Book Review: Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin

Posted November 7, 2018 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Gallery Books on August 7, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Thread of Fear, Total Control

First in the Wolfe Security romantic suspense series, a spin-off from Griffin’s Tracers series, with this one revolving around a private security firm with some truly muscled men. The couple focus is on Brynn Halloran and Erik Morgan.

My Take

Okay, yeah, I have issues. Brynn is supposed to be smart. Why on earth does she think the sheriffs would be all that eager to protect her? Sure they might give lip service, but go all out? No. Then all the whining she does about how much all this security is going to cost…WTF? As Ross points out, it’s not going to affect her bottom line, so what’s the deal? If she believes it’s a publicity stunt, then it’s simply the “cost of advertising”.

Besides what does she care about the cost? Using that third person dual protagonist point-of-view, we hear all about the cost of her clothes and her beauty maintenance, comparing it to her mother’s budgeting. Then there’s all that lack of cooperation. I almost wished she would get shot.

As for Erik’s perspective…okay, I didn’t go for the insta-love on his part. Especially with all that training he’s had. I wish Griffin had spent some time with this, stringing Erik along. Sure, I suppose it’s possible for a guy like him — he is trained in making instant decisions in a nanosecond after all, lol — to fall for Brynn. And he does make a good case for what he does like about her. So maybe I’m just whining. I did like him better than Brynn. I don’t care how much her Jimmy Choos cost, oy.

Coping mechanism. Working all days and hours. At least she likes to work on renovating her house even if she doesn’t have a social life. And there’s a contradiction here. Brynn claims that she’s so over Adam, but she needs a coping mechanism? She has one cheating boyfriend and jumps to the conclusion that something is wrong with her, and she can’t have a relationship? She knows why he cheated, so does she do anything to change it? Okay, so that was rhetorical. She knows and behaves the same way. In my book, she’s not that interested in having a relationship OR she wasn’t interested enough in Adam to put the time in.

There are holes in here as well. Griffin never does answer the why of the change in Corby’s MO. And I would like to know how he got out of maximum-security.

Now this I like, lol. It was pretty obvious that Reggie was using Brynn’s looks to hook Danny, and when Erik ripped into her for allowing her boss to do this, Brynn rips right back, *more laughter*. She makes an excellent point, and what’s better is that Erik acknowledges it.

Another discrepancy. Erik may lose his job over Brynn, but Skyler’s lack of protection doesn’t do anything but move her into surveillance on this job?

So I didn’t care for the whole anti-security and non-cooperation meme going on here, yet Griffin balanced it with Brynn’s strength and determination, and I loved that Lindsey and Brynn are willing to do a look back at the case and see the discrepancies and not try to sweep anything under the rug.

How much better is it to get at the truth of a thing?

There is plenty of action: lawyering, viewing the trial through Brynn’s eyes and how she assesses reactions, the security details and moves, and Lindsey’s investigation that definitely held my attention…I just wish Griffin had handled the stupid anti-security meme better.

The Story

Defense attorney Brynn Holloran is right at home among cops, criminals, and tough-as-nails prosecutors. With her sharp wit and pointed words, she has a tendency to intimidate, and she likes it that way. She’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but her personal life is a mess.

When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipe out those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs protection whether she wants it or not.

With no love from the police, her boss turns to a private security firm for protection, with no help from Brynn who refuses to let anyone tell her how to live her life.

But when Brynn gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe. With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.

As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and ignites a killer’s fury.

The Characters

Brynn Holloran is one sexy shark of a defense attorney these days. Liz is her sister, a smart lady who is the HR manager for a Houston hospital, who is married to Mike; they have two kids. Their mother, Mary Holloran, worked for a Houston law firm for thirty-two years from receptionist to legal secretary.

Wolfe Security is…
…one of the best and owned by Liam Wolfe, CEO and a former Special Ops badass. (His wife is on a SWAT team.) Mark Wolfe is his brother and a criminal profiler in the Cyber Crimes Unit at the Delphi Center crime lab and another former FBI agent, with their Behavioral Analysis Unit. Gus and Gracie are the German shepherds who are part of their canine unit.

Erik Morgan is a former Marine and former Secret Service and well qualified to guard Brynn’s body who will be team leader. His mom is a retired science teacher. His brother Brad is a DEA agent while his other brother Jake is a Marine. His dad is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marines who still does some consulting for the Pentagon.

Erik’s team will include Hayes Becker, former FBI, a new recruit who needs work on his shooting. Jeremy Owen is a former Marine sharpshooter. Tony. Skyler is a woman, short, and posted in surveillance, later. Trent Reese doesn’t say much.

The law firm of Blythe and Gunn is…
…based in Pine Rock with Reginald “Reggie” Gunn a managing partner. Faith is his assistant and the firm’s mother hen. Ross Foley is Brynn’s law partner. Nicole is the paralegal coming to Dallas with the team. John “Bulldog” Kopek, a.k.a., Bull, is a private investigator they keep on speed dial.

The current court case is…
…all about the eighteen-year-old Justin Sebring who is accused of being the murdering drug dealer who shot Seth Moore, a college student. Robert Perez is a critical witness. Joseph Rivas is a friend of Justin’s. Aunt Sylvia is Justin’s mother who allows Justin’s friends to refer to her as their aunt; she likes them all to hang, eat, and play games at her house. Joel “Stretch” Sebring is Justin’s cousin. Henry Wheeler is a nationally renowned GSR expert.

Judge Linden is an exacting judge. Jack Conlon is the assistant district attorney in the case. Dr Peter Garvey is one of his witnesses. Mrs Marek is a mother and witness who was at Tony’s Pizza House where she knows the owner, Tony Martelli.

Sheridan Heights PD
Detective Lindsey Leary was invited to examine the crime scene by her former mentor, Detective Max Gorman. Officer Dillon, who accompanies her, had been in the same academy class with her.

Mathis is a janitor at the Ames Theater.

The US Marshals
Deputy Marshal Art Caldwell is the head of the task force.

The Trial of James Corby
Jen Ballard was the primary prosecutor with Brynn Holloran assisting. Now, she’s Judge Ballard, Brynn’s mentor and friend. Nate Levinson is a former colleague. Detective Michael “Mick” McGowan had been the lead homicide detective. Shawn McGowan is his son.

The violent, sadistic, and extremely smart James “The Champ” Corby, who loves knives, escaped a maximum security prison. Ann Johnson received a letter from Corby while he was in prison. Lauren Hull had been one of his victims.

David is the cardiologist who was coming over for dinner. Chrissy owns a beauty salon who adores Brynn. Adam, another lawyer, is Brynn’s ex-boyfriend. Reggie wants Daniel Sheffield, a major league baseball player for the Rangers who is facing assault charges, to hire his firm. Fischer and Evans is Sheffield’s business law firm. Shannon Snyder was a mean kid in Brynn’s fourth grade class. “Butterfly” was the code name given for a teenage principal whose antics led to Erik’s resignation. Dr Heuer gets called out on the lack of a plastic surgeon being on staff. Dr Glenn is a plastic surgeon. Molly is a friend of Brynn’s from law school who finally explains why she’d never work for Blythe and Gunn. Alex Mason is a reporter with the Star.

Dallas PD
The Dallas cops don’t like the Blythe and Gunn law firm after the Hector Bell incident. This is a tricky one. And a good tip in any case. Cops tried to frame Bell, but Bell had been filming the whole thing with his cellphone. Detective Jorge Martinez requested the initial search warrant on the Corby case, which was written by Ross Foley.

Staged means manipulating the scene to mislead police. Posed is arranging the body in a certain way and is intended to send a message.

The Cover and Title

The cover’s background is an electric (and wavering) radial gradient centered in a deep turquoise to purple, creating an interesting up view of Brynn swimming through the water. The text is all in red with the title centered in the top half and the author’s name centered across Brynn’s biceps, both with a wavering glow around the letters. There are a couple of info blurbs below that.

I have no idea where the title came from. Maybe they were the Desperate Girls in Corby’s trial? Maybe it refers to Brynn and Lindsey??

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