Thursday, April 19, 2018


by Meg Gardiner
Recommended Ages: 14+

Caitlin Hendrix is a young Bay Area narcotics cop when she gets a chance to join the homicide squad. The reason for her sudden career advancement is objectively gruesome and personally disturbing at the same time. A serial killer, nicknamed the Prophet by the press but calling himself Mercury, has returned after an unexplained 20-year hiatus after driving Caitlin's homicide detective father insane. Mack Hendrix actually attempted suicide after watching a couple being burned to death and his partner shot dead without being able to save them. To catch the resumed killer, or perhaps his copycat, the cops are relying on Caitlin to get through to her still disturbed dad and get him to open up about clues that may not be in the case files. Soon enough, however, she finds the chase threatening her own mental stability as the killer zeroes in on her, taunting her publicly and personally as his crimes swell in a crescendo of terror.

I would be hard put to provide any further synopsis without spoiling some of the chilling surprises in this book. It sketches a dark, scary, often suspenseful descent into psychological torment and evil, with fiendish roots probing deep into western culture. It's a smart, visceral thriller that puts its protagonist on a tight spot between professional duty and concern for the people she cares about most. It builds inevitably to a climactic struggle that doesn't stop being scary even after the peril is past.

Meg Gardiner is the Edgar Award-winning author of Ransom River, The Shadow Tracer, Phantom Instinct, five "Evan Delaney" thrillers (China Lake etc.), four "Jo Beckett" thrillers (The Dirty Secrets Club etc.), and a sequel to this novel, Into the Black Nowhere, in which Caitlin returns as an FBI profiler.

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