Author: Laura Griffin
Series: #6 in the Tracers series (although could be read partially as stand-alone)
Review Copy Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim. Now she may become one. The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her exfiancé’s murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum— Kelsey or his job—Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could . . . but that doesn’t mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences. . . .
So I’m sitting here, trying to write my review of Scorched and explain how it fits into the series and struggling a bit. Not because I didn’t like it, but I didn’t love it as much as I have loved the last couple in the series. This addition to the Tracer’s series could pretty much function as a stand-alone, as long as you read Novella, Unstoppable (which is 2.5 in the series) – this is where you meet Kelsey and Gage in a short adventure. Scorched picks up about 2 years later (roughly) and things have changed for the both of them. I say that this would work well as a stand-alone because there are only minute mentions of the other characters who have appeared in the series, and only one of them plays more than a minor role (and even then, that character has been a backseat rider in the other books).
Anyways, back to the book – I liked the terrorism theme that was used in this one, since it was something that many of us in the U.S. have faced in the past – from 9/11 to the anthrax attacks to threats to the various Metro systems (New York etc). There is, for many people, a definite fear of something happening. The way that the story unfolded seemed mostly realistic and on-par with some of the attempts that have occurred in the past. What I like the most about the secondary characters is that they seem as real as the main ones – they are very well developed and you find yourself either rooting for, or hating them. One minor (very) gripe that I have is that al-Qaeda should be spelt al-Qaida – according to many unclassified documents – but that’s just me…and many people likely wouldn’t pick up on that, because the e is the common spelling in the media.
While I enjoyed it, I also can’t pin-point exactly why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other books in the series (which I have read all in the past month). Maybe it was because Kelsey and Gage have that prior relationship, which is normally a storyline plot that drives me nuts – I like my heroes and heroines to be getting together originally in their book, so a novella, or a previous book where you know that they get together just drives me nuts. That being said, it wasn’t as bad as all that – I liked the pacing of the action and I think it survived much more on the suspense realm, than the romance realm, which was good. Overall, I gave it 3.5 stars.