TOUCH OF RED  Laura Griffin
A Tracers Novel,  Book 12
Pocket Books
ISBN-13:  978-1-5011-6237-4
November 2017
Romantic Suspense 

San Marcos, Texas Present Day

Brooke Porter is a crime scene investigator with the Delphi Center, a lab that helps the San Marcos Police Department with serious cases, like that one she's just been called to one night.  A young woman has been killed right by her back door, neck slit, a gruesome sight.  As Brooke works around the other investigators, she gets a feel for what happened.  The back door is open and there's a shiny key on the counter, but the young woman hadn't entered the house yet. 

They do find a package of drugs in the woman's car with one fingerprint on it, but after going through the house it just doesn't seem right to Brooke.  When homicide detective Sean Byrne arrives, she goes over some of her feelings with him.  There's a pantry door open with some cookie crumbs on the floor, and the next day she finds fingerprints on the bottom part of the door.  Brooke thinks there was a witness to the murder, most likely a child who hid and then ran away.  The question is whether they find the witness some way?

Sean has noticed Brooke for the past year; especially when he realized she sat by his bed after he was shot earlier in the year and he was not awake.  Brooke knows Sean wants to get closer to her, but because she broke up with her old boyfriend just four months ago, she doubts her ability to choose a decent boyfriend.  Brooke wonders if she needs some time to herself to find out why she always picks the wrong men, but Sean is a mighty temptation.

Sean has trouble keeping Brooke from wandering into the police investigation and possibly putting herself in danger.  Brooke has trouble being around Sean and ignoring the feelings he provokes in her, especially the feeling of safety she feels anytime she kisses him.  When the evidence leads Sean and Brooke and the Delphi Group into looking at several members of a family who match a partial DNA sample, things start getting dangerous for Brooke, and Sean has no way to stop her from trying to investigate what soon turns into the murder of another young lady.

Laura Griffin is a master of these thrillers using the Delphi Group and regular members of law enforcement together to solve crimes.  Her attention to detail and the slow increase of the tension will have you on pins and needles all the way through.  Brooke is spending way too much time devoted to her job and avoiding a possible commitment to Sean, and Sean is trying his best not to rush Brooke into a relationship he is sure is right for both of them.

TOUCH OF RED is the twelfth in Laura Griffin's Tracers series, but they are each separate stories with some returning characters.  If thrilling mysteries with many clues is what you enjoy, thenTOUCH OF RED will be a great addition to this month's reads.

Carolyn Crisher