Monday, January 29, 2018

Review - Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner @MegGardiner1 @DuttonBooks

Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
Series: UNSUB #2
Publisher: Penguin Group - Dutton
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Date Read: January 25, 2018
Length:  368 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
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.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book!  I was a huge fan of the first book in this series, UNSUB, so I was really excited to read this one.  I will admit that I didn't like this book quite as much as the first book in the series but it was a very strong book.  I was hooked by this book from the very start and enjoyed it to the very end.  This series has quickly made its way onto my must read list.

Caitlin is now working as an FBI profiler.  She goes to Texas with a couple of other members of her team to look into a string of abductions.  Women are disappearing and residents are starting to be frightened.  There are no clues and nobody knows whether the women are dead or alive.  Caitlin and the team start working on putting together a profile for the perpetrator.

Most of the book follow Caitlin as she works through the clues to get in the head of the perpetrator.  We do get the chance to see things closer to the criminal from time to time as well which worked well in the story.  I was a bit surprised by how early in the book the team narrows down the list of suspects and subsequently catches the individual responsible.  I had a feeling that there were a few more surprises in store and was excited when things followed that path.

I liked the characters in this book.  Caitlin is smart and has great instincts.  She really is focused on finding the criminal and puts everything into the job.  Sean and Michelle do play a role in this book but it is much smaller.  I have to admit that I would have liked to have a little more Sean in this book.  I did like seeing Caitlin struggle with being away from people in her life and felt it helped round out her character. 

This was a fast moving story.  The opening scene was very strong and really set the tone for the story.  I did think that the book slowed down just a bit towards the middle but everything picked up quickly and ended with a ton of action.  Things don't always go well for the team and there were more than a few surprises along the way.  I really liked the fact that as soon as I thought I had something figured out I would soon find that I knew less than I thought. 

I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  This is the second book in the UNSUB series but could easily be read as a stand alone since it tells its own story.  This is a fast paced story that kept me thinking until the thrilling end.  I can't wait to read the next book in this amazing series!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group Viking - Dutton Books via NetGalley.

The Series
Book #1 - UNSUB - My Review
Book #2 - Into the Black Nowhere
About the Author

MEG GARDINER is the author of twelve critically acclaimed novels including China Lake, which won the Edgar Award. Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, she lives in Austin, TX.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

34 comments:

  1. Even though you loved the first instalment more, I'm glad to hear this is still a strong book. Also, since I promised myself to try more mystery thrillers, I think I'm gonna check UNSUB and see how it goes ;)

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  2. Ted Bundy's case was what got me interested in true crime books and docs. It's funny how that never got me interested in reading crime mystery books about serial killers though! I don't really understand my own brain...

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    1. I haven't really read much about Ted Bundy but he would be an interesting study.

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  3. Oh I think I would have liked this one as well. thanks!

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  4. I'm getting ready to write my review soon as I just finished this last night. I really enjoyed this one as well and that ending. I need the next book NOW!

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    1. Yes! I am pretty eager to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible!

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  5. I have a hold on Unsub at the library and so happy to hear you enjoyed this one too. Great review!

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  6. I used to really be into profiler novels, but I got away from them recently. I secretly wish I could have gone into that field, although I don't think I'd be good at it. LOL This sounds like a fun book and I am glad you liked it, Carole!

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    1. I sometimes wish I did something really interesting like this but yeah...I probably wouldn't be good at it.

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  7. I still need to read Unsub and am waiting my turn in line at Overdrive. Glad you enjoyed this one :)

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    1. Unsub was such a great book! I hope you enjoy it :)

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  8. I could do with a fast moving one

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    1. This one does have enough action to keep the pages turning.

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  9. Yes! This sounds amazing. I love the show Criminal Minds and this sounds even better. Can't wait to start the series!

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    1. It definitely had a Criminal Minds kind of feel.

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  10. I like this sort of mystery thriller when I get to see how they workout the profiles and follow the clues. I'll have to check out UNSUB.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read it!

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  11. I have a sick sort of fascination with true crime stories. Ted Bundy really creeped me out so this looks like an interesting read. ~Aleen

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    1. I went through a phase of reading a lot of true crime books but I don't know a lot about Bundy. This was a fantastic read, Aleen!

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  12. I need to pick this one up. I ma a big fan of these kinds of stories. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read this one, Nadene! It is such a well told story.

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  13. I'm not a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries... not sure why since I do like cop shows. I may have to pick one up sometime, just to make sure I don't like the genre. ;)

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    1. I would say that this series is definitely worth checking out. It was exactly the kind of book that I really enjoy reading.

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  14. This sounds incredible! I love thrillers plus I LOVE Criminal Minds - if it has that sort of feel I'm 100% gonna like it! Stunning review Carole <3

    Charlotte | https://charlotteidek.com

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I think that this one definitely had a Criminal Minds kind of feel to it.

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  15. I can't believe I haven't heard of this series before! I love anything thriller/FBI related so I think I'd enjoy it. I'm glad to hearing the pacing is good. I love when books start off fast and then slow down in the middle. Great review!

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    1. It is such a great series so far, Lauren. This one was very well done.

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  16. I am glad that this could be such a good thriller read for you! I'm intrigued that this mystery novel is based on a true story - you don't really see that very often when it comes to mystery books. It also sounds quite intense and fast paced.

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    1. I think it was inspired by Ted Bundy but the story is not exactly the same.

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  17. I've been reading more and more thrillers. I'm going to have to add this series to my list. I just listened to a book by someone who knew Bundy before he was even a suspect for the killings. It was a very interesting story. After seeing comment above, I want to read this even more.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I definitely need to learn more about Bundy. That sounds like a really interesting book. I used to love true crime stories but haven't read any lately.

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