''Traces'' is a series of seven ScienceFiction crime novels by Malcolm Rose. They center around sixteen year old Forensic Investigator Luke Harding and his partner in law, the Mobile Aid to Law and Crime (Or Malc for short), as they solve crimes in an alternate England where blacks are the majority race and the southern parts of the country are derelict slums.

The series starts with Luke passing his FI examination, only to quickly be thrust into his first case when a series of murders occur in the school that all seem to point to him being the perpetrator. After solving the case he's stationed in London due to the abundance of crimes in the South, which puts pressure on his already forbidden relationship with LoveInterest Jade Vernon.

The final book in the series, ''Murder Club'', was recently released as an e-book.
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!! This series provides examples of:

* AndroidsAndDetectives
* ArrangedMarriage: Pairings work this way. It becomes a source of conflict in many of the books, most notably between Luke and Jade.
** BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage.
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: Ms. Thacket
* BluffingTheMurderer: Luke does this to force a confession out of [[spoiler: Ed]] in ''Framed!''.
* BrilliantButLazy: Luke was this in his school days. Mildly deconstructed in that some students resent him for it.
* BuriedAlive: What [[spoiler: Ian Pritchard]] nearly did to Luke in ''Final Lap''.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: The plane crash mentioned at the start of ''Double Check''.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The bags of rats that Ian Pritchard collected]] in ''Final Lap''. The [[spoiler: javelin]] in ''Framed!''.
* ChekhovsNews: The [[spoiler:tsunami]] in ''Roll Call''.
* CoolTeacher: Instructor Cadman.
* CorruptBureaucrat: [[spoiler: Nicoletta Boniwell]] is in fact NOT one.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: In ''Double Check'', [[spoiler: Camilla]] briefly assumes the identity of [[spoiler: Farrah Bruce]] after she [[spoiler: kills her]].
* [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse Death of One of the Hypotenuses]]: Vince Wainright's death is this.
* DetectiveMole: Subverted in ''Framed!'', though, as the blurb says, 'all the evidence points to Luke himself'.
* DisposingOfABody: [[spoiler: Ian Pritchard]]'s victims are disposed of particularly unpleasantly.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Luke had made a fool of [[spoiler: Ed Hoffman, by tampering with his javelin]], so his reaction was, naturally, to [[spoiler: kill three people, or pawns, as he called them, in an attempt to destroy Luke's life]].
* EndangeredSpecies: Cats and dogs. A cat smuggling operation was even central [[spoiler: though a RedHerring]] to the plot of ''Framed!''
* EurekaMoment: Luke's discovery of the connection between the murder weapons in ''Framed!''.
* ExcitedShowTitle: ''Framed!''.
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Camilla in ''Double Check''. She tries it again during the investigation, but Luke isn't fooled.]]
* FiredTeacher: Rick Glenfield.
* {{Foil}}: Luke and Malc for one another.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: Ian's]] line to Luke about the foundations in Final Lap.
--> '''[[spoiler: Ian]]:''' I don't want to be down there when they start to lay the foundations, do I? That wouldn't be much fun.
* {{Frameup}}: Luke is framed for triple murder in ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Framed!]]''. PlayedWith in ''Double Check''; [[spoiler: Luke thinks Everton was framed for Rowan's murder, but it turns out that he had been hit by lightning, which caused him to have a spastic fit in the already murdered Rowan's apartment, which is why nearly all evidence pointed to him.]]
* FunWithAcronyms: '''M'''obile '''A'''id to '''L'''aw and '''C'''rime.
* HerosFirstRescue: [[spoiler: Luke's rescue of [=EW4=] in ''Roll Call'']].
* HolyIsNotSafe: The [[spoiler: snake]] in ''Lost Bullet''.
* IdentificationByDentalRecords: Luke uses this technique to narrow down the options in his final exams in ''Framed!''.
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: Jade, briefly. It's noted that she could get into trouble for doing so.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison:
** In ''Framed!'', Luke never says the third murder weapon is a glass cutter. [[spoiler: Ed Hoffman]], on the other hand, does seem to know. Make of that what you will.
** In ''Roll Call'', Q, when they are discovered, says that [=EW4=] is a 'girl' when Luke had not said how old she was.
** In ''Double Check'', [[spoiler: Camilla almost lets slip that she knew Lee [=MacArthur=] had died, yet there was supposed to be no contact between the two after he had given her a new identity]].
* IWillFindYou: [[spoiler: Jade after Luke's disappearence at the end of ''Final Lap'']]
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Happens to Everton in ''Double Check''. [[spoiler: It's revealed he was struck by lighting, [[JustifiedTrope which can cause memory deficits in some cases.]]]]
* LastMinuteReprieve: For [[spoiler: Everton Kohter]].
* LetOffByTheDetective: Holly Queenan.
* LiteralMinded: Malc.
* LocardsTheory: Seen several times. Most pertinent in ''Framed!'', where [[spoiler: a slight contact from Ed Hoffman when he was poisoning Ms. Kee left her with a flake of white paint, two blue denim fibres, six fine particles of magnesite, a smear of wax and a deposit of sawdust on her right side]].
* MurderByCremation: [[spoiler: The fate of Libby Byrne]].
* NamesTheSame: The killer in ''Roll Call'' is only after girls named Emily Wonder.
* NeverOneMurder
* NonActionGuy: While Luke is physically fit and often chases down suspects, Malc is usually the one to combat violence.
* NonHumanSidekick: Malc.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Despite Malc and the Authorities telling him several times to leave London while he still can, [[spoiler: before the tsunami hits]], Luke ignores them in order to [[spoiler: first ensure Owen Goode and his band of scraps gets to safety]], and then, after another warning to leave, [[spoiler: ascends a crane in an incredibly risky (though ultimately successful) attempt to save [=EW4=], who he didn't have time to carry to high ground conventionally]].
* OmniscientDatabase: Malc has these for training excersies. Unhelpfully, he doesn't for the real world.
* ParentalAbandonment: After children are sent to school they aren't supposed to see their parents again. Subverted in ''Blood Brother'' where Luke's parents appear, and also in ''Roll Call' where Earl Dimmock mentions visiting his.
* PersecutionFlip: While discrimination is not a major theme to te series, it's white peole who are the discriminated-against minority.
* PreacherMan: Ethan Loach.
* ReverseWhodunnit: ''Framed!'', ''Roll Call'' and ''Final Lap'' all have very small clues that should help to make the discovery of who the murderer is possible before Luke makes it.
* RobotBuddy: Malc.
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Luke and Jade.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: [[spoiler: The Authorities, at times]].
* SmokingIsCool: Inverted; smoking is illegal in the Traces verse.
* SnarkyNonhumanSidekick: Played with with Malc.
* SympatheticMurderer: [[spoiler: Bob Beckham]]
* TakingTheBullet: Malc does this three times for Luke; taking a knife in ''Framed!'', a bullet in ''Lost Bullet'' and a tree branch in ''Final Lap''. Justified in that Luke's safety is Malc's second priority after upholding the law.
* TakingYouWithMe: When Luke confronts [[spoiler: Ed Hoffman]] in ''Framed!'', he is told that since he had [[spoiler: Ed]] for triple murder anyway, killing Luke as well wouldn't change anything.
* TalkerAndDoer
* TalkingApplianceSidekick: Malc.
* TeenGenius: Luke is the youngest person to become a Forensic Investigator. Naturally people point out how he's a [[JustAKid bit young]] to be an investigator.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler: Ian Pritchard]], AND [[spoiler: Mr Morgan, the blinking HOTEL RECPTIONIST]]. And the identity of Q, also.
* TheStoic: Malc.
* ThemeSerialKiller: [[spoiler: Ed Hoffman, Emily Wonder, and perhaps Bob Beckham if one can call him a [[SerialKiller serial killer]]]].
* TokenWhite: Owen Goode is the only recurring white character.
* TrademarkFavouriteFood: Pomegranates for Luke. Finding a hotel that serves them is a running theme after ''Framed!''.
* WritingIndentationClue: Used by Luke in ''Double Check'' to work out [[spoiler: Camilla Bunker's new identity]].
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