Traceless by Debra Webb
Why this one: Well – I had a lot to choose from, that’s for sure!! But it was the storyline that made me pick this one out of all the others. The hero imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit – I’ve read quite a few of them now and they’ve almost all been yummy. So I figured this one had a pretty good chance too.
Level of Steam: I wasn’t sure for a while if this one would boil water or not – but turns out it just needed time to heat up because once it did – it was boiling hot!!
Barnes and Noble Blurb:
She's in search of justice.
Emily Wallace has no doubt about who killed her best friend ten years ago: Clint Austin, her then boyfriend. The key witness in his trial, Emily put Clint behind bars with her tearful testimony. But when Emily learns that Clint has been released on parole, she returns to her
He is dead-set on revenge…
After serving ten years for a crime he didn't commit, Clint knows only the truth can set him free. Ignoring warnings from his old friend, now the chief of police, Clint will let no one stand in his way as he tries to prove his innocence—including Emily, the girl he once loved who ruined his life. Prison has made him a hard man, yet he yearns for Emily…and he can see in her eyes that, in spite of herself, she feels the same. But even if he can convince Emily to trust him, it might be too late to clear his name—before the real killer strikes again.
My Thoughts: I liked it! I liked it quite a bit! But…. There were a few things that kept it from getting higher marks. I thought Emily, the heroine was a bit to rabid in her efforts to keep punishing Clint. I know the murder of her best friend affected her deeply and she wanted to make sure Clint suffered, but she was uncomfortably driven to for me. She also came across as a bit too damaged for something that had happened such a long time ago. Once she realized her mistake though, she was much better and I really began to like her.
As for the hero Clint, he was intriguing. But I thought the author almost seemed to hold back on his character. It’s stated over and over again what a rough time of it he had in prison, but it was never explained how he had a rough time. In comparing it to one of my favourite hero in prison books, One Summer, there is a scene where Johnny tells Rachel some of what he went through. It was a very powerful scene in that book as it shows how much Johnny cares for Rachel that he is able to confess something so devastating to him. In Traceless, we never really get a sense of that soul deep feeling from Clint towards Emily. I did like though, how he didn’t really hold it against her that she was the driving force behind him being sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was bitter towards her while still having deep feelings for her, but he did get past them and that raised him up in my opinion so that he was really the stronger of the two characters.
There were a lot of characters who could have been the real murderer and if I hadn’t cheated and read the ending before I got there, I don’t think I would have guessed. Well, we knew before the ending – but still not until later in the story.
So – I’m glad I picked this one out of the pile. It was a good read.
Grade: 4 out of 5