As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.
I enjoyed this book, which isn't a surprise as I have read and enjoyed others by Laura Griffin. It also fit my mood, as sometimes I want to read something a little grittier, maybe a little less "hearts and flowers" than your usual romance. And, 2 people who meet because of a serial killer, well, doesn't get a whole lot darker than that.
I liked Reed and Laney. Reed is a 39 year-old detective with the Austin PD. Laney a 24 year-old hacker. The serial killer mystery was interesting, creepy, and added the suspense without being wildly complex. In fact, I didn't actually find myself all that concerned with trying to piece together the identity of the killer, because the story flowed well enough that I was engaged without feeling the need to think ahead. The tidbits of police procedure were enjoyable and some of them new to me...do you know what it is to "fume a doorknob"? I didn't either.
Reed is a homicide detective investigating the death that occurs at the beginning of the book. Laney works for an internet security firm and was friends with one of the killer's victims. They share an immediate attraction to one another, but Laney is hesitant to get involved, to allow anyone to get close to her due to something that happened to her in her past. Reed is more interested in getting involved, but convinced he is too old for her. He is 15 years older than she is, but I like that other than being concerned about the age gap, he never treats her like a child, never behaves toward her like she has no idea what she is doing. In fact, he respects her, while becoming increasingly concerned that she is in danger from the killer.
The writing is strong, the characters are likable and believable. I enjoy a novel where the characters are written as people, who have flaws and feelings and thoughts. Reed seemed human, he wasn't perfect, and he knew it. Laney was also not perfect, but the 2 of them together made a good team and balanced out the other, which is always nice.
The story is a romantic suspense and is balanced fairly well. I believed there was an actual relationship developing amongst all of the police, murder, and other general mayhem that was existing around the serial killer case.
I defintely recommend this one. It is a standalone and you do not need to have read the others in the series to be able to fully enjoy this story.