“Into the Black Nowhere: an UNSUB novel” (Dutton), by Meg Gardiner
Meg Gardiner’s follow-up to her best-selling “UNSUB” novel continues the riveting adventure of FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix.
Saturday nights in southern Texas have become dangerous as a result of a killer who appears to use charisma to charm his victims into letting down their guard. Women have been abducted in plain sight, and one person was abducted from a crowded movie theater. When two of the victims are found wearing a white nightgown and surrounded by Polaroid photos, the evidence suggests there are more victims than first thought. Before Hendrix can truly profile the killer, a possible suspect is revealed. Now she must prove her suspicions.
What starts as a forensic gathering of evidence turns into a deadly game, and Caitlin channels the TV detective Columbo as she frequently questions the suspect while waiting for him to slip or reveal his killer instinct. But is he really the culprit?
Novels that deal with serial killers have a tendency to dive into depravity and gruesome violence to tell the story. It becomes about the shock rather than the law enforcement path to justice. Gardiner doesn’t fall into that trap with “Into the Black Nowhere,” and when it comes close to that line, she veers away.
This series is all about Caitlin’s character and the collection of facts and uncovering of clues to stop the madness. She is also a strong female character who is never the victim, and that is rare in this genre.