Release date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Dutton Books
Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer
In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.
Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style–posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss.
To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology–that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy–dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
UNSUB, which is the first book in this outstanding series made my Best of 2017 list and while I was ecstatic to get my hands on the follow up novel, I was also nervous. When the first book in a series is as fantastic as UNSUB was I can’t help but be worried that the next won’t measure up, but rest assured this one was just as gripping, terrifying and all around amazing! Meg Gardiner is a master and I’ll follow this series as long as she keeps writing it.
I love that Caitlin is a full fledged profiler this time around, this picks up not long after the first book ended and the new FBI agent is raring to go. The case Caitlin and her team are working on is inspired by Ted Bundy and I have to say, it made for some chilling reading. This was once again diligently plotted and achieved brilliantly so I’ll be steering clear of the details that made this so superb. But suffice it to say that the intensity is at an all time high and I think my heart was in my throat for the majority.
I loved learning more about Caitlin as well as being introduced to her new coworkers as they were all very intriguing and I predict they’ll be much to explore as the series continues. Gardiner sets things up absolutely perfectly for the next book and I have no doubt that it’ll be another nail biting, high octane and exciting read.
Into the Black Nowhere in three words: Exhilarating, Incisive and Petrifying
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.