Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Thrillers / Suspense
A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.
Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.
The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.
Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.
Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?
UNSUB is the first installment in author Meg Gardiner's UNSUB series. UNSUB is the start of a new franchise series for author Meg Gardiner. The series features 29-year old Caitlin Hendrix. Caitlin has been a Narcotics Detective in the Alameda Sheriff's Department for the past 6 months. After the discovery of dual murders with familiar signs from the past, Caitlin fears the worse. 20 years ago, The Prophet disappeared without a trace after a 5 year reign of horror that put the everyone in Bay Area on notice that nobody was safe.
Now, he may be back on the prowl and it will be only a matter of time before the bodies start piling up. At her request, Caitlin is transferred to the Homicide Department under Senior Homicide Sergeant Joe Guthrie to work Cold Cases linked to the Prophet hoping to find any shred of evidence that may have been missed 20 years ago. Unlike the rest of those working on the case, Caitlin has had 20 years of deep seeded memories planted in her head. She can tell you all about the Prophet from memory.
Caitlin's father Mack was the lead Detective on the original Prophet cases. He spent several frustrating years chasing after The Prophet in the 90's before he disappeared without a trace. Mack may be the best source of material that anyone has to put an end to the Prophet's reign of terror. But, Mack hasn't been the same since the Prophet disappeared after one final run-in with the Prophet. Caitlin, however, knows that he is a tempest and dangerous. She knows that he is brilliant, smart, and the most dangerous adversary anyone has faced. She knows that he will target those she loves if she gets too close solving the case.
It will be up to Caitlin, Joe Guthrie, Tomas Martinez, and Mary Shanklin to bring an end to the Prophet. What's curious about this story is that the terrifying serial killer at the heart of this book is inspired by the Zodiac Killer, the UNSUB who terrorized California’s Bay Area in the late 1960's before disappearing forever. For those who love authenticity, Gardiner hits it out of the ball part. She really puts the pieces of the puzzle together brilliantly, and one can definitely tell that she has had more than just a passing knowledge of police procedures and how things are done in California.
If you are a fan of TV shows like Criminal Minds, then you should pick up this book and read it. If you love heart pounding, action packed stories that grab your attention right out of the gate and holds it right to the end, then you definitely need to read this story. Caitlin is a character who is absolutely relatable. She is brilliant in a way that doesn't seem as though the author has created a hero who has eyes in the back of her head. She has an understanding for who she is dealing with. She is also human. She makes mistakes. She pushes herself a bit too much, and gets a bit overwhelmed at times. But, that's what I like about her the most. The human aspect that she can fight evil face to face, and still maintain a bit of humanity and feelings for those she is trying to help.
In future episodes, Caitlin will be joining the FBI as a profiler. I have already requested the sequel from the publisher. I look forward to seeing what Caitlin's journey brings to her in the future. I think this is one series that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for.