XOXperts Review: Touch of Red by Laura Griffin

Title: Touch of Red
Series: Tracers, #12
Author: Laura Griffin
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 368
Format: Mass Market Paperback

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.

I really enjoyed the way this story started off so casually and then all of a sudden... murder!
Brooke and Sean’s teams work together to solve a gruesome murder and the crimes that follow. Brooke is so determined to close this case and to immerse herself in the investigation. She is one step ahead of the detectives and that often puts her in the path of danger; much to Sean’s displeasure. He respects her but also feels very protective over her and wants her to be safe.

The more that is revealed about what really happened and is happening, the more disgusted and horrified you’ll feel. This story had such great pacing that fit well with the murder mystery. I enjoyed and appreciated all of the CSI and forensics lingo/information that was thrown out. It was explained well without making it seem too forced.

I love me a good romantic suspense, especially when the romance part isn’t the main focus. The romance happened slowly and naturally between Brooke and Sean. These characters were doing their jobs while they just so happened to be figuring out their love lives too. I didn’t feel like the romance element was ever fighting for center stage with the suspense and mystery elements. A lot of good tension was put in place between them, but we also have a great deal of tension from the crime half of the story. It keeps you intrigued all the way through and hanging off the edge of your seats for answers. 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of writing romantic suspense. Her books have won numerous awards, including two RITA Awards (for Scorched and Whisper of Warning) and a Daphne du Maurier Award (Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin where she is working on her next book.