Monday, January 8, 2018

Into the Black Nowhere, A Dark and Edgy Thriller You Won't Forget (Review)

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.
Into the Black Nowhere
Meg Gardiner
Pub Date: 1/30/18
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5/5
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Into the Black Nowhere is a fantastic thriller that will set you on edge and pull you into the mind of a charming, ruthless killer. Meg Gardiner returns with her tough, crime-fighting heroine Caitlin Hendrix, now a profiler with the FBI.

The second book in the UNSUB series has to be the most phenomenal sequel I have ever read. Special Agent Hendrix is sucked into a case where women are disappearing without warning and leaving no clues behind. Based on the events of the first novel, I thought this story would focus on catching the Ghost. Instead, this story takes a detour in which readers get a chance to see Caitlin catch another unsub while working as a professional profiler. While working the case, Caitlin has to deal with an upsurge of dark thoughts that have haunted her since her father's downfall. Her issues make her all the more human even as she struggles to maintain balance between sympathy and detachment from victims.

The progression of this novel can be likened to a cat and mouse game. The team has narrowed their profile and Caitlin is sure of who the culprit is, but they don't have hard evidence to pin the crimes on him. He slips out of their grasps until the case breaks wide open and Caitlin finds vital information that completes his profile. Even then the case can't be wrapped up with a neat little bow. Just when you might think the story is finished Gardiner throws a curve in the story that takes it further and makes it even more thrilling.

Into the Black Nowhere is one of those rare novels that exceed expectations on every level. It's not just a story meant for a few hours entertainment because it stays with you long after you finish. This dark and edgy thriller is perfect for Criminal Minds fans. I am completely sold on this series and look forward to the next chapter!
*ARC provided via First to Read*

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