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REVIEW: Snapped by Laura Griffin

Dear Ms. Griffin,

When reading your romantic suspense books, one thing I can count on is that the underlying reason for the suspense plot won’t be too far out in Never Never land. Perhaps there might be a slight lift of my eyebrow or the beginnings of a question on my face but overall, the basis for the whole sound and light show generally makes sense and might happen in real life. And that is an accomplishment.

“On a sweltering summer afternoon, Sophie Barrett walks into a nightmare. A sniper has opened fire on a college campus. When the carnage is over, three people – plus the shooter – are dead and dozens more are injured. Sophie escapes virtually unscathed. Yet as details emerge from the investigations, she becomes convinced that this wasn’t the random, senseless act it appeared to be. No one wants to believe her – not the cops, not her colleagues at the Delphi Center crime lab, and definitely not Jonah Macon, the homicide detective who has already saved her life once.

Jonah has all kinds of reasons for hoping Sophie is mistaken. Involving himself with a key witness could derail an already messy investigation, not to mention jeopardize his career. But Sophie is as determined and fearless as she is sexy. If he can’t resist her, at least he can swear to protect her. Because if Sophie is right, she has made herself the target of a killer without a conscience. And the real terror is only just beginning….”

Snapped by Laura GriffinShootouts at college campuses are, unfortunately, not new. When I read your letter that came with the arc, the personal inspiration for this novel chilled me. But turned sideways a little, you’ve made it into the basis for a suspenseful book. We’ve got the background of the Whitman sniper + teenage hackers + something already being done in the everyday world – though maybe not on people yet + greed + a ballooning house mortgage. Yep, events that have and are happening.

The attraction between Jonah and Sophie has been smoldering for months which keeps the romance from seeming too quick for me. They are physically and sexually attracted to each other but both keep a lid on it except when Sophie wants to manipulate Jonah into something – then she pulls out her sexiness and red bra. Plus she’s good at directing conversation where she wants it to go. Okay, it’s blatant sexism but it’s her tried and true weapon to get men to do what she wants. Still, Jonah knows that the badge will get you tail and tail will get the badge if an officer doesn’t watch his ass so he tries to keep things at arms length and is successful for a long time.

And while Jonah and Sophie admire each other’s physique, they also admire the person behind that hot bod. Sophie knows Jonah is a good, steady, thorough cop who won’t let go of something until he understands it all and has all the pieces. When she tells him what she saw, he does follow up on it even if he doesn’t push it to all his fellow officers. He balances what she thinks she saw with evidence and doesn’t just blow her off. Jonah admires how Sophie pulled herself together after the terrifying events in “Unforgiveable” and how she’s attempting to move up in the job world. In other words, it’s not just lust at work here.

The sex, when it finally arrives, is hot and flaming. And only one time was an “inappropriately timed” sexual encounter.

Sophie’s earlier brush with death has affected her as does this one too. Sharp sounds, like the bullets that cracked all around her on campus, make her jump now and anything that reminds her of being handcuffed or stuffed in a trunk set her off. She also isn’t afraid to tell Jonah what she suspects even though she doesn’t get immediate approbation for it. She sticks to her guns and even gooses Jonah with the TV interview. However she then lowers her IQ, IMO, by running several times and doing other things that make me think WTF? I’m thinking, just paint a bulls eye on your forehead lady and get it over with. Jonah is furious at her and I am too. Sorry but no amount of splaining will get me to see this as anything but silly.

“Snapped” has lots of secondary characters. Some are from previous books, though here they serve a purpose in this story and aren’t just there to show how damn happy those characters are now, and some new to this world. I always have fun guessing who might be teamed up with whom in a future book. Allison is cool and I love her “good cop/bad cop” routine – out of sight of the hidden cameras.

Another thing I enjoy in this series is the contrast of the idealized crime fighting done in the Delphi Center vs the cash and time strapped real world of the SMPD. Sophie’s realization that 24/7 witness protection is only for the movies and TV shows is a black humor reality check.

One of the highlights of your books for me is always the final, climactic scene when the evil is finally subdued. It doesn’t disappoint me here either. Call me a geek but I love all the sniper info that each person uses and how Sophie is ready to take out anyone coming after her.

The writing is compelling, the characters interest me even with their flaws, nothing about the basic plot seems too made up or eye rolling, and the tension is palpable when the whole ball of wax unravels. Yes, I know that last bit makes no sense. If not for Sophie doing a runner when she shouldn’t my grade would be higher but “Snapped” still gets a B from me.

~Jayne

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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

19 Comments

  1. Willa
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 06:21:43

    Great review . . . will pop this one in my basket.

    A small question though – what is the hero’s name . . Jonah or Jason?

  2. Jayne
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 06:38:46

    @Willa: Oh, cripes. Hate it when I do that. It’s Jonah.

  3. Jane
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 08:19:46

    @Jayne I do that all the time. I read SNAPPED when the ARC arrived at the house after reading so many of your reviews for Griffin. I was completely engaged in Griffin’s world and since that time, I’ve bought her three other Tracer books and the glass sister duology. Woot. Thanks for leading the way, Jayne.

  4. Keishon
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 09:39:49

    What is her best book?

  5. Jane
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 09:57:42

    @Keishon I think you could start out with Thread of Fear. They are all in the B range to me and the stories all build on each other. Fiona Glass is an artist who draws perp pictures.

  6. Jayne
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 10:08:20

    @Jane: I would agree. And the follow up is “Whisper of Warning” about the first heroine’s sister.

  7. Keishon
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 11:20:58

    @Jayne: @Jane: Okay, I actually own this one. Thank you both. I read in moods and not sure when I’ll read it but I have in my tbr collection.

  8. Laura Florand
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 16:20:30

    Jayne, you keep telling me I should try her, and I haven’t yet. I usually don’t read too much suspense, but you’re tempting me. Should I start with the first one, if I do, or with the best one? (Which one is first, and which one best?)

    Thanks for the review!

  9. Carol
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 16:43:47

    I picked this one up on Sunday and really enjoyed it. Read the preview and cannot wait for spring 2012.

  10. Kaetrin
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:12:23

    Was Sophie a secondary character in a previous book or were she and Jonah the h/h but with no HEA? I love a good RS so it sounds like I need to read this series. Where should I start?

  11. Jayne
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:36:54

    @Kaetrin: Sophie was the last victim of the villain of the previous book. The one who got rescued in time. But she definitely wasn’t the heroine and she and Jonah were only secondary characters.

    You really don’t have to read “Unforgiveable” before reading this book. All you need to know about Sophie and Jonah is explained in this one and – better yet – Griffin writes her books so that you could pick up any of them and not get spoilers for the previous books should you then want to go back and read them.

    Some of the police, FBI agents and people who work at the Delphi Center (a high tech forensics place) show up in books other than “their own” but if they aren’t the main characters, they are there only in the service of the current book.

  12. Jayne
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:46:18

    @Laura Florand: Hmmm, like Jane recommended “Thread of Fear” and “Whisper of Warning” are both very good and about two sisters. I also liked “Unspeakable” which features an FBI heroine. The way Griffin writes her books,the main characters might have been secondary characters in a previous book but might also have had roles in a book 2-3 stories back. She doesn’t necessarily take secondary characters from book C and then have them as the main couple in book D. She might wait for book F or G.

  13. CavalierQueen
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 13:08:40

    @Jane @Jayne- Based on this review, and your follow on comments I read Thread of Fear in the matter of hours last night. Based on the speed of reading, I’d have to say that the rating of B-ish is apparently correct since I finished it in a matter of hours. And while this particular review was not on Thread of Fear, I did want to share that I did find the character of Finona Glass barely redeemed from the TSTL characterization I have grown fond of. By the climax of the story, with FG stumbling around in the dark in a velvet gown and Ferrigamo pumps knowing that the BIG BAD waited close by for her, and which she had KNOWINGLY rushed into with little thought, she was only redeemed by a single ‘hook’ that alluded to a time when she was late to save another child in a different place and time. As a reader, that was enough for me not to throw the book (ok, my kindle which doesn’t survive throwing very well :-))across the room in disgust at her behavior. As an author, it was a learning that even in the most absurd conditions, if I as a writer provide just enough information to give sympathy and justification to the behavior perhaps a reader might ignore velvet dresses and pumps in the Texas brush and a heroine who’s behavior is better suited for a teenage slasher movie. Although I would like to think that I give my readers, and my protagonists, more intelligence than that. I would be interested in reading the follow on story with her sister Courtney, but there were so many smaller irritations in this book, besides this major one, that I think I’ll be checking it out of the library if I read it at all. Of course, at $7.99 I was still irritated when I found a character name swapped with another who wasn’t even on scene.

  14. Jayne
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 14:42:48

    @CavalierQueen: Ouch, sorry our rec didn’t work for you. If you try Griffin’s books again, going for the library sounds like a smart choice.

  15. CavalierQueen
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 15:48:23

    @Jayne- no worries. :-) I adore you all and read every single post and comment… Who better to save me from 7 rampaging bull men lusting after a woman named Scarlett…? Besides, isn’t this the trouble with all recommendations, hence the post a week or so ago? :-)

  16. Jane
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 16:09:40

    @CavalierQueen I can’t even remember the character stumbling about in the velvet dress but agree that future books of Griffin’s should be library reads for you.

  17. Kaetrin
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 17:33:07

    Thx Jayne! :)

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    Jan 03, 2012 @ 12:08:51

    […]  There is a little of everything.  One book I left off but I probably shouldn’t have was Snapped by Laura Griffin.  It was good enough that I went back and read the entire series.  Ditto with […]

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