This book was released on September 30th and I reviewed it for REALMS ON OUR BOOKSHELVES
SHE SAYS THIS WILL BE HER LAST CASE. A KILLER PLANS TO MAKE SURE IT IS.
Forensic artist Fiona Glass is the best in the business—which is precisely why she’s quitting. Her skill at mining victims’ memories to re-create the faces of sadistic criminals has left her haunted and wary, and only Jack Bowman’s dogged persistence convinces her to help him. The rugged police chief is hunting a serial killer who’s targeting teenage girls. But what seems like a simple assignment is fraught with complications, including a searing attraction to Jack that’s tempting Fiona to let her guard down in potentially dangerous ways.
Jack never intended for Fiona to become so deeply involved in the case—or his life. And now that she’s right in the killer’s crosshairs, the only way to keep her safe is to unravel a small town’s darkest secrets, one terrifying thread at a time…
Fiona Glass is an art teacher and artist who does police sketches based on eyewitnesses’ information. She’s had enough of her work for the police and FBI and decides to focus on her painting because she is becoming too emotionally involved with the cases. But no matter how hard she tries she’s attracted to helping law enforcement with her talents and keeps putting off going back to her art. She is good with people, especially children and young women and she has build up a great reputation.
When she decides to do her last assignment for the FBI, a small town detective, Jack Bowman, contacts her, needing her help finding a serial killer who is wreaking havoc on young Hispanic girls in Graingerville. Jack talks Fiona into the decision to get involved one last time but little do they know that this case will have a huge impact on both their lives.
Fiona is a strong, dedicated and intuitive woman. She wants to concentrate on her art and teaching because her involvement with law enforcement is taking its toll on her emotions since she can’t seem to keep herself detached from the cases she works on, the effects of the horrid crimes and the traumatized victims are getting to her.
Jack is persistent, intense and rugged but he also has a sensitive side. He is a man who could sell ice to an Eskimo and that’s how he convinces Fiona to help him.
When Fiona is hurt or angry she tends to pipe down and run off. It’s her way of protecting herself. But Jack doesn’t allow this. He prefers direct confrontations to work things out.
The romance between Jack and Fiona is set up gradually and very realistically. They are both extremely stubborn but slowly they really grow close and fall in love and the reader follows them in their feelings towards each other. Little by little you get to know their backgrounds, personalities and ambitions.
There are many secondary characters in the form of Fiona and Jack’s colleagues and the victims, witnesses and suspects in the cases. One important secondary character is Fiona’s sister Courtney. Her personality is very different from Fiona’s and they have the usual female sibling relationship filled with discussions and some annoyance but underneath you feel their love for each other. They have a history that is touched briefly but it’s not fleshed out. I think this is because there will be a book on Courtney and I guess the issue will be worked out in that book. There are some scenes focused on her so I’m looking forward the full story and I wonder if she will be paired up with the hero I’m suspecting it will be.
This first book I’ve read by Laura Griffin has certainly whetted my appetite for more of her writing.
I finished the book much quicker than I thought I would because I just couldn’t stop reading. She has an agreeable writing style that’s easy to read but not simple. It’s fluent but not rushed and it’s thorough but not excessive. She finds the right balance between dialogue, narration and descriptions. I was immediately pulled into the story that had an excellent pace, fast but not too fast. Being an extremely non-creative person myself, I was intrigued by the look into the world of art and drawing presented to me through Fiona.
The suspense was the compelling force in this book, more than the romance. Subtle clues were given in small doses to unravel the mystery and uncover the killer. I kept guessing and my guesses of who the killer could be changed with every chapter. In the end I was close as to who it eventually was, close but no cigar. The motive really took my by surprise. The whole plotline involving the serial killer was unpredictable and I love that in suspense. I love to keep guessing who and why.
The suspense plot was original and surprising. The romance was refreshing and subtle. There were multiple plotlines, each with their own pace and satisfying conclusion, except for the small plotline involving Fiona’s sister but I know it will certainly be concluded in Courtney’s own book.
THREAD OF FEAR is a fast-paced, enthralling and vivid read with a full, rich story line and three-dimensional, realistic characters. It holds the attention captive from the first to the last page, reminding me of the crime series I love to watch on TV.
Laura Griffin is a voice in the romantic suspense genre to keep a close eye on. I for one will be looking out for both earlier books and the books to come.