Guest Review: At Close Range by Laura Griffin

Posted January 25, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 8 Comments

Guest Review: At Close Range by Laura GriffinReviewer: Jen
At Close Range by Laura Griffin
Series: Tracers Series #11
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Pages: 368
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four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers the goods” (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.

When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.

As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friend’s younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goal—identifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on Dani, all bets are off. There isn’t a line Scott won’t cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights.

Tracers book 11! This time we’re largely back on the police side of investigations, following detective Dani Harper as she investigates a double homicide. She gets forensic help from various experts at the Delphi Center, including Scott Black. Scott is her brother’s friend, a former SEAL, and a guy she’s had a low key crush on for years. Scott too has some pants-feelings for her, but he’s mostly stayed away because of his friend, he’s not good enough, you know the drill. The homicide case quickly gets much more complicated than anyone expected, and both Dani and Scott end up right in the middle of it all. They have to navigate their attraction while trying to put a stop to the killings.

This was the kind of book where I mostly enjoyed it while I was reading it, but after I put it down some things started bothering me. It was fairly fast paced and exciting. The first two murders turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg, and I liked that Griffin kept things interesting and exciting throughout. There’s no “figuring out” for the reader to do, but you do come along for the ride as Dani, Scott, and the rest of the police uncover details. I definitely got hooked and wanted to know how it all would be resolved. It was great to catch up with some past characters, and we get to meet another Delphi Center employee, Brooke, who I assume is going to be a future heroine. I am very intrigued by her so far!

There were quite a few weak points in the book for me, though. Like I said, while I was reading the book I was into the plot, but after I was done I couldn’t help thinking that some of the details were kind of ridiculous or unresolved. The villains have a really complicated plan that didn’t entirely make sense to me – it seemed far fetched.

I also wasn’t entirely feeling the romance. Scott is a really private, stoic guy. He seems to have PTSD or some other mental/emotional issues as a result of his combat experiences, but that’s just kind of glossed over. He and Dani have a lot of sex but do very, very little talking. Dani admits she really hasn’t spent much time with Scott after he came back from combat, so who is she really in love with? The kid/teen version of Scott she knew in the past, or the adult with piles of baggage and severe communication issues? Scott jerks her around a lot, acting like she’s just a fling and and saying some cruel things to her. He knows he’s hurting her but he selfishly continues doing it because he wants to, and I didn’t love that about him. Then the ending was also rushed, and Scott suddenly flips and is Mr. Commitment. It wasn’t entirely unsatisfying, but I would have preferred more build up. Plus, just like the hero in Beyond Limits (book 8), Scott steamrolls Dani and tries to take over her investigation. There was even a near-repeat of the moment I hated from book 8, where Scott grossly violates investigation protocol in a way that could get Dani in serious trouble, and instead of holding him accountable she caves and sleeps with him. I wanted Dani to stand up for herself a bit more, and I wanted Scott to acknowledge he was being a dick, but that didn’t happen.

Despite the problems, I still had a good time reading the book! The characters were interesting, the investigation details fascinating, and the plot fast paced. I think other Tracers fans will enjoy it too.

Grade: 3.75 out of 4

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

 

four-stars


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8 responses to “Guest Review: At Close Range by Laura Griffin

  1. OK – am NOT jealous that you got to read this book early. No, no, no!

    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!

    So – how come it has 4 out of 5 stars at the top of the review and yet you rate it 3.75 out of 4 at the end? *confused* Am looking forward to this one – as I do all LG’s

  2. Jen

    Willa, I am not gonna lie that getting ARCs is so, so cool. I never take that for granted!

    I think the rating discrepancy has to do with the fact that wordpress only allows half-star increments. I just couldn’t give this one a full 4 stars but 3.5 seemed too low, so I split the difference even though it ends up displaying weird that way.

    Let me know what you think of this one once you read it! There has to come a day when we both totally agree on a Tracers book, right? 😉

      • Jen

        Ooh, good question! Really, I’ve liked them all, which is pretty remarkable because I can think of no other series that has consistently held my interest this long. My gripes with some of them were only because I expect so much from the books! But as for favorites, I really loved Unforgivable–Mia and Ric play a pretty big role in At Close Range, so that was kind of cool to get an update on them. I also liked Shadow Fall a lot, mostly because I enjoyed both Tara and Liam as characters. And even though I was kind of harsh on Derek in Beyond Limits, Elizabeth is one of my favorite Tracers heroines, and that plot is super exciting.

        What are your favorites?

        • Unforgiveable is my all time fave and I just squeeeeed when I read that they are in Close Range

          I loathed Shadow Fall – was an epic dud for me, not enough characterisation and Tara was such a wimp even though we were constantly told how strong she was. The only book I can’t see myself rereading in the series.

          Beyond Limits was fab, loved Elizabeth since she showed up books earlier and had high hopes for it – and it delivered!

          Also loved Snapped – have a soft spot for Jonah ❤

  3. Kareni

    I’m looking forward to reading this as I’ve enjoyed all the others in this series. Thanks for your review, Jen.

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