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Untraceable by Laura Griffin
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's review
Jul 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: requests, realmsonourbookshelves, romantic-suspense
Read in November, 2009

4,25 stars

Private investigator and computer expert Alexandra Lovell is specialized in aiding people who don't want to be found. Let's call it a civilian (cyber) witness protection program. She is very good at it but when she finds out one of her clients, Melanie Bess, has really disappeared she suspects foul play, especially when she finds out Melanie came back to Austin, where danger lurks around every corner for her. Alex calls in the help of Nathan Deveraux, a detective with the Austin Police Department, whom she met in the line of duty about 7 months earlier. He promises to help her and look into it but his promise complicates things more than it facilitates them since the main suspect in Melanie's disappearance is a fellow policeman who is well-liked and respected. Alex only has suspicions and very circumstantial evidence to go on and there Nathan’s hands are pretty much tied. When she enlists the service of the Delphi Center, a privately funded forensics lab and base of "the Tracers", things come to the surface that put both Melanie and Alex' lives in danger and Nathan must act quickly to save them.

Next to the suspense in UNTRACEABLE, which was great as always in Laura Griffin's books, the characters of Alex and Nathan are on the top of my list of what I liked most in this book. Alex is sarcastic, tough and sharp-tongued, but underneath the outer sharpness there's caring and warmth too, especially for those less fortunate than her. Nathan is rugged, cynical, straightforward and unapologetic. And together they create both sensual and verbal sparks that I really liked. Their road to a HEA was complicated not only by Melanie's case but also by their different backgrounds and their expectations of themselves, each other and their relationship.

Both Alex and Nathan first made their appearance in Laura Griffin's Glass Sisters series. At the end of book 1 (THREAD OF FEAR) of that series I really thought Nathan was going to be Courtney Glass' hero in book 2: WHISPER OF WARNING but reading that book I soon discovered I'd been totally off-base with my speculations. When Griffin put Nathan and Alex together in WHISPER OF WARNING secondary characters I didn't dare to speculate again but I was thrilled to find out they were the first hero/heroine couple in this new series, The Tracers. I loved their chemistry in WHISPER OF WARNING and in UNTRACEABLE, which takes place about 7 months after WHISPER OF WARNING, Griffin combined that chemistry with some top-notch suspense. As with all Griffin books the suspense is extraordinary good. The first page of this book grabbed me by the throat and never let go until I reached the end.

By chapter three I was completely immersed in the suspense. The set-up in the first two chapters promised all the intrigue, twists, complications it delivered on in the rest of the book and the chemistry between Nathan and Alex was definitely tantalizing and promising too. This is the third series of Laura Griffin I'm reading and yet again she surprises and amazes me with a totally unique vibe. Even if this series is sort of a spin-off from the Glass Sisters series and set in the same world with the many known characters and the same police department, Griffin manages to deliver a first installment of a series that definitely stands on it's own as far as the suspense plot arc is concerned. Where the focus in the Borderline series was on drugs and drug trafficking and the focus in the Glass Sisters series is on murder investigations, The Tracers series is very much into forensics and corrupted law enforcers. Despite the emphasis on different aspects of law enforcement, in all three series the romantic story arc is always subtle and intense, fitting the main characters and their development throughout the books. The romance in UNTRACEABLE was subtle and sprinkled with some complicating elements which were linked to both Nathan and Alex' backgrounds and personalities.

I really love this new series and I am definitely ready for more as there were some secondary characters who certainly spiked my curiosity and interest with their roles in UNTRACEABLE, for example: Troy Stockton, John Holt and Mia Voss. I hope future books in this series will feature them at least.

At almost every page turn there was a surprise waiting for me. The suspense plot was unpredictable and excellently put together. Griffin kept me speculating and guessing constantly and right till the end. Something I liked in Griffin's writing of the other books made this one great for me too: Dosed bits of plot information and stuff that seems unrelated come together to form a great suspense plot. Once you're in the flow of the story it's hard to tear yourself away from it. I just had to keep on reading and speculating on the information given. Trying to decide if the suspect was truly the bad guy, what the motives were and how it all connected. The conclusion was one I didn't quite see coming, which of course is a very good thing, as I don't like predictable suspense novels. And even though the wrap-up felt kind of rushed and I expected more information on some things, which now leave me with lingering questions, I still very much liked the twist given to the plot.

Again Laura Griffin did NOT disappoint me. I love her crisp, clean and smooth writing and I love anything to do with forensic science and law enforcement. This made UNTRACEABLE an absolute winner for me.
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