Fresh Meat: Twisted by Laura Griffin

Twisted by Laura GriffinTwisted by Laura Griffin is a novel of romantic suspense and part of the “Tracers” series (available April 17).

Laura Griffin’s “Tracers” series is more a set of interconnected novels that a traditional series. She has a cast of characters that sometimes relate to each other as they solve cases, but each novel can stand alone. Twisted is the first is this set of books that I have read, and I didn’t feel lost or as if I had missed something as I often do when I pick up a series out of order.

I suppose you could call Twisted a romance, but I didn’t feel that way about it. Yes, yes, attractive cop and handsome FBI agent let fly some sparks, but this read as more of a procedural. A jogger is killed and the case rings some bells at the FBI. Profiler Mark Wolfe comes to investigate links between this victim and other cases. He starts working with Detective Allison Doyle—who already has a suspect, and they flirt with each other in between their usual police work.

The book is a good summer read, but what struck me about it wasn’t the trickiness of the crimes or the appeal of the main characters. It was how Griffin wrote about the victims. There was such a sympathy for them that came through in the text, and the voice of the alleged (no spoilers here!) killer’s only survivor was so true and written so surely. Jordan’s dog awakens her the night after she is interviewed by Allison and Mark and forced to relive her attack.

Max sniffed at the edge of the orchard. He paused beside a tree. His muscles tensed, and Jordan felt a chill of fear.

“Is he out there boy? What is it?”

She eased deeper into the shadows and gazed through the glass. Her heart pounded. Her palms began to sweat.

“You know when you are in the presence of danger.” The special agent’s words came back to her, but they didn’t help. The problem was, she didn’t know. Her instincts were muddled. She didn’t trust herself—not anymore.

But she trusted Maximus. He stood rigid beside the orchard, tail up, ears pointed skyward. Jordan’s fear became a brick inside her her stomach.

“One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand…” If she got to ten, she’d call 911.

Suddenly, Max relaxed. He crossed the yard again and climbed the stairs to the back door, where he sat and gazed up at her expectantly.

Jordon blew out a sigh. She let him in and he licked her knees and rubbed his cool, thick fur against her calves.

She scanned the woods one last time as she bolted the door. Another night. Another nobody.

Many of us have been awakened by our pets. I don’t even get scared anymore—I’m not even sure I truly wake up, I just yell, “OMIGOD STOP BARKING!” in my sleep. I just love how in these few sentences Griffin conveys both the fear of being attacked again, the fear of being unsure of oneself, and the exhaustion of feeling this way night after night. It makes Jordan’s few scenes truly stand out .

Amy Dalton is a buyer for a large, Midwestern library system. She has written news and reviews for several book and film sites over the years.

Read all of Amy Dalton’s posts for Criminal Element.

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