Shadow Fall by Laura Griffin

Shadow Fall by Laura GriffinShadow Fall (Tracers, #9) by Laura Griffin
Series: Tracers #9
Published by Pocket Books on September 22nd 2015
Pages: 357
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In the ninth romantic suspense novel in the New York Times bestselling Tracers series, author Laura Griffin brings back her elite cadre of forensic experts as they hunt down the most brutal serial killer yet.
Special Agent Tara Rushing arrives at a grisly murder scene and quickly discovers she’s got a serial killer on her hands. The killer is meticulous, making sure to wipe up even the smallest traces of evidence…but the Delphi Center experts are on the case.
The local sheriff has a suspect all picked out—ex-Marine and current security expert Liam Wolfe. Despite all her digging, Tara knows very little about Liam when she shows up at his sprawling Texas compound, which serves as headquarters for Wolfe Securities, and she’s surprised by her intense physical reaction to him.
As she and Liam grow closer, Tara finds herself depending on his skills and expertise to help her track a killer. But when another body turns up, Tara must decide if she can trust the man who’s quickly stealing her heart.

‘Shadow Fall’ is Laura Griffin returning to her Tracers roots dealing with local violent crime, after the brief (but exciting) forays into counter-terrorism themes of the previous ones. Special Agent Tara Rushing is called to the crime scene and finds Liam Wolfe in the centre of her investigation. But Wolfe, as she finds out, is taciturn yet desirably intense, unsettling her further as the body count piles up.

Ms. Griffin’s crime writing is flawless and intricately detailed, even if, like in some previous Tracers books, it seems to sacrifice character growth and relationship development in the process. There were major gaps in the characters that I would definitely liked to have seen filled/explained and was disappointed when they weren’t: Liam’s apparent dalliance with an ex-client even when he has Tara in his sights, the almost-non-relationship between Liam and Mark (whom I loved and had hoped to see more of), the return of the other Tracers but no mention at all about their significant others and how they were getting on. Even Tara’s and Liam’s connection seems tenuous at best even if it’s undeniable strong, forged only by the dark pull of adrenaline-filled attraction; the insta-love declaration at the end incredibly unbelievable given Tara’s deep distrust issues. All I really got out of the end was that Tara and Liam were both good at their jobs, despite the chips on their shoulders and it took a few runarounds before the killer was taken out.

Nonetheless, Shadow Fall is an entertaining read which fell short of the relationship development (which I do believe should be one of the defining characteristics of romantic suspense), especially if you’re in just for the thrilling ride to get to the whodunnit portion.