by Laura Griffin
Series: Tracers #12
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
Touch of Red, by Laura Griffin, is a standalone FBI romantic suspense in the Tracer series. A forensic lab geek with a propensity to investigate and an FBI agent work a murder case that brings danger, heat, and passion.
I’ve only read a handful of the Tracer books, but every time I do I kick myself for not having read them all. Griffin is a terrific storyteller. She combines romance with compelling cases sprinkled with procedural detail that I devour.
Brooke Porter is a crime scene investigator who has an uncanny ability to see the scene and piece together clues. Her job requires a white lab jacket and sterile environment, but in Touch of Red the unusual crime scene and a potential eye-witness have her doing unauthorized field work. I liked Brooke, her career is one I find fascinating, and in fact was one I would have enjoyed pursuing. Brooke is smart and a bit tenacious, but she also has some hangups. They stem from a relationship turned sour that she had the good sense to end.
Homicide detective Sean Byrne has his hands full with this case. He’s glad Brooke is the investigator at the scene, as he respects her abilities. It also gives him an excuse to spend a little time with the tantalizing tech. Sean has a thing for the sexy CSI but has never made a move. His attraction to her scares him a little. She is different from his usual dates. Sean was sweet, smart and protective without going all alpha. There were times Brooke reacted based on past situations, crossed the line and unnecessarily bit his head off. He was firm, patient and downright swoon-worthy.
Griffin’s cases are always compelling, and this murder mystery delivered complications and twists. An unknown witness, unexpected evidence and the possibility of a cover-up kept me flipping the pages. Suspects, evidence, and clues were well placed and will keep the reader guessing. A little danger, seemingly untouchable suspects and a demanding DA added to the suspense. In the end, the story felt entirely plausible and could have been ripped from current headlines.
If you are a fan of well balanced, meaty romantic suspense, like Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series you will appreciate the Tracer series. Griffin’s stories are perfectly balanced and tightly woven delivering the perfect escape.
While Touch of Red is part of the Tracer series, it works as a standalone. Fans of the series might notice previous characters, but each book contains a case, and romance so you can feel confident to jumping right in.
[bctt tweet=”Romantic suspense at its finest – Touch of Red by Laura Griffin CSI meets FBI” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
I have one of the books in the Tracer series, Deep Dark…I need to read it pronto. And then this one can show up on my stacks! Thanks for sharing.
oh been wanting to read this series a long time, did not know that this book is a standalone, that’s kind of cool, let’s you get a taste of this series
Thanks for letting me know I can jump into this series anywhere. I really like the sound of this one – I used to love watching CSI – and a female CSI analyst makes me giddy. Why don’t I read more romantic suspense??
You’re one up on me. I still need to try one of her Tracers. I love that the heroine is a CSI worker.
I’ve got this one on audio and am looking forward to listening.
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
This sounds really good! I just read a novella by Griffin and enjoyed it so I will probably pick up more of her work. This series sounds like a good choice.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I’m the same way on the Tracer books. I have no idea why I haven’t read them all because the ones I have read are amazing! This sounds fantastic and I really liked these characters in the previous book so I’m glad to see them be the focus.
I think it is hard to pull of a good meaty romantic suspense and get the right balance, this one sounds like it works.
Sounds like an episode of one of my all-time favorite shows, CSI. Thanks for the post.
I really love this series-she writes such well crafted mystery woven into the romance.
I have this one and started it but then never went back to it but I need too. It wasn’t cause it was bad but sometimes you put a book down get busy with other nice shine books and just forget…lol. 🙂
Sadly, the cover would never catch my attention but I do love romantic suspense. I dont read it much but its a favorite genre of mine.
I’ve only read two or three of this series, but the ones I’ve read were really good. So glad this was another good one for you
I love simple covers and the red definitely gets my attention. This sounds like one for my wish list!
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
I’m not familiar with this series but it sounds like such a solid romantic suspense. I like the fact that the books are stand-alones. Big bonus in my book!
I should check out romantic suspense novels more. I’m glad to hear you liked this – it sounds just fascinating. I think I’d like it!
Love her and all her Tracers books Kim!
Jenea's Book Obsession
I am a sucker for crime novels and a good romance in there too. Sounds great!!!
ooh i love cover ups! I hope it all goes sizzling well
Looks like I have another author to add to my “to try” list. Thanks for the recommendation Kim!
I really like the sound of this one (I don’t think I’ve ever read a romantic suspense before *ponders*), and have added it to my TBR accordingly. Thanks for sharing, I wouldn’t have come across it otherwise! 🙂
A crime with a touch of romance, I love the sound of that! 🙂
Geybie's Book Blog
Awesome review, as always, Kim. I love the sound of it. It’s been recommended to me by some bloggers and now, with your review, i’m curious. Glad that you enjoyed it. ❤️
I have this one to read. I am glad you liked it.
I do like rom sup and I never read it for some reason
Oh I hope I will be able to find this book translated in french ! It would be a perfect Christmas present for my friend !
The snowflakes look so cool !
It’s a plugin called Snow Effect
First, I absolutely love the snowflakes on your blog! I think I might also be jealous, lol.
I haven’t read this series, but it sounds like a good mystery-romance! I’ll have to check it out.