UNSUB – Review

“She buried her face in his chest, but the photos howled and clawed. She sobbed, clutching him, feeling him shake. The work of the killer everywhere. Mercury, the messenger. The Prophet.”

The mystery of who the serial killer known as The Prophet has haunted Caitlin Hendrix from her childhood. Her father was lead detective on the case while she was growing up, and Caitlin watched first hand as the case consumed him, threatening to destroy him as the deaths mounted with no major leads or breaks. And then he vanished. The killings stopped and the killer disappeared without a trace. A cold case, frozen in time but never forgotten.

Now a narcotics detective, Caitlin is called to the scene of a crime. A murder, with all the markers of a nightmare returned. This time it’s Caitlin on the trail of the killer. It seems that’s exactly what The Prophet wants though. Running out of time, Caitlin ignores warnings from everyone around her, determined to finally end the rampage this killer has subjected the city to. But what if that’s exactly what The Prophet wants?

“He had come straight from the crime scene to deliver his message. He’d had the note prepared well in advance. He was moving like a machine. Hungry, relentless, eager for attention.”

There is a ton to like in this book, outside of the gruesome murders, obviously. The sequel is already out, though we haven’t read it yet, but Gardiner has already planted seeds for not just the next major plot to drive forward, but for smaller details about Caitlin and her life before we meet her, to develop.

These little mysteries don’t take away from the plot, or the reading. Rather, they intrigue the reader. They offer the breadcrumbs of a relationship moving from acquaintance to friendship. Caitlin isn’t ready to reveal the secrets of her past, but we know she will if given enough time. It lets us know that there’s much more to the story. I really enjoyed that the focus isn’t as much on Caitlin as it is on the hunt for the killer.

“Her ink was reclamation. But tonight the scars seemed to sting.”

This book is insane! A non-stop ride that will have you clutching anything in your grasp and holding your breath the entire time. Gardiner weaves an intense plot, bringing to life the desperation, panic, and helplessness investigators can feel when dealing with a killer on a scale like The Prophet. Each clue is carefully written with enough deception to throw off all assumptions and guesses. We read this book on our Instagram #awesomeAFbuddyread group, and none of us came close to guessing the ending.

Speaking of endings, I loved how this book ends! It is satisfying and yet leaves an urgency to start the next book right away. Honestly, I couldn’t even think of a better way to unravel the plot twists and lead into continuing the series than the way it unfolded. I can say, you will suspect EVERYBODY! I know, that’s a thing people say, but seriously, no one was beyond the scope of suspicion in this book.

“Her skin prickled, an adrenaline spike. She closed her eyes. That feeling, at her desk, was a ticket to rage and an ulcer.”

UNSUB is a perfect book for anyone who loves thrillers, police procedurals, and anything suspense. It will have you hooked and keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing is sharp, the plot is sharp. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the investigation with Caitlin. You’ll feel the pressure, the stress, the fear. Be ready for the next book, because you will want more. Immediately.

This was the third book in our reading group, and once again, it was fantastic to enjoy and chat about. We’re reading Dark Matter this month, and hope you’ll join us! Come on over to Instagram, and follow me (@jenabrownwrites) along with my fellow hosts: Jenn (@jennsbookvibes) Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews) and Amber (@amberk1120).

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