Murder and Romance Meet in Laura Griffin’s ‘Touch Of Red’ [REVIEW]

Crime Scene

The crime scene was grisly. How could someone possibly survive? (Photo by Mark’s Postcards from Beloit, Flickr)

When a fingerprint expert is called out in the middle of the night, nothing can prepare her for what she will find: a gruesome crime scene without the usual clues. Does she have what it takes to find the killer? Find out in Laura Griffin’s latest Tracers novel, Touch of Red. 

Laura Griffin's TOUCH OF RED

Pocket Books

Brooke Porter is a crime scene investigator with a knack for catching the bad guy. But the current case has her baffled. Even though she arrives on the scene before the cops and takes all the usual precautions, including donning gloves and a body suit to protect the scene, there are few clues to be had.

What she does have, however, is the body of the victim, a young woman stretched across the threshold of her back door, almost as if she were reaching for the phone to call for help, only to have her throat slit instead. No witnesses come forward and neighbors say they didn’t see or hear anything out of the ordinary, despite the fact that evidence suggests there was at least one witness to the crime.

Brooke relies on her intuition as she works closely with homicide detective Sean Byrne and his partner to find the mastermind behind the grisly murder. But the case isn’t the only thing on Byrne’s mind. He’s worked with Brooke before, and he wants more than a working relationship, even though he knows good and well she isn’t one to mix work with her personal life. Nevertheless, Sean is rather adept at getting his man (or woman, as the case may be). And as the case unfolds, there proves to be one fly in the ointment that will get in the way of their budding romance: Sean and Brooke may very well be the killer’s next target.

Touch of Red is the twelfth book in Griffin’s bestselling Tracers series, and it may very well be the most suspenseful volume to date. The author so seemlessly blends romantic suspense with police procedural, it is almost like CSI meets Castle, and we are delighted to be along for the crossover. It doesn’t hurt that both protagonists are instantly likable, and anyone who has read the Tracers series before will recognize both Brooke and Sean from previous appearances in the other books. So those of us who have been keeping up aren’t too shocked when these two finally get together.

But don’t be fooled. This isn’t just a light and fluffy rom-com with a dash of suspense thrown in for good measure. Griffin knows her stuff, and she injects enough detail about the forensic sciences that this story gives seasoned thriller readers plenty to sink their teeth into. My only complaint is that for a highly trained investigator, Brooke makes some rather rash decisions that don’t always add up when it comes to how smart her character is supposed to be. Even with that being said, however, she is fun to read and her flakier decisions don’t keep me from enjoying the book.

If you’re a constant reader of authors like Tami Hoag, Erica Spindler and Sandra Brown, but are waiting for their next title to drop, check out Laura Griffin. She perfectly blends a perplexing whodunnit with just enough romance the sultry June air won’t be the only thing sizzling this summer. Pick up a copy of Touch of Red and discover for yourself why the Tracers series is a long-standing fan favorite.

Laura Griffin

Laura Griffin


Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA® Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable).

Before writing novels, she was a newspaper reporter. After her graduation from Vanderbilt University, she covered education in Chicago and travel in Southeast Asia. Today, she still uses her journalism skills to bring her novels to life.

Laura currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she is working on her next novel. Fans are encouraged to contact her via her Website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Laura Griffin
368 pgs. Pocket Books. $7.99

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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