Unforgivable, by Laura Griffin

>> Saturday, March 05, 2011

TITLE: Unforgivable
AUTHOR: Laura Griffin

COPYRIGHT: 2010
PAGES: 416
PUBLISHER: Pocket

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romantic suspense
SERIES: Third in the Tracers series. Comes after Untraceable and Unspeakable.

REASON FOR READING: I think it was the review at AAR.

TRACING KILLERS IS MIA VOSS’S BUSINESS. AND HER WORK JUST GOT PERSONAL.

At first, Mia Voss thinks it’s just bad luck when her already lousy day ends with a carjacking, but what seems like a random incident is followed by another sinister episode. A DNA expert, Mia has made it her mission to put away vicious criminals. Suddenly, she’s become the target of one. And the only way to protect the people she loves most is to deliberately destroy her reputation and risk letting a killer walk free.

Once, Mia trusted Detective Ric Santos, but that was before Ric let his turbulent past ruin his chances with Mia, the sexiest, most intriguing woman he’s ever met. But he can tell when she’s lying—and when she’s scared. The key to catching a sadistic madman lies within a long-buried cold case that has haunted Mia for years. Only she can uncover the truth, but first, Ric will have to get her to entrust him with her secrets . . . and her life.
Mia Voss works at a lab which analyses a lot of police evidence. When she's the victim of a carjacking on her way home from work, she doesn't immediately link it to her job. She's more concerned with the fact that the police detective who takes on the case is Ric Santos, a man with whom, a few months earlier, she thought for a while she might become involved. But when their flirting seemed like it was about to turn into something more, Ric just withdrew.

Ric is a committed commitment-phobe, and that's why he stepped back when his friendly flirting with Mia looked neared the point of no return. It was obvious to him that Mia wasn't a casual fling kind of woman -she was even "nesting", as he puts it, the creep (although, to be fair, she very clearly was). But it soon becomes clear that the car-jacking wasn't just Mia being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was obviously targeted and is now in grave danger, and Ric finds that he can't help but care, and feels the need to protect her.

It's a serviceable plot, and one I liked ok most of the way through. Mia's job is actually really interesting and cool, and I surprised myself by actually liking Ric (I would expect to despise a character such as the one I described above). But the suspense is a bit boring and the romance was only all right.

This would still be a B-, but then there's the bit where Mia becomes an idiot. So, the criminals after her threaten someone she loves, and force her to do a very bad thing in relation to her work. I get it that she feels like an idiot, but I didn't buy that she would do what she does. I just couldn't see why she didn't come clean about what had happened, especially given her relationship with the police and the fact that everyone knew she was being targeted by criminals already. Surely that would have been safer for her loved ones and better for her career than making everyone think she's incompetent?

And the further bad news is that this incident marked the beginning of Mia suddenly becoming TSTL. Before, she'd been sensible and ready to trust the experts to keep her safe. But suddenly she's throwing tantrums and insisting on staying with friends rather than accepting Ric's help, even though there's clearly someone out to kill her, just because Ric doesn't love her. Idiot.

Just as bad, this incident also marked the beginning of a very sagging middle, where the book became boring. Lots of running around and not much development, and a lot of temptation to skim. I lost interest in what was happening then. I only midly wanted to know who the killer was, but it was close whether I continued reading or just left it at that.

There was something here that I thought was promising, which is why I might actually try another one of Griffin's books, but this one was not a success.

MY GRADE: A C+.

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