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At Close Range
By: Laura Griffin
Releasing January 31, 2017
In At Close Range (Tracers #11) by Laura Griffin, Detective Daniele Harper has been put in charge of her first investigation when the bodies of a professor and his research assistant are found. However, with every clue she uncovers, she finds it hard to stay objective, especially when the evidence points to her brother's best friend, Scott Black -- the one man she's always had feelings for. The question is - is he being framed, or did he commit the crime? To find the truth, she'll have to do the one thing that could get her fired -- trust her instincts and allow Scott to help in her investigation.
What a wild ride Ms. Griffin takes readers on in this book, which encompasses the brothers best friend trope, fantastic main characters, and plenty of twists and turns that put the main characters at odds and had me reading quickly, wanting to discover whether Daniele's instincts are correct or whether her colleagues have every right to doubt her judgment. The way this story started was pulse-pounding and kept me wondering who the killer was, why they were targeting the people they did and whether Daniele would finally discover who the people behind the murders were. Is it more than one person? What did the people targeted have in common to get them killed? Moreover, I liked that Ms. Griffin kept me guessing as to the people responsible until the moment they were revealed.
The dialogue was intense and well-written and I couldn't help but be pulled in by both the hero and heroine's points-of-view. Daniele has never faced a case so challenging before, and I felt sorry for her when it came to Scott. She believes Scott is innocent, yet she has to find a way to prove it because he chooses to make things difficult for her. Then again, he knows how good of a detective she is, so I could understand why he wouldn't co-operate and tell her things she needed to know. Moreover, I liked that some of the secondary characters had their own points of view as well, as it gave readers the chance to possibly read about another couple that might get their own story told in this series.
Both the main characters kept me entertained from start to finish with their back stories, what they go through to achieve their happy ever after and the growing relationship between them. Will Scott be able to keep Daniele safe? Will they find the people responsible before Scott finds himself in big trouble with the law that he might not be able to get himself out of? Will the heroine be able to convince her brother that Scott is the right man for her?
Daniele is strong, brave and I liked how determined she is to solve the crimes. She has some difficult decisions to make and faces quite the challenge with her colleagues on whether she's being objective enough when it comes to Scott, but I liked how she handled everything. She's quite the detective and isn't afraid to do what it takes to punish the guilty, even if it means putting her life and her career on the line for those that deserve her loyalty and deserve justice. While Scott, he's been through a lot in his life and witnessed a lot in his time in the military. Does what he's witnessed make him incapable of getting close to people? Can Daniele find a way to convince him love is worth the risk? He's also hard-working, confident in his skills as a firearms examiner and ability to help find who is trying to frame him, and I liked how determined he is to protect Daniele when they face a dangerous situation. It proves she means more to him than he's willing to admit.
Overall, Ms. Griffin has penned an extremely riveting, fast-paced read where the strong romance illustrates just how right these two are for each other. Moreover, this book has me looking forward to further stories in this series and the way it ended was wonderful, as Scott proves to Daniele through words and actions how he feels about her. How can she possibly doubt him? I would recommend At Close Range by Laura Griffin, if you enjoy romantic suspense, the brother's best friend trope or the sexy protector trope.
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.
Dani watched him. Scott stood beside the car, his back to the victim as he skimmed his flashlight over the ground. The firearms expert was tall and broad-shouldered, with the super-ripped body of a former Navy SEAL. Instead of his usual tactical pants and combat boots, he wore jeans and a leather jacket tonight, so maybe he’d been out when he’d gotten the call. Dani knew from experience that his jacket had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the Sig Sauer he carried concealed at his hip.
Something glinted in the grass, and Scott crouched down to tag it with a numbered marker. Two minutes on the scene and already he’d discovered a piece of evidence. He stood and squared his shoulders, and Dani felt a pang deep inside her as he approached.
He stopped and towered over her, and for a moment they just stared at each other.
“Was the passenger door closed when you got here?” he asked.
“Where’s the girl?"
“No sign of her.” She nodded at the woods. “One of our officers is searching near the lake with Travis.”
He watched her for a moment with those cool blue eyes. His gaze shifted to the woods. “You need a K-9 team.”
She bristled. “I know.”
He strode over to his truck and opened the toolbox again. He took out a metal detector, which would help him locate shell casings or bullets, and maybe even the second victim if she was wearing jewelry or a belt.
Then again, the killer might have taken her somewhere else. Dani glanced back at the road and got a queasy feeling in her stomach. Where was she? She turned her attention to the lake, visible just beyond the trees. It was a scenic spot, usually--a tranquil little oasis for couples. But not tonight.
She glanced at Scott again, and he was watching her closely--so closely it made her wonder what he was thinking.
“You coming?” he asked.
She nodded at the body. “I’ll stay with him until the ME shows.”
Scott walked off, and Dani let her gaze follow him until he disappeared into the woods.
The medical examiner’s van rolled up, followed closely by Ric, and Dani’s stomach tightened as she thought of everything she didn’t like about this case. And it wasn’t even an hour old yet.
Ric walked over, his expression grim as he took in the scene. “The media has it.”
“That didn’t take long.”
“It was all over the scanner,” he told her. “I give us ten minutes, tops, before they roll in here with their cameras. We need to barricade the road.”
She turned toward the sound of Scott’s deep voice calling her from the woods. He was a tall silhouette at the edge of the trees, and from his tone Dani knew it was bad.
“What is it?” she yelled back.
“I found her.”
Copyright 2017 by Laura Griffin
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.