Book Title: Into The Black Nowhere
Author: Meg Gardiner
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: UNSUB #2
Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 01/30/18
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.
“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere.”
Obviously serial killer thrillers are hot stuff right now; it’s become near impossible for anyone to get away with the criteria and multiple murders required to be classified as such with technology advancing as it is. This has developed into the best of both worlds- we see the scum getting taken off the streets and our inner curious drama queen gets to experience what used to be a real fear and concern plaguing society in our fiction. I used to wonder how someone like Ted Bundy got so many women to trust him; sure he was good looking and charismatic, but when a killer is on the loose prowling at night and women are urged to exact the utmost caution, how did he manage to STILL deceive so many ladies? Into The Black Nowhere was a fantastic fictional account that helped me understand just how a wolf in sheep’s clothing can fool nearly anyone into believing what they want you to.
Telephone poles flashed by, covered with fluttering flyers. It had now been thirty-nine hours since Shana Kerber was taken. With every hour that passed, the likelihood of finding her alive plunged.
Into The Black Nowhere was actually quite different than Unsub, and that’s not a bad thing. While I did feel the suspense was not as gripping in this novel (we find out fairly early the identity of the killer and he follows a very similar M.O. to the original Ted Bundy), I loved how much the “series” portion of the novel matured. Caitlin and Rainey were a dynamic duo and I would LOVE to see Rainey in future books. She was a strong POC and I feel that mainstream thrillers just do not have enough of these. She was entirely as vital to this story as Caitlin herself, and now that she’s kind of on her own, I like the idea of Caitlin making a deep, platonic connection with another female who gets what she goes through and struggles with on a daily basis.
“Streets are too quiet,” Caitlin said.
“Small town,” Rainey said.
The plot was a little less twisty this go around, but I felt because we knew more here, the action and pacing were brilliant and nerve-wracking. I loved how this felt like a true, FBI thriller and it wasn’t trying to also market as a psychological suspense/mystery. I did miss seeing an abundance of Sean in this book, but I understand why he wasn’t as relevant in this installment and was pleased at how the ending of this book gave a little nod to Unsub and book #3. I am beyond ecstatic to see where Meg Gardiner takes us next and am waiting with bated breath for another showdown with Caitlin and her crew! Hurry up 2019!!! ❤
“I’ll slip into floating darkness. It’ll be like falling through a field of stars, into the black nowhere.”
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy.