Thursday, February 2, 2017

At Close Range - Romantic Suspense Review

At Close Range (Tracers #11) by Laura Griffin (Amazon link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  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.

Genre: Mystery - Romantic Suspense

Why I Picked This Book: I love romantic suspense and really enjoyed the previous book in this series - Deep Dark.

My Impression: I love romantic suspense but it's one of those genres that I'm the most picky about.  I like for the suspense to be the focus of the story and the mystery itself to make sense but I want the romance to work as well.  I can handle insta-love in small doses but I have to believe that the couple works as an actual couple to be satisfied with the book.  Griffin delivers on all counts.

The mystery is creepy with lots of secrets and twists and turns.  I really didn't know what was going to happen for a large part of the book but the plot didn't feel contrived.  It really felt like I was watching the investigation unravel.  It kind of reminded me of early Patricia Cornwall but with more stable characters and not as much autopsy stuff.  I was pulled in right to the end and it was one of those books I kept wanting to sneak off and read just a few more pages of!

The romance was a little weaker for me but mostly because both Dani and Scott are super prickly and neither want to admit that there might be something going on between them.  I wanted to tell them both to just knock off the bickering and talk to each other.  However, because the mystery is at the forefront of the story the tension between the two never felt like it took over the book.  I loved Dani.  She's smart and a good detective but is definitely struggling with suddenly being lead in a high profile murder case.  I liked how aware she was of the pressure and how conscious she is of her decisions.  It felt very true to me.

Don't let the fact that this is #11 in the series scare you off.  The only connection between this book and the rest of the books is that someone in each book works for the Delphi Center.  This is my 2nd book in the series (first was #10) and they really read like total stand alones.  If you enjoy romantic suspense or a good mystery and don't mind a bit of romance thrown in this is a fantastic read!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?:   Absolutely!  I'm so excited that she has such a huge back list that I can catch up on and I'll definitely be on the lookout for her next book!

Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely!  If you enjoy romantic suspense heavy on the suspense you must read this book!


  1. Oh I am glad these can be stand alones. I don't read as much romantic suspense as I probably should since I like them when I read them. I have to add this author to my list. Great review!

  2. I recently read UNTRACEABLE—the first book in this series—and liked it. Didn't love it, but I'm definitely planning to continue with the series. It's good to know the books stand alone well, even though my reading OCD won't let me read a series out of order!

  3. I remember when you read the previous book and I put this author on my list mentally. Like Susan, it's tough for me to read 'out of order', but I am trying to do it occasionally. That is what comes when you discover a series and it already has 10+ books. I do like romantic suspense, but haven't read as much of it in recent years as I used to.

  4. I like romantic suspense, too. It was what I read when I was first getting into the romance genre because it more closely matched what I was used to in the mysteries I used to read. I don't read a ton of romantic suspense these days. I'm so glad this worked for you. It's always great when you find a book in a genre that you love! Especially when you are more picky. I'm like that with historical romance. It's my favorite subgenre, but I'm so picky.

  5. Ah, one of my fave series! And rest assured commenters, you can read out of order. Each installment features another member of the Tracers Team, but if you want to know every little detail about all the fringe characters, then start at book one. I received this one from Ms. Griffin as part of her street team and dropped the ball during my hellish January and am just now picking it up, but if it's anything like her others, it will please me.

    Katherine, I had to skim your review so I didn't find out what happened. I prefer to not read the whole blurbs on auto-read mysteries :)

  6. I have had this series in my sights and it is interesting to know you can read out of order. I will keep that in mind. Most series connect a little more so refreshing to have one where you can just pick any one up.

  7. I hate reading out of order but I was sent this book. I know they are stand alones but it's kind of like the Krew of hunter series, I had to start with book I am trying to get over it and just try this one...but I don't know!!! :)

  8. I really enjoy romantic suspense but have never read Laura Griffin. I wonder why that is? I agree with you in that I want the mystery to be the main focus with the romance adding to the story. This sounds like a book worth trying. Great review!

  9. I like RS so I'm adding this title to my To Read list. Haven't read Griffin before. Thanks for telling us about the book.

  10. It's been a while for me and rom-suspense (burn out). I'll have to try hers out once I'm ready for it again :)