Into The Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, especially after reading the first book in this crime series Unsub, which by the way is already on my top reads of 2018. Before I share my review I would like to say thank you to fellow book blogger Janel who blogs over at the fabulous https://keeperofpages.wordpress.com/ (if you don’t already follow her blog it’s a MUST) for her overwhelming generosity in sending me her copy of Into The Black Nowhere, just because she knew how much I loved Unsub. Before I share my review here’s the book description to whet your appetite…….
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 opens with the chilling and shocking disappearance of mother Shana, and from there on in Meg Gardiner keeps the reader in her clutches. Into The Black Nowhere is the second book in the Unsub and although it could be read as a standalone I would urge you to start at the beginning as it has all the hallmarks of an unmissable crime series. I’m not going to rehash the plot as pretty much all you need to know is in the detailed book description, suffice to say Caitlin Hendrix is back and now working as an FBI Profiler tracking the Saturday Night Killer in Austin, Texas, where women keep disappearing. Caitlin with the help of a legendary FBI profiler piece together a profile that will lead them to focus on one particular suspect.
Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, Meg Gardiner manages to create a serial killer who is charming, confident, and yet is merciless when it comes to his victims, very much in keeping with Ted Bundy’s MO this fact alone makes the killer all the more credible which in turn made this book all the more chilling to read. Caitlin is a character who intrigues me, a character with many sides she’s committed to her job, but you sense a darker side to her character which I hope the author explores further at some point.
Although not as fast paced or as heart pounding as Unsub, which is partly due to the fact the killers identity is revealed fairly early on in the book, Into The Black Nowhere has its own merits the author ramps up the tension tenfold with a game of cat and mouse between Caitlin and the killer, making this a very worthy addition to the series. If anything the change in pace and direction actually make you more excited about the Unsub series, as you aren’t sure which direction the author will take with the next book in the series.
Unlike most crime thrillers Into The Black Nowhere stands out because the focus is on profiling rather than police procedures. It’s a subject that really intrigues me, and Meg Gardiner’s impeccable detailed explanations regarding profiling integrated with a suspense filled plot with believable characters make this one of the best crime thriller books I’ve read this year, and I’m already excited to see where the author takes the Unsub series next. Highly recommended.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Dutton Books (30 Jan. 2018)