In this exhilarating thriller inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, 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 is the second book I’ve read featuring Caitlin Hendrix, and trust me, this is a series you need to be reading. In this novel, Caitlin now works for the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU), and while the case is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Unsub first, so you can get maximum enjoyment out of this novel. Into the Black Nowhere is not backstory heavy, but Unsub provides the foundation for Caitlin’s character, and will give you a better understanding of her nature as you meet her in this novel.
The synopsis for this book is quite detailed, so there’s no need for me to elaborate on it, but, just know, that the synopsis is the top layer of this story, the actions, if you like. As you read this book, it will take you deeper into the psychological – if you enjoy criminal profiling/character studies, this book will be right up your street! And, like with Unsub, I have to liken it to the TV series, Criminal Minds, because it’s honestly like an episode being played out in the pages of a book, only better because there’s no adverts! Into the Black Nowhere is full of psychological mind games and will have you trying to profile this killer yourself. I find it so interesting how the FBI agents can read a person, how they can tell so much from watching a video clip, that lasts less than four seconds!
Into the Black Nowhere is rife with tension, from the very first page; Gardiner’s use of short sentences throughout the novel ensures the tension levels never drop. This novel is interesting all the way through, and concludes brilliantly, with an ‘Epilogue’ that will have you desperate for book three. The unknown subject is revealed early in this one, but don’t be deterred if you’re not usually a fan of knowing ‘whodunit’, because in this novel, it’s the moment the true mind games really begin.
Caitlin, as a main protagonist, is someone I find really interesting; we saw her vulnerabilities in book one and we see them again in this novel; but this time, from different angle and that really helps build a clear picture of her character. Caitlin is fiercely determined in nature and I love how the BAU work together as a team; there’s no weak link, no underhand tactics against colleagues, and this allows you to focus solely on the case. And this case needs your full attention because there’s a lot going on, a lot of ground to cover with this killer, both physically and metaphorically.
In case you haven’t figured, I highly recommend Into the Black Nowhere.