much of that giving any real insight into the characters to give the reader a chance to know them.  There were some really tiny, brief allusions to history, but it was dealt with in a way that made me feel as if I should already know it, like it was given in some other book.  There is very little actual personality shown by either Nathan or Alex and what we do see is sometimes contradictory or is such a singular note that it kind of hangs out there all by itself without really tying in to anything else, that it ends up being a nothing kind of thing or just confusing.

Between expecting something more investigative or technically focused, feeling a little lost on the history and the way this had some rather harsh transitions from one plot line (Melanie going missing) to another (the romance between Nathan and Alex) this whole story felt choppy, as though it was missing something to give it a more solid, cohesive feel.  When it was all said and done, I’m not sure I could tell you “This was a romance” or “This was a suspense novel” or really what the focus of this book was, because I don’t think it new what it was supposed to be.  The lack of definition, in the end, left me wondering what the story was actually about, in this really weird way that I am struggling to express.  It wasn’t a story about Alex and what she does.  It wasn’t a story about Nathan being a cop.  It wasn’t about Melanie going missing or the uber famous lab that did some of the forensic work.  But it was, too.  It is as if you have all these story lines, but none are actually the main story, but that they are all side plots.  Like I said, it was just weird.

The story was decent, but it just all felt tossed together, unfinished and just not fully fleshed out.

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Far Gone: Laura Griffin

Far GoneAuthor: Laura Griffin
Book Name: Far Gone
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:  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 terrorist 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, Andrea and Jon race to confront a heartless killer who will stop at nothing to deliver a final, terrifying message.

Review:  There were a couple of places where this stretched the believability factor a bit with some of the scenarios, but this was still a pretty entertaining read.  I got deep enough into the story that those little blips didn’t really pull me out at all so I don’t think they are worth picking over.

This is definitely more suspense than romance and the romantic parts that do pop up notch in pretty well with the rest of the story.  Though the overall timeline here doesn’t take up more than maybe a few weeks, the romance isn’t an insta-love thing.  Attraction, definitely, but not deep, everlasting love in that time frame.

I’d say my least favorite part was that this finished and resolved a little too perfectly clean.  I love it wasn’t a bad guy reveals all in the end, but it was still wrapped up in this nice tidy bow and the main characters both come out totally unscathed.  Heck almost every single character, good or bad, came away pretty clean.  One person got roughed up, that was it.  Something with this intense of a plot really kind of needs to have the people in it get dirtied up a bit.