Touch Of Red and Cover Of Night by Laura Griffin
Touch Of Red and Cover Of Night by Laura Griffin have plots with an intricate suspense, and well-developed characters. The intensity on the pages is prevalent in the story along with the character’s relationships. Touch Of Red is part of the Tracer series and Cover Of Night is part of the SEAL series, but each can by read as a stand-alone.
Cover Of Night starts off with a bang when journalist Karly Bonham witnesses a terrorist attack in Thailand. Sent on an assignment to interview the US Ambassador to Thailand she is packing up to leave and realizes Islamic Jihadists are taking the Ambassador and his daughter as hostages. After receiving an SOS message from Karly, four members of the elite SEAL Alpha Crew team arrive to attempt a rescue. Karly inadvertently finds herself at the team’s insertion point and insists on helping them by providing vital intelligence. The action will come in waves, having the reader feel like it has a tsunami effect.
Touch Of Red also has non-stop action. It begins with the investigation of a violent, gruesome murder. Delphi Center crime scene forensics expert Brooke Porter is gathering evidence to help detective Sean Byrne find the culprit. Through her expertise she is able to determine that there was indeed an eyewitness, a child. Not only are Byrne and Porter brave, tough, and intelligent, they are heroic in their attempt to solve the crime. While working together they form a chemistry that becomes sizzling with Brooke the one who is independent and stubborn, while Sean is nurturing and sensitive.
Elise Cooper: Why did you decide to write a series centered on the SEAL community?
Laura Griffin: I first became interested after reading some autobiographical books written by SEALs. I decided to have a SEAL character in the book, Beyond Limits, from my “Tracer Series.” I was lucky enough to view the training area in Coronado, touring the base and speaking with some retired SEALs. This allowed me to have a feel for the area of San Diego. This series is less about forensics and more of an action and adventure story. I hope this series showcases all the great things they do, since I have a ton of respect for them. I enjoyed writing about their missions, training, and teammates.
EC: How would you describe the main heroine, Karly?
LG: Bold, fearless, athletic, and sensitive.
EC: How would you describe the main hero, Ethan?
LG: Being a SEAL has made him an Alpha male. He is assertive, aggressive, but also protective. On a personal level with Karly he shows a softer side, which she taps into.
EC: What is the theme of the novel?
LG: Resilience, overcoming a terrible situation, and survival. I wanted to show through Karly how civilians also grapple with PTSD.
EC: Your other series, the “Tracer Series” showcases the forensics?
LG: I started out as a reporter and worked the crime beat. This allowed me to have a background understanding those who worked with forensics. I enjoyed interviewing the police, forensic specialists, and those who worked in crime labs. I enjoy interviewing different types of people depending on the plot.
EC: With both series your hero and heroine change with each novel?
LG: Yes. The “Tracer Series” has the Delphi Crime Lab at the center, while the SEAL series has the Alpha Crew as the focal point. You will see some overlap of characters, but each book has its own plot and a different couple. Those highlighted in the past will come back for a cameo appearance where readers can see what they are doing now.
EC: Did you base the Delphi Crime Lab on a real place?
LG: Yes, an anthropological research center in Central Texas. Known as the Body Farm, forensic anthropologists study human decomposition. I read a couple of the novels by Jefferson Bass who was the pioneer of this.
EC: How would you describe the romance in each series?
LG: I enjoy writing the romance where it unfolds gradually. The characters take one step forward and two steps back, which to me is more realistic.
EC: How would you describe the main heroine in this novel?
LG: Brooke is strong, smart, opinionated, but guarded. She lacks confidence in her personal life and is very reluctant to get involved in a relationship.
EC: How would you describe the main hero?
LG: Sean is observant, pushy in his job, but not personally. He is trustworthy and he gradually shows Brooke he can earn her trust.
EC: You delve into a very relevant subject, harassment and abuse?
LG: I wanted to show that the person does not necessarily have to be a ‘victim type,’ someone weak, helpless, and incapable. Many see the warning signs, but do not listen to them. It can happen to someone smart, opinionated, strong, and competent. This is exactly what happened with Brooke. At first, the signs are subtle such as someone trying to control their mate’s life with family and friends.
EC: Because you live in Texas did Hurricane Harvey affect you?
LG: My parents were impacted by the hurricane. They lost their house in the flood. Someone in a boat who they did not even know rescued my parents. A lot of my close friends had to relocate. The neighborhood where I grew up was flooded with water. It has been a hard time for the city of Houston so when the Astros won the World Series it gave all of us a boost and was pretty awesome. Some of the proceeds from Cover Of Night went to benefit Hurricane Harvey.
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