Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Alright, let’s take a break from the Tracers series by Laura Griffin and post about some non-fiction. I recently read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Before this, I didn’t know much of anything about astrophysics, or even just plain physics at that. I skipped taking physics in high school and focused on the liberal arts during my undergraduate days.

I didn’t really have an interest in reading this book when I heard it was coming out, but I work in a library. This book was insanely popular when it came out. There were so many hold requests that I felt I needed to know what everyone was so interested in.

I felt the book was somewhat hit or miss depending on the chapter I was reading. Some chapters bored me, while others inspired me to be in awe of our galaxy and universe, and even just the fact that life exists at all.

Tyson explained the subject well, which I would hope he would with his knowledge of the subject! I was surprised at the level the topic was covered at. I expected it to be a bit more for the layperson, and as someone who never took any physics classes I felt that I was missing some knowledge that I needed to fully understand some of the subject matter.

With all that said, I did find the book enjoyable, and I’m happy I read it. I’m not sure that it inspired me to go read more on the subject though. Have any of you read it? What were your thoughts?

Happy reading 🙂

Deep Dark (Tracers, #10)

I’m getting close to being caught up with this series!! Only two more books are currently published and then I’ll have to find a new focus.

Deep Dark returns to the Delphi Center in the 10th installment of the Tracers Series. Delaney, Laney for short, Knox is part of the cyber unit there and is credited as one of their best hackers. The other half of this couple-to-be is Reed Novak, an Austin PD detective.

Reed is dumbfounded by the crime scene he just walked onto. There’s no physical evidence left behind whatsoever. There are no hairs, no fingerprints, no sign of a break in. Nobody working the crime understands it. That’s when Reed receives a mysterious clue somehow sent from the Chief of Police’s phone number. One thing is clear, it wasn’t the Chief of Police who sent the text. After doing some digging of his own Reed learns about Laney and her skills. He seeks her out to find out what else she knows.

The murder of Laney’s friend is eerily similar to an attack that she survived a few years ago. Because of this Laney just can’t stay away from this case, and she uses her skills to illegally search for information about the killer. Turns out he’s been spying on his victims through their webcams. Eventually, Reed caves and allows Laney to help him with the case, but she doesn’t turn up all the clues. One of the forensic investigators notices metallic shavings from the door lock on a colleague’s paper booties during a followup run through of the crime scene. Turns out the killer hasn’t been as careful as he thinks!

Laney is onto the killer and decides to follow up on the lead by herself, asserting her independence. As the pieces of the puzzle come together for Reed, he finds out that Laney has gone off to the killer’s home alone, without telling him. This was my biggest annoyance in the plot. I mean, I get it. I’m a woman, and I’m fairly independent myself, but I don’t think I would be foolish enough to go to the suspected killer’s home by myself. I get that it sets up Reed coming to the rescue on a white horse and all, but it seemed pretty weak to me. I’m not sure why I didn’t fall for the plot line as much in this book than I have in the past. Only time will tell if I will enjoy the last two books as much as the books prior to this one in the series.

Happy reading folks! 🙂

Shadow Fall (Tracers, #9)

The ninth installment of Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is called Shadow Fall and it centers in on Special Agent Tara Rushing and ex-Marine, security expert Liam Wolfe. For those of you following the series, yes, Liam is the brother of Delphi Center Mark Wolfe.

After a SWAT Team raid Tara is asked to go to a murder scene by a judge that she knows. She is supposed to gain control of the crime scene. This is a high profile case that focuses on the murder of a former public office candidate that was controversial. As time goes on more women are found murdered, and some old cases are linked to the same mystery killer. Which means that Agent Rushing has a serial killer on her hands.

Throughout the investigation the focus on Liam Wolfe as a suspect continues to be a distraction. Tara is sure he is clear, but the local officers continue to use him as a suspect. Rushing continues to go to the Wolfe Security Compound to learn more about the security company and Liam Wolfe himself. Along the way she realizes her intense attraction to the security expert. She also uses Liam for his knowledge of the small town they are in.

As Tara gets closer to figuring out the case the killer turns her into a target as his next victim. When this happens Liam goes alpha male in protection mode to make sure Tara is safe from harm. Tara is an alpha female though, and they butt heads for a while over who does or doesn’t need protection. Ultimately, the two work as a team to bring down the killer and both of their skills are needed in the take down. Without one part of their team they wouldn’t have been successful in ending the killing spree, and likely an FBI agent would have been the next victim!

This book was hot and thrilling with lots of intense moments. The way Griffin worked with this couple and their seconds in command was riveting. I’m coming to realize that I seem to prefer the books in this series that include more than just the main couple. I’m looking forward to the last few books of the series!

Happy reading 🙂

Beyond Limits (Tracers, #8)

Beyond Limits, book 8 in the Tracers series by Laura Griffin was an exciting read that revisited two characters that readers of the series had previously met.  FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc and Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn. We met them previously in book 6, Scorched, and Griffin has finally decided to make them the feature couple.

This story picks up with Derek and the SEAL team finishing up a mission that ended with the death of a fellow SEAL. Back on the mainland USA, Elizabeth is assigned to a career making case, one that links to this mission the SEALs wrapped up. The problem is almost everybody believes the cases aren’t linked. Elizabeth doesn’t believe she was assigned to the case because of her merit, but because of her history with Derek. Derek unofficially helps out through the majority of the case, even getting arrested since he isn’t officially on the case.

It was a long passionate battle between Elizabeth and Derek between getting him cleared of any wrongdoing in the case and their romantic interest in each other. This book was one of the more enjoyable in the series for me. I really enjoy when Griffin decides to revisit characters she’s set up in previous segments of the storylines. It demonstrates that she’s really in tune with her readers and you can tell who the fan favorite characters are.

Exposed (Tracers, #7)

Wow. Have I been MIA or what!? I’ve continuously been reading, but haven’t been taking the time to write up my thoughts on a bunch of books. So my goal tonight is to schedule a bunch of posts…here’s hoping I follow through.

This post focuses on the novel, “Exposed,” by Laura Griffin. It is book 7 in the Tracers series. Exposed centers on Maddie Callahan, a forensic photographer from the Delphi Center, and Brian Beckman of the FBI.

You see, Maddie doesn’t only take photographs of crime scenes. She also has a side hustle doing photography for weddings. After one of her drawn out engagement photo shoots Maddie is attacked. When she was going over the crime with the police afterwards she assumed it was just another random mugging. However, Brian quickly figured out the attackers were after the camera, not Maddie or her belongings that were tossed away nearby.

Brian thinks the crime sounds familiar to a string of crime he’s been tracking for the past decade. As multiple attempts are made to steal the camera from Maddie, Brian gets closer to her, and gets to know her. He falls hard for her, but Maddie continuously rejects him because of her past history of a broken marriage because of a lost child. But as usual in this series, the characters can only say no for so long before they finally break down to their inner desires. Brian helps Maddie come to terms with the losses that she has experienced, while also solving the crime.

Overall this was an interesting read, and I enjoyed reading about the background stories of the two characters. I felt like they weren’t your average lead characters that you typically read about.

Scorched (Tracers, #6)

Scorched is the 6th book in Laura Griffin’s Tracers Series that is a crime series that usually brings together someone from the police/FBI/Navy, etc. and a person working forensics to solve a case.

This book had the readers looking at Dr. Kelsey Quinn, a forensic anthropologist, and Gage Brewer, a Navy SEAL. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll remember we already covered these two in the novella, Unstoppable.

Scorched picks up with Kelsey and Gage having broken up because of the long distance and danger involved in Gage’s career. Kelsey is at a dig in the Philippines and finds the body of someone who clearly was disguising himself through plastic surgery. This knowledge gets her ex-fiance, FBI Agent, Blake Reid killed and sends Kelsey on the run. Gage is interviewed by the FBI as a suspect in the murder of Agent Reid and finds out the Kelsey is missing. Gage, being a SEAL, uses his skills to find Kelsey and the two work together with the FBI to clear Gage’s name and figure out who is behind Blake’s murder.

I really enjoyed this book, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I liked that Kelsey and Gage are both stubborn and you see a realness to their relationship. You get to see how hard the long distance and danger is on them and how they learn to talk to each other through their problems instead of keeping their feelings to themselves. Many of the other books in this series seem to have less problems in the relationship than this one did.

Twisted (Tracers, #5)

Hi readers–I’ve been a bit MIA lately…things have been a bit crazy lately–good crazy though. I spent a week in Arlington, VA for the Computers in Libraries conference which was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton too! But, this isn’t the time for excuses on my not posting–it’s time for my review on Twisted, the 5th installment in Laura Griffin’s Tracers Series.

Twisted centers in on detective Allison Doyle. Detective Doyle is the rookie that was reassigned to the homicide unit after her help in the university shooting case over the summer. Now, she’s the only one that doesn’t believe that a young woman’s murder was as simple as it appears to the rest of her department. As she tries to make her case with her department, experienced FBI profiler, Mark Wolfe arrives on the case, and he’s on Doyle’s side. Wolfe has been chasing a killer for the last 10 years of his career, and he believes the killer has struck again. As he mentors Allison through the case, he also falls for her.

Most of the book shows the two characters falling for each other in secret, hiding their feelings from each other for several reasons. As the case gets ever more dangerous, it becomes harder for the two to hide their feelings for each other, eventually leading to them coming to terms with their feelings.

Although I enjoyed the novel, I didn’t like it as much as I have liked others in this series. I find this entertaining because as I report my ratings on Goodreads, I see that others rated Twisted higher than others in this series. I guess that really proves that every book has its reader!

Do you think every book has its reader? And, as always–Happy reading!

PS–Although I haven’t been writing, that doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down on my reading. I’ve got several posts to catch up on!