RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Twisted by Laura Griffin


Title: Twisted
Author: Laura Griffin
Publication Info: Pocket 2012
ISBN: 9781451617436
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Twisted This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Sassy Outwater. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Motive, opportunity, and no alibi – it seems close to a slam-dunk. But while rookie detective Allison Doyle’s department has ID’d a suspect in a young woman’s vicious murder, she is uneasy.

Then legendary FBI profiler Mark Wolfe shows up with a startling theory: if he’s right, the real murderer is an elusive psychopath just days away from another kill. Using Allison’s contacts at the Delphi Center crime lab, Wolfe is finally in striking distance of the monster he’s pursued for ten years.

Except that as they work together, Wolfe finds the ambitious, stubborn woman a tempting distraction.

And with this brutal predator, every thread of evidence can make the difference between being the hunter…and the prey.

And here is Sassy's review:

I had serious doubts when I started Twisted by Laura Griffin. Mark is a seasoned, beaten-by-his-romantic-past FBI profiler teamed up with Alison, a young detective with a lot left to learn and a bigger-than-her-britches Texas attitude. But the realism of the heroine carried this book all the way for me. A good twisty plot, lots and lots of googgly-eyed, paws-off sexual tension between main characters, and a healthy dose of interdepartmental feuding kept me reading. The first part of the book left me skeptical, but as I got to know the characters and understand their flaws, I quickly learned that the flaws make this book stand out. The romantic realism is the secret ingredient in Griffin’s addicting cocktail, and I’m more than a little tipsy on this good stuff. By the end, I was all on board and loving this book.

We’re all used to the suspense novels where the almost-perfect cop has it all figured out except for the who-done-it. Maybe the cop hero or heroine has one or two flaws, things they have to overcome—think Eve Dallas and her past or Rizzoli’s romantic reticence. That sentence might make you think less of me, but I assure you, I’m a diehard fan of both Eve and Jane. Just so we’re clear where my allegiances lie. This is not that standard cop book. It’s your typical serial killer idea and Texas battle of the sexes, but then there’s that atypical new cop layer Griffin weaves in.

Alison, a fresh young Texas detective in a small town with a big enough cop force to look cool playing serial murder investigation task force, is not your average literary cop. Alison has a lot to learn. She’s a newcomer to her position and is treated as such by many of the male veterans in her bullpen. But plucky Alison holds her own quite nicely, balancing cocky self-assurance on the outside with a slightly squishy inside. Factor in Alison’s full awareness of her greenie status and her willingness to learn when those sometimes humiliating moments present themselves, and she makes quite the multi-dimensional heroine. She knows the guy she wants, and come hell or seduction, she’s gonna get him! The romance between Alison and Mark felt honest, real and outstandingly flawed. It was not the “right time” syndrome that creeps into ninety percent of penned romantic interludes. Alison sets up the sexual encounters one after the other. I love her forward, unashamed pursuit of her hero, and the emotions she connects to having him around her personally and professionally. Alison, overall, is an identifiable character, one most readers in their twenties and thirties will probably find more than a little in common with as they read.

The crime side of this book was your typical serial killer chase with some weird twists thrown in for good measure, and some of the laws of forensics conveniently trumped by a private lab oh-so-perfectly placed in their town to fix all investigations. But the secondary characters brought in by the lab’s existence add some fun to the story and direct us toward future book romances.

Griffin has a good thing going here. I want to get snarky about this in typical Smartbitches fashion , but it’s not a snark book. It’s a take-it-for-what-it-is, real, cops-and-killers romance. Both the romance and the murder investigation get equal weight here for once. It’s not heavily one or the other. Griffin doesn’t get syrupy, and she doesn’t get horribly bloody. To me, this is exactly what I want my romantic suspense to be: gritty, tension-filled, full of cops, fugitives, guns and love. I’m definitely buying the next book in the series, and I give this a B. I really want an A here, but the beginning didn’t quite capture me well enough for that. I’m a hard critic though, so please, go read and give it your own grade. This is well worth your investigation.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

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