“When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.
Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Touch of Red is book twelve in the Tracers series. Finally, Brooke and Sean get their own book! This one blew me away and I really enjoyed reading it. Some thoughts with a few light spoilers are below.
We all know by now that I love the Tracers books and everything about them. In Touch of Red, we have Brooke Porter, a crime scene investigator, and Sean Byrne, a homicide detective, investigating a brutal murder that has seemingly no evidence left at the scene. I already felt like I “knew” both of them before this story even kicked off, based on their appearances in past books. In that sense, I liked that there was so much action at the beginning as opposed to a slower pace with character introductions.
I will say right off the bat that I really appreciated how much Sean’s character changed between the last book (At Close Range) and this book. You may recall that I was not his biggest fan in the last book! He was so arrogant and rude to Dani, and I really couldn’t stand him. At the end of At Close Range, Sean is involved in a major accident. That, plus his long and difficult recovery, changed his outlook on life. His shares this with Brooke at the beginning of Touch of Red, and I was so relieved! I really didn’t want to not like him, so not only hearing but seeing his attitude change throughout this book made me enjoy his character more than I initially thought that I would.
Brooke and Sean make a great team when it comes to this particular investigation. What he misses on the initial search of the victim’s home, Brooke is able to discover and ultimately (as is mentioned in the synopsis) determine that a witness was in the house at the time of the murder. Sean takes her leads, knowing that she is professional and good at her job and can be trusted. For Brooke, the police are simply not investigating fast enough and she becomes concerned for the witness who is still out there and vulnerable as long as the killer remains at large.
There are so many suspenseful moments in this story especially when Brooke becomes more involved in the investigation than Sean wants her to be. I could sort of tell where things were going once Sean began unraveling the details of the victim’s life, but it turned out to be much bigger than I could have imagined. So much was at stake, and it was a very riveting read.
There are so many Tracers characters who make appearances in this book that I kind of lost count! It was so fun to see some of these favorites, including Kelsey, Ric, Mia, Alex, and Maddie! Each of them has a role in this story beyond just making a cameo, and they prove to have Brooke’s back in her time of need. I loved how close Maddie and Brooke were, especially.
I can’t wait to read Stone Cold Heart next! It looks like that is the final Tracers book, which makes me sad, but as I have mentioned before I am definitely going to re-read this series in the near future.