Without a Trace


“Love is not logical, love is nothing but risk.” Here exists the inherent premise of "Without a Trace". Matt Romero, a homicide detective who has suffered extreme loss and Rachel Bennett, a skilled investigative reporter who bears her own scars. Brought together by the disappearance of Rachel’s sister, they both try to fight their attraction to the other, afraid to open their hearts. Around them madness consumes everything they know, bringing the universe crashing down around them; yet destiny always comes into play, even when you fight it bitterly. 


Thriller/romance or vice versa, this tale presents some interesting adventure and intrigue, although it contains predictable plot twists on both the romantic and the mystery fronts. Sadly, it felt like a plot and character wheel had been utilized to build the story - a beginner writing mistake. The characters remain emotionally flat, never really connecting. Even the heat that could explode for Matt and Rachel barely reaches a simmer. The plot acts more as a foil to the story than a web of rhyme and reason, diluting the quality more.


From start to finish, more hovers under the surface begging to be released; more story, more action, and definitely more character development. There is so much more to the Romero family, more to the Bennett sister’s history, more to Matteo’s past, and more to the embezzlement scheme that screams for attention. In the end, this read like a trade paperback romance, something great for a beach read, but lacking the potential work of art it might have been. 


Penelope Anne Bartotto