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At Close Range (Tracers Series #11)
     

At Close Range (Tracers Series #11)

4.6 17
by Laura Griffin
 

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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

Overview

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 burn 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 her, 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.

Editorial Reviews

RT Book Reviews on AT CLOSE RANGE
“A compelling mystery that will grip the reader from the start with her crisp storytelling, natural dialogue and high-stakes tension… fiercely electric.”
Romance Junkies
“Explosive, seductive, and totally empowering… AT CLOSE RANGE has it all.”
Reading Past My Bedtime on AT CLOSE RANGE
“Laura Griffin has done it again, and delivered an all out shocking, suspense filled, didn’t see that coming, OMG amazing book!”
Cocktails & Books on AT CLOSE RANGE
“Fast paced, with well-developed characters and heart-pounding suspense.”
Bookpage
"Great lead characters and a spooky atmosphere make this a spine-tingling, standout novel of romantic suspense."
Fresh Fiction
“SHADOW FALL seamlessly blends a steamy romance with a fast-paced, exciting investigation.”
Single Titles
"SHADOW FALL is rivetingly suspenseful... keeps the reader entranced.”
Lisa Unger
"Far Gone has it all—a smart, engaging heroine, a rocket-paced plot, and explosive nonstop action. Adding a dash of heady romance to the recipe, Laura Griffin has cooked up a delicious read that will thrill her devoted fans—and earn her legions more."
A Tasty Read
“Seriously addicting! Liam and Tara were sizzling. The chemistry between them from the very first meeting was electric.”
New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards
Far Gone is a tense, exciting romantic thriller that's not to be missed. Laura Griffin is one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend this book.”
Top Pick! —RT Book Reviews
“Fiercely passionate. With plenty of action and steady pacing, SHADOW FALL will not disappoint.”
Top Pick! --RT Book Reviews
“Fiercely passionate. With plenty of action and steady pacing, SHADOW FALL will not disappoint.”
RT Book Reviews
"Compelling, high-stakes tension....littered with twists that will keep readers engaged!"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476761756
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
01/31/2017
Series:
Tracers Series , #11
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
11,747
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

At Close Range

CHAPTER 1

Everything about this felt wrong, and Tessa couldn’t believe she was here as they bumped along the gravel road, their headlights cutting through the tunnel of trees. When they reached the clearing, James rolled to a stop and shoved the car into park.

Tessa gazed straight ahead at the moonlight shimmering off the inky lake.

“This okay?” he asked.

“Fine.”

He turned off the music, and she listened to the drone of the cicadas and the guttural croak of bullfrogs outside. An electronic chirp sounded from her purse. Crickets, her sister’s ringtone. Tessa silenced the phone and dropped it into the cup holder.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“No one.”

The car got quiet again and James reached for her, pulling her across the seat and sliding his warm hand under her shirt.

“Wait. Maybe we should talk first.”

“We don’t have much time.” He squeezed her breast.

“James, I mean it.”

He leaned back and sighed. “Talk about what?”

“Us. This.”

His face was shadowed, but still she could see the heat in his eyes as his hand glided up her thigh.

“So talk.” He kissed her neck, and she inhaled the musky scent of his skin—the scent that drew her to him in the most primal way, in a way she’d never been able to resist no matter what the consequences. She responded to this man on a molecular level, with every cell in her body.

He kissed her mouth, softly at first, then harder. He pulled her close, shifting her until she was almost in his lap.

“I can’t stop thinking about you.” His breath was warm against her throat, and whatever she’d wanted to talk about was gone now. He slid his hand over her shirt, deftly popping open the buttons one by one. Then the fabric was off her shoulders, and air wafted over her skin. She reached for his belt buckle.

A sudden flash of light made her jump. She squinted over her shoulder at the blinding white as a car pulled up behind them.

James went rigid. “Damn it, a cop.”

The car’s door opened. She hurriedly pulled her shirt on and darted a look at James.

“Don’t talk,” he said.

A light beamed into the driver’s side, and she shrank back against the door as James buzzed down the window.

“Evening, Officer.”

“This your vehicle, sir?”

“Yes, it is.”

The flashlight beam moved to Tessa’s face, then dipped lower. She tugged the sides of her shirt together and looked away.

“Step out of the car, sir.”

James gave her a warning look and pushed open his door.

She sank down in the seat. Perfect. This was just what they needed. Could they be charged with something? Trespassing? Or public lewdness, maybe? Her cheeks burned and she glanced back at the cop.

Pervert. He probably staked out this lakeside park every weekend and waited for couples to pull in. He probably got a sick thrill from embarrassing people.

Pop! Pop!

The noise rocked the car and she lurched against the window, shrieking. Terror seized her as she gaped at the open door.

He’s shooting. He’s shooting. He’s—

The flashlight shifted. Tessa scrambled for the door handle. She shoved open the door and lunged from the car, landing hard on her hands and knees.

Pop!

The sound reverberated through her brain, her universe. She clawed at the grass and stumbled to her feet. Adrenaline spurted through her veins as she raced for the woods.

He was behind her, right behind her. She sprinted for the cover of the trees, screaming so loud her throat burned.

No one can hear you. You’re all alone.

An icy wave of panic crashed over her, and her cries became a shrill wail. Her heart pounded as she ran and ran, waiting for the bite of a bullet.

Hide, hide, hide!

She plunged into the woods, choking back her screams as she swiped madly at the branches. Thorns tore at her skin, her clothes, but she surged forward. It was dark. So dark. Maybe he wouldn’t see her in the thicket.

He killed James. He killed him killed him killed him. The words flashed through her mind as she swatted at the branches.

She had to get out of here. She had to get help. But she was miles away from anyone, stumbling blindly through the darkness. Branches lashed her cheeks and they were wet with blood or tears or both as she plunged through razor-sharp brush and her breath came in shallow gasps.

She tripped and crashed to her knees. Pain zinged up her legs, but she pushed to her feet and kept going, deeper and deeper into the woods. No one was out here to help her. Her only chance was to hide.

She smacked hard into a tree. She swayed backward, then caught herself and ducked behind the trunk, forcing her feet to still, even though her pulse was racing.

No noise. Nothing.

Only the whisper of wind through the branches and the wild thudding of her heart. She dug her nails into the bark as she strained to listen. She couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone was squeezing her lungs in a big fist. She shut her eyes and tried to be utterly still as she fused herself against the tree and waited.

In the distance, a soft rustle. She turned toward the sound and felt a swell of relief. Had she lost him?

Please, God. Please, please, please . . .

A faint snick behind her, and Tessa’s heart convulsed. She hadn’t lost him at all.

•  •  •

Dani Harper steered her pickup down the narrow road toward the whir of lights. She reached the clearing and pulled up beside a white van, surveying the scene through the mist. A pair of uniforms stood off to the side. Beyond a line of haphazardly parked vehicles, swags of yellow tape cordoned off a silver sedan.

She glanced at the logo on the van and her nerves fluttered. The Delphi Center. Her boss must have called them. The lieutenant didn’t like using outside help, but San Marcos PD didn’t have the resources to handle a scene like this.

Dani reached for the poncho she kept in back, then thought better of it. It would be hot as a trash bag, and she was already sweaty from her yoga class. She pushed aside the grocery sack containing the frozen dinner she wouldn’t be eating anytime soon and grabbed a baseball cap, settling it on her head and pulling her ponytail through the back as she got out. Her cross-trainers sank into the muck.

One of the uniforms trudged over, and Dani recognized him as he passed under the light of a portable scene lamp. Jasper Miller. Six-three, 250. He was a rookie out of Houston, barely six months on the job.

“Hey, Dani.” He smiled, catching her off guard again with those boyish dimples that seemed at odds with his huge build.

“Tell me you didn’t touch anything.” She pulled a pair of gloves from the box she kept in the back of her truck.

“I didn’t touch anything.”

She tugged the latex over her hands and took out a mini-flashlight. She picked her way across the damp grass, careful not to step on any sort of evidence.

“When did you get here?” She ducked under the scene tape.

“Oh, about”—he checked his watch—“twenty minutes ago? Not long after the first responder. Old lady that lives off the highway thought she heard someone shooting off fireworks here in the park.”

“And them?” She nodded at the two crime-scene technicians crouched behind the sedan, examining something. A tire impression, maybe? Whatever it was, they’d erected a little tent over it in case it started to rain again.

“They showed up five minutes ago,” Jasper said.

The car was a late-model Honda Accord, squeaky-clean right down to the hubcaps. It must have arrived before the rain. The driver’s-side door stood open, and Dani’s stomach tightened with dread as she walked around the front, sidestepping a numbered evidence marker. She halted and stared.

The victim lay sprawled in the grass. Khaki pants, button-down shirt, short haircut. He had a bullet hole just below his neck, and flies were already buzzing around it, making themselves right at home. They hovered below his belt, too, where the front of his pants was dark with blood.

Dani felt a wave of dizziness. Then it was gone.

She stepped closer, glancing up at the blue tarp someone had thoughtfully erected over the body. She switched on her flashlight and crouched down for a closer look. On the victim’s left hand was a wedding ring, and Dani’s heart squeezed.

Some woman’s whole world would be shattered tonight. It was shattered already—she just didn’t know it yet.

She glanced up at Jasper. He looked nervous and eager for something to do.

“I’ve got a portable scene lamp in the back of my truck,” she said. “You mind?”

He trekked off, and she focused on the victim again. Given the location at this park, she’d expected a teenager, but he looked more like an accountant. She studied his face carefully. His eyes were half-shut and wire-rimmed glasses sat crooked on his nose. A determined line of ants had already formed a trail into his mouth.

Dani aimed her flashlight inside the vehicle.

No wallet, no cell phone, no computer case. The wallet was likely in his pocket, but no one could touch him until the ME’s van arrived. She skimmed her flashlight over the car’s interior, paying close attention to the floorboards and cup holders.

Jasper returned with the lamp and started setting up.

“Was this other door closed when you got here?” she asked.

“I told you, I didn’t touch anything.”

She looked back at the CSIs pouring quick-dry plaster into an impression on the ground. Roland Delgado glanced up at her.

“Hey, there, Dani Girl.”

“Hey. Who else is here?”

“Another one of your uniforms.” Roland nodded at the trees near the lake where flashlights continued to flicker. “He’s combing the woods with Travis Cullen.”

Travis Cullen. So no Scott tonight. Dani felt a twinge of relief as she stood up.

She leaned into the car and popped open the glove compartment. The insurance card was sitting right on top inside a protective plastic sleeve.

She stepped away from the Accord and turned her back on the victim as she dialed Ric Santos. He answered on the first ring.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“On my way. What do we got?”

“White male, thirty to forty, gunshot wound to the chest and groin, point-blank range.”

“Groin?”

“That’s right.”

“Damn. What else?”

A low grumble had her turning toward the road. Her nerves skittered as a gunmetal-gray Dodge pickup pulled into the clearing and glided to a stop beside the crime-scene van.

“No ID yet,” she told Ric. “But there’s an insurance card inside the vehicle. James Matthew Ayers, 422 Clear Brook Drive.”

“That’s near the university.”

“There’s a hangtag on the mirror. A university parking permit.”

Scott Black slid from his pickup and slammed the door. He reached into the truck bed to unlatch the shiny chrome toolbox. He pulled out his evidence kit and glanced up.

Their gazes locked.

“Dani?” Ric asked.

She turned away. “What’s that?”

“The permit. Is it A or B?”

“B. Faculty parking.”

“Shit.”

“What’s your ETA?”

“Five minutes,” Ric said.

“You’ll probably beat the ME.”

She ended the call and closed her eyes briefly. Raindrops dampened her face and water trickled between her breasts. She was in yoga pants and a tank top, and she wished she’d had time to change into something better suited for detective work because it was going to be a long night.

She took a deep breath and made a mental list. She had to interview the first responder. And she had to get a K-9 team out here. She sent her lieutenant a text coded 911 for urgent.

Roland and the female CSI were still crouched behind the car, and the woman was snapping pictures. She had to be the Delphi Center crime-scene photographer, but Dani had never met her.

Scott stood beside the Accord now, 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.

“That’s right.”

“Where’s the girl?”

“No sign of her.” Dani nodded at the woods. “One of our officers is searching near the lake with Travis.”

Jasper joined them by the car. “How do you know there’s a girl?”

Scott knelt beside the body. “He didn’t come all the way out here to jerk off.” Scott looked at Dani. “You have an ID yet?”

“Nothing confirmed.”

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.”

“Daniele.”

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.”

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin is the author of the Tracers series, the Alpha Crew series, the Moreno & Hart series and several other novels. A two-time RITA Award winner and the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award, she lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit her website at LauraGriffin.com and on Facebook at Facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor.

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At Close Range (Tracers Series #11) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Fortressofbooks 3 days ago
Rating~ 3.75- 4 stars Daniele Harper is detective and gets her first case as the lead detective on a double homicide of two researchers from the university. Scott Black is a former SEAL and currently one of the tracers, a firearm specialist for the Delphi crime centre. Tracers help the police with their investigations. Scott has previously helped with a quite a few cases in the years since he joined the tracers. Daniele and Scott have known each other for years. She is the younger sister of Scotts best friend. Daniele has always had a thing for Scott since she was a teenager but she never thought that Scott felt the same till he kissed her couple of months ago on New years eve. Scott is very conflicted but is finding it very difficult to stay away from Daniele even when he knows that it won’t end well. They have always had a teasing and relaxed relationship before the night of the kiss. Now they are both unsure of where they stand and the connection they feel towards each other is growing. The plot involves something sinister happening at the biology department at the university. With killer now has set eyes of Daniele as the next target. And Scott now looking at a possible suspect to the police, things are getting complicated. Daniele and the police investigate and chase the killer as more people end up dead and a puzzle is missing an important piece. I quite liked the plot it and I really liked both the protagonists. They were strong and instantly likeable. They had good chemistry and a very intense connection. The secondary characters were also quite interesting with Laura Griffin showing a budding relationship between Sean and Brooke which made me felt intrigued. Quibbles: Maybe its because I haven’t read the pervious books in the series but I would have liked to know what was up with Scott and Rachel? Daniele didn’t find out so I didn’t either. I also would have liked to know why was Daniele chosen as a target? It felt like it was more than her just being the lead on the case but we never find out who wanted Daniele dead. There were also Scotts behaviour at times which bugged me slightly. Overall it was my first book by Laura Griffin and I would definitely read more by the author. It was a light suspense with a very interesting plot and good romance combination that I ended up liking it. Looking forward to more books in the series! ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless 3 days ago
Scott had that sexy, dangerous, alpha heartthrob vibe going on. It appealed to me on many different levels for many different reasons. But what stood out most was his code of conduct. He valued his friendship. He respected the boundaries set. But all that went out the window when it came down to life and death. Not just any death. Hers! Dani. Dani was a take no prisoner kind of lady. She had a job to do and would utilize all at her disposal to get it done. Even if that meant working with the one man in the world that could shake her foundation. Even if that meant lusting after him and wanting more. Even if that means walking away. Until she becomes the target. All restraints come off and they find that together they can make a team that could be more. I got a fix of suspense, drama, intrigue, passion, desire, action all wrapped in a delicious fantasy that held me captive for hours. At Closer Range drew me in and kept me holding on for every new piece of evidence. Every chance to glimpse the interaction between Scott and Dani. The war raging within. The heighten climax of their coming together. The validity the proved theirs was more than just a passing fancy. The danger that surrounded them. Thrilling suspense. Electrifying chemistry. Intensified emotions. This was how I depicted Deep Dark, book ten in the Tracer series. I was not quite prepared for all that I got and more from At Close Range. Something that I have come to expect from Laura Griffin is to not anticipate a predictable step-by-step process for her romantic suspense reads. She gives it all a bite of the unexpected, the unanticipated, the only imagined and put to print by her. Laura Griffin’s At Close Range was filled with intense mystery, gritty intrigue, raw passion, and a flare for mixing them to a high standard. Return to me with more romantic suspense that I can truly sink my senses into. Allow me the opportunity to devour more of what you have to offer. No doubt this read should be at the top of your 2017 Romantic Suspense TBR pile.
BookSnuggle 4 days ago
At Close Range by Laura Griffin is book number eleven in the Tracers series. This is police detective, Daniele “Dani” Harper and former Navy Seal, Scott Black’s story. Wow! From the start you will stay on the edge of your seat. The author delivers a story with suspense, twists, surprises, and steamy scenes with an unpredictable ending. FYI, includes mature content. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
BooksAndSpoons 8 days ago
Oh my words, people, I am not sure if I have eloquent enough way to express how much I loved absolutely everything about this story, and admire the way it is written. The pictures the author paints for us are so clear and vivid, so real, that it was easy to get lost in the pages of the book. The tale itself has a rhythm and flow that are natural and engaging. There's no short cuts, no easy solutions, or rushing to the end, but beautifully written story that I wanted to hang on to every word. I loved how the technical details were delivered. The balance of the information was perfect, not underestimating the reader, but not overflowing so that it would be tedious. The case is complex, and there's no way to figure out who truly is the mastermind behind the attacks that just keeps coming and soon turns personal towards the investigators. And the characters! Detective Daniele Harper was a true heroine. She is tough, reasonable, smart, and capable, she feels she is over her head, challenged to the core by her first case as a leader, but she doesn't give up, she doesn't complain, or look for a way out, but goes forward and is determined to find the criminals and stop the insanity. The ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black isn't just sexy as one can be, but he has honor, loyalty, need for justice to be done, and mostly a need to protect Daniele. He doesn't use a pet name to her, but while everyone else calls her some version of Dani, at the perfect moments he says 'Daniele' and I swear I swooned every single time. Daniele and Scott have a sizzling, energetic connection from the start. The turbulence of their desire boiling inside of them for each other is as explosive as the action in the book and twined into the story seamlessly. The 'best friend's baby sister' angel has just enough drama to my liking and the way they navigate the fragile beginning of their relationship, how the feelings develop and grow, was delightful and charming. This story is filled with unpredictable action that had me holding my breath, moments of danger and fear that felt so real I had to check my locks and windows. The romance is not only beautiful and adorable but sensual and swoon worthy. The characters are charismatic, and the secondary characters benefit the story and help to develop the plot into the absorbing puzzle that it turns out to be. This story is everything I want in a romantic suspense and I highly recommend it to all fans of the genre! ~ Five Spoons!
beckymmoe 14 days ago
I have GOT to go back and read the beginning of this series! Seriously, I. Am. Loving. Them! At Close Range delivers one heck of a suspense plot--a double murder that appears to be a crime of passion suddenly turns into a complex crime with a body count that is twice that, and the perpetrator soon appears to have the police detective who is put in charge of the case in his or her cross-hairs as well. Throw in a slow burning romance--SMPD detective Dani Harper has had a "thing" for Delphi Center's ballistics expert Scott Black, her older brother's best friend, since she was a teen, and has been trying to avoid him for months since a drunken New Year's Eve kiss led to awkwardness. But now they're working together, trying to solve the puzzle before anyone else gets killed, literally dodging bullets and finding resisting each other to be harder than ever. So, yeah--it's an incredible ride! At Close Range had me on the edge of my seat, guessing what was really going on right up until the very end. And the chemistry between Scott and Dani? Fantastic. Adding to the drama of the book is the fact that Dani's partner, Ric Santos and his wife Mia (hero and heroine of Unforgivable ) spend the bulk of the book waiting for their first baby to be born--Baby Santos is amazingly unwilling to make his debut--and there's a hint that detective Sean Byrne and Delphi's Center Brooke Porter might be subjects of a future series book--fingers crossed! Whomever's next on the list, though, you'd better believe I'll be first in line for it! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
JensReadingObsession 19 days ago
The romance and mystery are balanced so perfectly, that it made it seem realistic. Scott and Dani finally give into their attraction while working on a case where Scott ends up becoming a suspect. As the number of bodies keep growing, Dani and Scott put their careers and their lives on the line to try to solve the murders and clear Scott's name. I was hooked from the first start and did not put the book down until I was finished. Can be read as standalone. 4.5 stars I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
Romwrit 20 days ago
Plenty of action of and suspense laced with some sexual tension…what a great read! Dani loves her job and she’s good at it, evident by after only a few months as detective, she makes lead on a very complicated murder case. Scott is a widely known and respected ballistics expert, and he loves his job just as much as Dani loves her. The only thing either may love more is each other. Now if only they fess up, things could get even more interesting…and hotter. There’s no time wasted getting to the heart of the matter. The story opens with the murder – in full description, not just when the cops show up. I must say, Griffin is one hell of a writer with her vivid description and natural-sounding dialogue. There’re plenty of well-developed and charming characters without leaving readers feeling overloaded. I will admit I did find myself crushing on Scott. He’s definitely an alpha, but he’s also very considerate and caring. He and Dani are a good match. Neither accepts BS from the other, but they do have a weakness for each other. I liked the different angles. There are some scenes that don’t feature either Dani or Scott, but they tie into the murder case storyline. It’s obvious (at least to me) that other romances will form, which makes nice set-ups for other stories. Griffin has done her research and the best part about it is that all of the references seem so real. It flows naturally and she sticks to what relates. There’s no overkill. I felt like CSI jumped off the screen. I almost glanced around for some of my favorite past characters from the show. I am somewhat conflicted on calling the story a romance. True there is some romance in it, but the main focus seemed to be the case, not the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fast-paced, smooth-flowing, expertly-written story. Griffin’s skills are evident from the first word to the last. But being a devoted romance-only reviewer, I had to point that out. But under no circumstances should other romance-only reviewers (I’m guessing I can’t be the only one) let this stop them from reading it. I was not the least bit disappointed. There is some heat and the relationship progresses just as it should in a romance. I’m sticking with the series!
SaschaDarlington 20 days ago
4 1/2 stars When Laura Griffin first started writing her Tracers romantic suspense novels, I readily devoured the first three and then had the best intentions of keeping up with the series. Then somehow I skipped books 4-7, read book 8, skipped books 9-10, and here we are at book 11, At Close Range. Now, the only reason why I mention this is that Laura Griffin Tracers novels can seriously be read as standalones. While there is overlap of characters, it’s done in such a way that the character is necessary to the plot of the novel and not just a whimsy so that readers see previous favorite characters. That’s a major nitpick I have with some series that try to convince you they can be read as standalones. Like previous novels in the Tracers series, At Close Range is so involving that you might want to carve out some time to read it because I found it very hard to put down. From the first page you are immediately swept up in the mystery of who murdered a biology professor and his assistant. Griffin keeps the suspense arc through to the conclusion, which is one reason why you won’t want to put it down. The romance between Detective Dani Harper and ballistics expert, Scott Black, is given equal footing as the mystery and results in some steam-your-glasses scenes (if you don’t wear glasses you might just want to borrow a pair). And, both characters are likeable and believable. If you’re a fan of the CSI series, I think you’ll love these books because the forensics is a huge part of the novels, with the Tracers being an elite group of forensic scientists. Griffin has done enough research that you never feel yourself questioning anything that she’s written. Now I just have to go back and catch up on the installments I haven’t read. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense and have never read any of the Tracers novels, you might want to remedy that. These are good reads! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
sarah53121 20 days ago
Thank you NetGalley and Laura Griffin for the ARC of At Close Range by Laura Griffin that I read and reviewed. The eleventh book in the Tracers series keeps the action coming and the members of the Delphi Center busy helping solve crime. In this book the stakes are even higher for the Center because their very own ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black is at the center of a double homicide and his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. It is up to his best friend's sister, police detective Dani Harper, to find out who is behind the killings and why Scott was framed. As the body count grows so does the heat between Dani and Scott even though they both know going for a relationship with each other could ruin a great friendship but they can't help themselves. Will they be able to find out who is after Dani and who framed Scott or will a crazed killer win a high stakes game? This book was great because it has so many old characters from past books in it so it was like a family reunion in a way. I loved how everything just flows so nicely in Griffin's books. You meet Dani and Scott in an earlier book and they pick right up in this books and the sparks keep flying. These two were a great match and they were hot hot hot together. The story had me bit twisted because I was not sure what was going on and why those guys were getting killed. To be honest I was not even guessing for a change and when it came out in the end I was going that idea never even crossed my mind so it was very well written. This was one of those books I just went with the flow and enjoyed the banter between all the characters. I was so happy we got to see Mia and Ric's part in this book. If you are a fan of this series you will truly love the part they had in this book because as I said before this series has become like a family and parts of this was like a family reunion with some of the charters that made appearances in this book and that made this book all that more special. I am giving At Close Range five out of five stars.
etoile1996 20 days ago
the tracers series by laura griffin revolves a specialized csi lab called the delphi center and the local austin, texas area. at close range follows daniele "dani" harper and scott black as they trace a serial killer in a connected series of murders that threatens them a little too directly. precincts near the when dani is first called into the double murder scene, she knows it's going to be a long night. and when she's made lead on the case because her senior partner is about to go out on paternity leave, her night gets longer. she's the only girl in a family of cops and lawmen, so she's psyched by the chance to prove herself and overwhelmed by the pressure. but she's tough and she sets things in motion in order to ensure that they get their guy. except the evidence says that scott black, the delphi center's ballistics expert is their guy. dani has known scott her whole life, he's her brother's best friend. she's had a crush on him since she was fifteen, at least. as a cop she knows that sometimes you have to trust your gut instincts, and everything is telling her that scott has been framed. but rules and procedures exist to built airtight cases you can bring to court, so scott is placed on administrative leave and taken off the case. this doesn't stop him from investigating on his own. he knows he's being framed. he knows dani knows this too. his pissed about the whole situation and doesn't trust anyone to get things right when it comes to the investigation. so he takes things into his own hands and goes rogue. the whole case is going haywire because more and more dead bodies are piling up, and they all appear to be linked. and things between dani and scott are going haywire because the attraction that they've spent the last several months ignoring, ever since an ill-advised, drunken new year's kiss, has reached a boiling point. at close range is fast-paced and keeps the twists coming and the tension between dani and scott at full throttle. i read untraceable ages ago and meant to keep up with the series, but hadn't. and i always enjoy a good romantic suspense novel, and this series is chock full of them. **at close range will publish on january 31, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/gallery, threshold, pocket books (pocket books) in exchange for my honest review.
Deb-Krenzer 21 days ago
Oh what can I say about this book? This is definitely not my genre. This review is going to be negative and it by no means should be taken negatively by the author. This is just not my thing I guess you would call this book romantic/suspense/mystery? However, there was more sex than mystery. I think that if the characters in this book were to think more about the crime they were trying to solve instead of getting into each others pants, the crime would have been solved much quicker. I would say more than half of this book was the romance/sex part. So if your into that, this is the book for you. I, myself, would much prefer the mystery. I see now, while providing my feedback that this book is listed as romance. This is my fault as I thought it was romantic suspense. Thanks to Gallery, Threshold Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
gmfuhlman 21 days ago
Daniele Harper, was a police detective for the San Marcos PD. Scott Black, is a firearms expert for the Delphi Center. He was a Navy Seal, but with the knee injury he had forced him out. A little backstory on Scott Black and Daniele Harper. They have known each other for over fifteen year. Because he is a good friend of her brother Drew. Scott has been able to hide his real interest in his best friend’s sister for years. Except for one moment on New Year’s Eve, they shared a kiss. But of course, they had been drinking at least that is the excuse that they have been using. After their kiss nothing is the same between them. This story starts off with a double murder, and Daniele Harper is made the lead detective. This is her very first case was everyone will be watching how she can handle herself and solve this case. But as Dani being to investigate, she begins to realizes that there are a lot of clues that are everywhere. Except that things aren’t as they seem. Dani, is determined to find out the answers to this solve this case. When suddenly, the evident is pointing toward Scott. No one knows that she is carrying a secret about her true feeling for Scott. So, the question is did Scott, do it or is he being framed! While Scott Black, is the firearms expert he knows that he can help Dani solved her case. Than for some reason the killer has his sights on Dani. Scott is trying to figure just how to convince Dani to trust him. Because it will take the both to bring down this killer, and keep Dani out of harm way. Laura Griffin’s Tracers series, just keep getting better with every book. At Close Range, is her latest book. So, if you are looking for a mix of mystery, suspense that include police procedural and romance than this book is for you. One little secret, that I need to tell you, this book will not let you put it down until the end. You will need a conformable chair or sofa and a good cup of tea or whatever is your pleasure.
beckybh 21 days ago
ANOTHER SUSPENSE WINNER FROM GRIFFIN AT CLOSE RANGE is the eleventh book in the TRACER SERIES by Laura Griffin. A fitting sequel to the previous book in the series, its action-packed suspense is guaranteed to pull you into the story and keep you riveted to the very end. The characters are multidimensional and relatable, and the plot and its parts are believable. Both main characters learn a lot about themselves and each other as they track down and follow clues they hope will lead them to the actual murderer(s). San Marcos PD Detective Danielle “Dani” Harper is the reluctant lead on a two-person homicide case. It's complicated and definitely political. The District Attorney is up for reelection and needs these murders to be solved as soon as possible, so Dani has a lot of pressure to succeed. She barely survives on gallons of coffee and little sleep as she strives to come up with a motive and a list of suspects. She fears she's not ready to lead a case, especially one where persons of interest begin to die, and she questions if she can solve the murders quickly. Former Navy Seal Scott Black, a ballistic expert, is the chief firearms examiner for the Delphi Center, the nation's largest private forensics lab. He's also the best friend of one of Dani's older brothers and has known Dani for more than 15 years. Scott is called into the homicide case to find and process any bullets and shells found at the crime scene. He becomes the lead suspect when a 9 mm Glock is discovered fairly close to the murder site, with only his fingerprints found on the gun. Though he's never owned or borrowed a Glock, he doesn't have an air-tight alibi and can't prove he wasn't the killer. He's put on administrative leave and starts investigating the homicide case to find the real murderer(s). Dani's always had a thing for Scott and doesn't want to believe he killed the two victims. So she goes against police department policy and her own ethics to work with him. Griffin knows how to write heightened tension and heart-pounding action scenes. The prose is never boring or repetitive, and explanation of technical information is well-written and easy to understand. This fast-paced story includes lots of twists and turns, too. So if you're looking for an exciting mystery filled with strong characters and an interesting storyline, the AT CLOSE RANGE is the perfect book for you. If You Like This, You May Like: Other books in the TRACER SERIES by Laura Griffin, CINCINNATI SERIES by Karen Rose, LUCY KINCAID NOVELS by Allison Brennan, MERCY KILPATRICK SERIES by Kendra Elliot, BOSS, INC. by Kat Martin, BODY ARMOR NOVELS by Lori Foster * Read my other reviews on the Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog. ** An e-galley was provided by Pocket Books and Edelweiss for an honest review.
beckybh 21 days ago
ANOTHER SUSPENSE WINNER FROM GRIFFIN AT CLOSE RANGE is the eleventh book in the TRACER SERIES by Laura Griffin. A fitting sequel to the previous book in the series, its action-packed suspense is guaranteed to pull you into the story and keep you riveted to the very end. The characters are multidimensional and relatable, and the plot and its parts are believable. Both main characters learn a lot about themselves and each other as they track down and follow clues they hope will lead them to the actual murderer(s). San Marcos PD Detective Danielle “Dani” Harper is the reluctant lead on a two-person homicide case. It's complicated and definitely political. The District Attorney is up for reelection and needs these murders to be solved as soon as possible, so Dani has a lot of pressure to succeed. She barely survives on gallons of coffee and little sleep as she strives to come up with a motive and a list of suspects. She fears she's not ready to lead a case, especially one where persons of interest begin to die, and she questions if she can solve the murders quickly. Former Navy Seal Scott Black, a ballistic expert, is the chief firearms examiner for the Delphi Center, the nation's largest private forensics lab. He's also the best friend of one of Dani's older brothers and has known Dani for more than 15 years. Scott is called into the homicide case to find and process any bullets and shells found at the crime scene. He becomes the lead suspect when a 9 mm Glock is discovered fairly close to the murder site, with only his fingerprints found on the gun. Though he's never owned or borrowed a Glock, he doesn't have an air-tight alibi and can't prove he wasn't the killer. He's put on administrative leave and starts investigating the homicide case to find the real murderer(s). Dani's always had a thing for Scott and doesn't want to believe he killed the two victims. So she goes against police department policy and her own ethics to work with him. Griffin knows how to write heightened tension and heart-pounding action scenes. The prose is never boring or repetitive, and explanation of technical information is well-written and easy to understand. This fast-paced story includes lots of twists and turns, too. So if you're looking for an exciting mystery filled with strong characters and an interesting storyline, the AT CLOSE RANGE is the perfect book for you. If You Like This, You May Like: Other books in the TRACER SERIES by Laura Griffin, CINCINNATI SERIES by Karen Rose, LUCY KINCAID NOVELS by Allison Brennan, MERCY KILPATRICK SERIES by Kendra Elliot, BOSS, INC. by Kat Martin, BODY ARMOR NOVELS by Lori Foster * Read my other reviews on the Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog. ** An e-galley was provided by Pocket Books and Edelweiss for an honest review.
dhaupt 21 days ago
Number 11 in NYT bestseller Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is a nail-biting who-done-it that will stump readers until the ah-ha end mixed with a blazing hot romance. She’s locked and loaded non-stop action and packed critical investigative facts into her fiction and delivers it via her iconic fast-paced suave and snappy narrative complete with guns blazing and mounting body counts. Her type A stars make this a definite must read, but it’s Griffin’s master storytelling that makes it a keeper. Brava! When lovers are murdered at an apparent illicit rendezvous, San Marcos homicide detective Dani Harper is given lead investigator on the case. At the start this looks like a crime of passion but soon it’s clear that this case is anything but simple especially when her big brother’s best friend, Scott Black is implicated. Dani knows Scott’s the last person that would commit this crime and now just has to prove it while also staving off the desire she’s feeling toward him. One minute ex-Navy Seal, current weapons expert for The Delphi Center, Scott Black is wondering how he’s going to resist giving into the attraction he feels for his best bud’s hot cop sister while they work a homicide together, the next he finds himself implicated for murder when his fingerprints are found all over the apparent murder weapon.
whatsbetterthanbooks 21 days ago
Riveting, highly suspenseful and action packed! This is a gripping story that delves into the dangers of science and technology when it ends up in the hands of those with god-like complexes and is ultimately a roller coaster ride of secrets, lies, greed and malevolence. The writing is flawless and fluid. The plot is well crafted, clever, and fascinating. The characters are darkly intriguing, determined, resilient, sexy and strong. And the storyline is a complex mix of clues, chaos, murder, sizzling chemistry, and steamy romance. Honestly, I loved it. It was by far one of the best romantic suspense novels I’ve read recently and I couldn’t put it down. This is the eleventh book in the Tracers series and even though I haven’t read any of the others in the series I am definitely going to rectify that very quickly. Pick one up. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
blonde_betty 22 days ago
I am always cautious when a beloved author opts to participate in a “world” collaboration. Are the characters going to be the same? Is the story going to change because it is now part of another author’s world? I shouldn’t have worried with the new Titan world by Cristin Harber. This new world allows the authors to shine as they normally do, only by adding a few new and interesting characters on both sides of the author equation. Tarina Deaton’s Rescued Heart fits right into both worlds. It has a little less suspense than Stitched Up Heart did, but it is also a novella. There are familiar characters from the Titan world as well as the Combat Hearts world. The story draws you in from the start and doesn’t let up until the very end. Jordan and Emme are well-developed characters and you definitely root for their HEA. This is a great book for fans of realistic military suspense. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novella.