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, from her car at a stoplight. A mother is ripped 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's unit discovers the first victim's body in the woods, laid out in a bloodstained white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest's darkness. Around the bodies, Polaroid photos are stuck in the earth like headstones, picturing other women with their wrists slashed. The women in the woods are not the killer's first victims, nor are they likely to be his last.
To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind; he is a confident, meticulous killer, capable of charming his victims until their guard is down, snatching them in plain sight. He then plays out a twisted fantasy—turning them into 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 can they apprehend him before it's too late? 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 his next victim.
Inspired by the Ted Bundy case, Edgar-winner Gardiner's excellent sequel to 2017's Unsub finds newly minted FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix still feeling her way on the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit and working on a long-distance relationship. Her skills as a profiler are soon put to the test by another unsub unknown subject. Women, who appear to have nothing in common, are disappearing on Saturday nights near Austin, Tex. Two of the victims were found dead in a wooded area, both surrounded by Polaroid photos that show other dead women dressed in white negligees. Caitlin and the other team members deduce they're looking for a confident perp who can charm his victims into coming with him. Caitlin's intelligent perceptions lead her to a killer whose arrogance may be his undoing. Gardiner expertly integrates the FBI science of profiling with a suspenseful plot and believable characters. It's no wonder a TV drama based on this series is in the works at CBS.
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Could not put it down.
I could not put this book down. Delivered last night on my iPad. Meg Gardiner does it again!