Twisted, by Laura Griffin

>> Monday, February 16, 2015

TITLE: Twisted
AUTHOR: Laura Griffin

PAGES: 400

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romantic suspense
SERIES: 5th in the Tracers series


Motive, opportunity, and no alibi—rookie detective Allison Doyle knows it’s as close to a slam dunk as most investigations get. But even though her small-town Texas police department has identified a prime suspect in a young woman’s vicious murder, she can’t rest easy. And when legendary FBI profiler Mark Wolfe shows up with a startling new theory, all her doubts are amplified. If Wolfe is correct, the real killer is an elusive psychopath who has left a trail of bodies behind him. And he’s just days away from his next kill. . . .

Allison was supposed to be Wolfe’s way into the case, nothing more. But she’s ambitious, stubborn, and far too tempting. With the help of her contacts at the Delphi Center crime lab, Wolfe is within striking distance of the monster he’s pursued for ten years. Except the closer Allison and Wolfe get, the more reason there is to fear. Because with a predator this brutal, every thread of evidence can make a difference between hunting a madman—and becoming hunted yourself.

I have tried Laura Griffin again and again and I always end up disappointed. I keep trying her because everyone seems to love her books, so I feel I must be missing something, but I think this was my last.

The plot concerns a serial killer. Detective Allison Doyle works for a small-town police department. She's one of the least experienced detectives and mainly does grunt work. The most recent case her department is investigating is the murder of a young woman. They think they've got a pretty good suspect, the woman's ex boyfriend.

But then FBI profiler Mark Wolfe turn up, convinced that the murder is actually the work of a serial killer, one he's been pursuing for years. Allison's boss is not convinced, but Mark's theories are enough to get Allison suspicious and start looking at the evidence again.

There's nothing wrong with the basic plot here. It could be done really well and be the basis of a great book. It just isn't. It's boring. The case is kind of interesting, but nothing particularly novel or great. But it was the characters that bored me to tears.

Allison and Mark never completely clicked for me as individuals, and there were a washout as a couple. There was utter and complete lack of chemistry between them. The romance just never took off for me, I never cared, and mainly I thought it felt inappropriate, like they should have been concentrating on the case rather than angsting about having sex.

Also, I've noticed in the few books I've read by her that Griffin’s heroines always feel like they get put at a disadvantage. Allison starts out that way, by embarrassingly being caught off guard during a hold-up, right at the beginning of the book, and having to be rescued by Mark. She never really recovers. She does notice a few clues and does all right in that, but mainly she’s constantly doing stupid/foolhardy things, and that annoyed me. There was the scene in the jail, when an unarmed prisoner gets the drop on her, then the end, where the killer captures her (twice, really). I found it extremely annoying.

This series was originally built around the Delphi Institute, a private forensic lab that engages in cutting-edge science and helps outclassed police departments. That element is interesting enough, but it's quite peripheral here, in a way that's typical of a late entry in a series. While in early books it has been a main player in the way the stories have developed (usually one of the protagonists works there), here it felt kind of shoehorned in.




Anonymous,  16 February 2015 at 14:35  

You're not alone. I've tried several of her books, because I felt as though I should like them, and they've all been DNF's. Sometimes an author just doesn't work for you.


Rosario 18 February 2015 at 06:40  

~Aoife: Oh, good to know! It's such a shame, because the setups always sound interesting. I think I'm also getting quite picky with romantic suspense, and there aren't many that are hitting the spot lately.

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