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REVIEW: Exposed by Laura Griffin

Dear Ms. Griffin:

I’m a big fan of this series and you’ve become one of my go to romantic mystery authors.  I love the Delphi Center and the strong, smart women that people your stories.  The detailed investigative techniques add not only realism but flavor to your stories.  But “Exposed” is probably my least favorite in the series. The suspense was fairly well done but the character arcs were sketched out and never fully developed. Or maybe to use camera terms, Maddie was underdeveloped and Brian was overexposed. Neither made for a good romantic couple.

Exposed Laura GriffinMaddie Callahan is a photographer who also does crime scene photography work for the Delphi Center, a private investigation center. One day she takes a photograph and then is mugged, her equipment stolen. In the course of the ensuing investigation, Maddie learns she may have photographed a crime in progress. Brian is a new FBI agent that is assigned to her case.

The attraction by Brian Beckmann to Maddie is immediate and while I understand it is challenging to develop the romance while at the same time navigating a complicated suspense plot, the attraction came out of nowhere. As Brian persisted in pursuing Maddie despite her repeated refusals, and I was even more confused. Why was Brian working so hard to capture Maddie when there were easier fish in the sea?

On Maddie’s part, her resistance to Brian based on her fear of gossip was underdeveloped and felt forced and lame. Was she really that tender-hearted that dating a man younger than her would result in such furious gossip that she wouldn’t be able to function?  I wished I had seen more about why a confident woman would feel so vulnerable to the voices of others around her and why she believed that the older woman/younger man relationship would be such an issue of contention for her neighbors. Her co workers seemed not to care one whit.

The best part of the book was learning about Maddie’s job as a camera tech for the CSI group and the Delphi lab. Crime scene photographs play a vital role in preserving the scene and compiling evidence. It was another look at police procedure that I haven’t read a lot about. While I liked the idea of the older woman, younger man romance, I felt like the age difference and “what would people think” didn’t work as a conflict. The emotional part of the story limped along, pushed into crevices here and there between the suspense plot. C

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

8 Comments

  1. Willa
    May 30, 2013 @ 13:14:41

    Covers hands with eyes – this isn’t published for another month yet!

    Got all excited thinking it was out!

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  2. Liz H.
    May 30, 2013 @ 13:36:37

    I love the technical/crime science aspects of this series; it often involves areas I know little about, and provides info really smoothly, without going into lecture or info-dump mode. Unfortunately I think the character development has always been one of the weakest aspects, and as the series has gone on, its gotten worse. ‘Twisted’ was a breaking point for me; in addition to the characters, the suspense/mystery aspect of the plot was sort of perfunctory. What do you think of the suspense in this one in comparison? That said, I’m really picky about romantic suspense (who’da thunk?), and Laura Griffin used to be one of my favorites. I’m kind of hoping she moves on to a new series.

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  3. Jayne
    May 30, 2013 @ 14:19:06

    Hmmm, looks like I’ll be skipping this one. The romance aspect of her books has become an increasing let down for me as this series has progressed. The book before this, “Scorched,” was an exception but “Twisted” really let me down. This one sounds like it would push my bad buttons too.

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  4. Jane
    May 30, 2013 @ 23:44:39

    @Willa: Oh crap. I messed up.

    @Liz H.: The suspense was okay. Definitely better than the romance.

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  5. Rosario
    May 31, 2013 @ 04:44:07

    @Jane: Probably not your fault -I have it on my wish list as coming out May 28th, so that must have been the release date at some point. Maybe even when you scheduled the review?

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  6. Jane
    May 31, 2013 @ 06:27:09

    Oh possibly. I have had this review scheduled for some time.

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  7. Jen
    May 31, 2013 @ 07:35:12

    So far I’ve read Twisted and Scorched in the series. Twisted was just sort of ok to me. I felt like the romance was a little underdeveloped there too, plus I wasn’t big on the serial killer plot. Scorched was really great though, and I thought the suspense worked well there. I think I’m going to explore some of the other books by this author before I rush out and read Exposed.

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  8. Willa
    May 31, 2013 @ 08:06:36

    @Jane:

    Quite often you review books that we both buy – and have different reactions to. I loved Twisted and yet other books you liked, me, not so much :D That’s the great thing about reading!

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