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Rookie Instincts (Tactical Crime Division: Traverse City Book 1)

por Carol Ericson

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Author Carol Ericson's exciting new romantic suspense novel, "Rookie Instincts", begins with a chilling, compelling scene that is the start of an intense investigation into a deadly opioid drug ring. Aria Calletti, a former Detroit police officer who specialized in undercover narcotics work, had also trained with the FBI in Quantico. She is now the newest member of the elite Tactical Crime Division, a highly-trained unit featuring individuals with very special skills such as weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation, and IT. She hopes that her background in narcotics crimes will give her leverage as a team member. Her first assignment involves the murders of two young women, similar in appearance, both carrying the same ID, and both found with packets of opioids. One striking difference--one of the young women had been accompanied by a baby boy who had been spared by the killer. Grayson Rhodes, a Detroit businessman, is desperate to find his missing sister, Chloe, and her child. Starting his own investigation, he has gone undercover as a dockworker in the area which he feels holds clues to Chloe's disappearance. Tragedy will bring Aria and Grayson together, and they must work side-by-side to find a killer and protect the life of an innocent child. Is there hope that something good will survive the aftermath of so much pain? Can healing love bring light into the darkness of danger and clear the way for a bright and happy future? Once again, author Carol Ericson has created an involving story with compelling, interesting characters in a romantic suspense tale that you won;t put down until you have read the last page.

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  gincam | Nov 24, 2020 |
Good story that had me hooked from beginning to end. Aria is the newest member of the Tactical Crime Division team and arrived just in time to participate in their most recent case. Young women have turned up dead, each bearing identical IDs. In a strange turn of events, a baby was found with the most recent victim. While investigating that murder, Aria learns of a missing person report filed for a woman and her baby. This puts Aria in contact with the woman's brother, Grayson.

Grayson is worried about his half-sister, Chloe, and her son, Danny. They never showed up for Thanksgiving dinner. Chloe may be an addict, but when she makes a promise, she keeps it. The last time he talked to her, she mentioned Port Huron, so he is now pretending to be a dockworker and hopes to learn something about her disappearance.

I liked both Aria and Grayson. Aria is very good at what she does. She began her career as a Detroit street cop and did some undercover work before the TCD recruited her. She has excellent instincts, and though she was a little nervous at first, she fit in with the team very quickly. Grayson is a successful businessman who loves his younger sister. He blames himself somewhat for Chloe's problems and is determined to do whatever he must to find her and Danny.

I liked the first meeting between Aria and Grayson. There was no doubt about the immediate connection between them, though Aria was careful to be professional. I ached for Gray when he was so hopeful that she was in jail, only to find out that she was dead. The scene at the morgue was heartbreaking, and Gray's determination to find her killer was understandable. As Gray carried out his plans and Aria worked the FBI side, they spent more time together. The sparks between them continued to grow, sometimes at inconvenient moments. Aria tries to resist, aware that her job makes relationships difficult, but she can't deny her growing feelings for him. It was interesting to see Gray interact with Aria. He knows that she is a fully capable FBI agent, but his innate protectiveness makes him worry over her safety. He tried her patience a few times with that protectiveness until one event brought the reality into focus for him. I loved the ending and seeing how Gray and Aria took a realistic look at their prospects for the future. I hope to see them in future books and catch up on their romance.

The suspense of the story was excellent. From the moment of Chloe's shooting to the end of the book, I was hooked on the story. I loved seeing each of the TCD agents put their unique talents to work to solve the case. Aria's instincts in thinking outside the box were excellent, and she arrived at some interesting conclusions. I understood her skepticism over Gray's "undercover" intentions, but she quickly learned that his instincts were also good. As Gray's actions led to an arrest, the intensity steadily increased, and more information came to light. The search for the "kingpin" took an unexpected twist, and the final confrontation had me on the edge of my seat until it was all over.

I enjoyed meeting the other members of the team and look forward to reading their stories. Max and Alex both have fascinating histories, and I am intrigued by the relationship between the two sisters, Ophelia and Selena. There was a heartbreaking scene with Aria and the team's leader, Alana, that made the book's theme even more poignant. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Oct 23, 2020 |
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Tactical Crime Division (Traverse City, 5)

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Special thanks and acknowledgment are given to Carol Ericson for her contribution to the Tactical Crime Division: Traverse City miniseries.
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The wind whipped off the lake, its chilly tentacles snaking into his thin black jacket, which he gathered at the neck with one raw hand, stiff with the cold.
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