Into the Black Nowhere

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

This is the second book in Meg Gardiner's UNSUB series. I heard great things about the debut novel of this new series and was thrilled to get permission to review "Into The Black Nowhere". Our Main character is FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix. She has recently been assigned to the behavioral unit. In the small town of Solace, Texas the FBI have discovered two women's bodies staged and surrounded by polaroids. There are missing women who are unaccounted for and the profilers are sure they have a serial killer on their hands. When they zero in on a suspect, what they find is a cunningly smart, manipulative man who can win the trust of women too fast for their own good. The FBI's behavioral Analysis Unit will have to work day and night just to keep up with this killer.

Meg Gardiner uses the real serial killers for her inspired characters. "Into The Black Nowhere" was inspired by Ted Bundy.  Bundy is well known to be both deadly and smooth. He used his charm and good looks to lull women into a sense of security.  This allowed him to get closer to them, making his victims vulnerable to his predation. If a serial killer blends seamlessly into the society to which they belong, every person becomes a potential victim because we just don't see them coming.

There is spectacular character development in this book, I love how Caitlin is strong, smart but also human and flawed. The pace of the book is perfect, I felt like I was right with the characters. The story never lags but also isn't rushed so you feel like you're dropping clues because of the pace. Gardiner shows she's an expert at writing.

If you love shows like Criminal Minds and are riveted the psychological manipulations of psychopaths then don't miss this book. I will definitely be going back and reading the first in this series, "UNSUB". "Into The Black Nowhere" was a spectacular read, Meg Gardiner has outdone herself and I can't wait to read number three.
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I didn't read the first in the series (UNSUB), but was able to follow along easily.

This book was like watching an episode of Criminal Minds, only a whole lot better. The characters are strong, the thrilling aspect of the hunt for the killer compelling. This is definitely more of a thriller than a mystery (the dunit is pretty obvious), but the how and why delves deep into the psychology of crime. FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix is a strong, likable main character, which makes this book shine.

Very different from Gardiner's previous novels, yet with the great pacing she brings in all her books. I hope this series continues...

**NetGalley copy provided for review**
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UNSUB #2 is the FBI term for an unknown subject of a criminal investigation.  Meg Gardiner is a master of crime drama, clue finding and intense character development.  Amazing story of a serial killer with the FBI investigators on his trail.  Reading this makes me want to read the first in the series but i got along fine with the plot and characters so Into the Black Nowhere stands alone nicely.  Caitlin Hendrix follows the trail of a serial killer with the expertise that makes for a great book.  Ends are tied up by the last page but a tale is dangled to lead into the next installment.  Great author that will join my must read list.  "A copy of this book was provided by PENGUIN GROUP Dutton via Netgalley with no requirements for a review.  Comments here are my honest opinion."
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This is the second book by Gardiner featuring FBI profiler, Caitlin Hendrix. Caitlin and her crew are called to Texas where there have been a series of young women who have disappeared.  Why have they disappeared without a trace from such unlikely places as the concession stand at a movie theater and waiting for a passing train? Are there other victims? Is there a serial killer on the loose?

Although the ending may have been just a bit over the top, in all it was a thrilling read and I could not put it down.  I thought there was good insight into suspect profiling along with realistic characters and solid plot development.  

I did not read the first Caitlin Hendrix book and although I do not feel that it is necessary before reading this one, I am now going to go back and read it.  Looking forward to the next in this series……
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***CRACK***

That is the sound of Meg Gardiner hitting it out of the ball park once again!!!! She has delivered another well-written, edge of your seat, page turning book that gets your heart beating and one's pulse elevated

FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix, who we first met in UNSUB, is now facing off against another serial killer. In Southern Texas, women are going missing from various locations. Caitlin and the FBI discover two women's bodies in the woods after receiving a phone call from a woman whose dog has come home carrying a bloody piece of clothing.  Both women's bodies have been staged and are wearing white nightgowns surrounded by Polaroid pictures.  

To find the serial killer, Caitlin must bet into his mind but by doing so, is she also letting him into her mind as well?  After a phone tip, Caitlin believes she has a suspect, but this individual brings her to the attention of another person of interest. A person so arrogant, so intelligent, so cunning, so crafty that Caitlin and the rest of the Behavioral Analysis Unit will have to dedicate every waking hour to trailing and bringing down this killer.  But will they be able to stop a man who always seems to be step ahead of them?

This book, just like its predecessor UNSUB, had me at page one and did not let go. Caitlin continues to be a strong female lead who will not stop when it comes to bringing criminals to justice.  She is dedicated to her job and in this book, we also see her trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Sean, who is also an agent who specializes in bombs and works on the opposite coast.

One thing I really like about Gardiner's books is that her characters are strong yet flawed.  She also can present the investigation in an interesting and intelligent manner. Her plots are very well thought out, and the pacing of the story is spot on. Nothing feels rushed nor drawn out in this book. There was never a point, where I felt bored and wished the story would hurry along. Having worked with serial killers, I will say that I am very impressed with her portrayal of them in her books. 

I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I want to know what exactly was going on the night Caitlin called her friend and she was with Sean...hmmmmm...yes, they have history but why didn't she come right out and say, "Sean and I are having drinks" made things a little suspicious. Looking forward to learning who is safe in book 3, more character development, will Caitlin and Sean work a case together in the next book??????  I have no idea, but I can't wait to find out. 

**the killer in this book was inspired by Ted Bundy.  I wonder who the inspiration will be for her next killer?
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They go out and they don't return.  Cameras catch them walking around a corner or down an alley but they're not seen again until their bodies are found.  The bodies are posed and there are Polaroid pictures of them as they slowly die.  This unsub is dangerous, crazy and deadly.  But they can't get a picture of him...

Dutton and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 30th.

This is a chilling story.  The suspect is picking pretty blonde girls in their twenties.  He rapes them and cuts them.  They know he's full of anger but why?

As they weed through the past and try to connect the dots, they find there's no direct tie to the killer.  Then someone informs them of a man who sent her threats when she was going to college.  It's the jump start they need but they don't realize how smart he is.

Even when he's jailed he's the best prisoner ever and manages to escape and then the body count picks up even more.  They are scared enough about the damage he's doing and working hard on finding him when they realize he has an accomplice...

The whole story is full of tension and the potential of death.  The killer wants to kill whole families to get even for the past.  Even cop secrets are being found out.  The author made me worry about the female FBI agent because she has a weak spot and he found it.  Was she going to die too?

Once I started reading, I didn't stop.  If you want to take a walk on the dark side, this book will take you there.
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I love this series!  The first book, Unsub, is definitely a necessary read before you pick up this one.  I enjoyed the character development that continued in this book, and the hints connecting the situation at the end of the first book in the series, and the upcoming third book.  Even though we figure out who the "bad guy" is in this book fairly early on, it's still a suspenseful read with plenty of twists and turns.
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Meg Gardiner makes an interesting choice with her follow-up to Unsub, the first book in a new series, published in 2017. Although Into the Black Nowhere follows that earlier book chronologically, it does not directly pursue an unresolved thread from the end of it.

Since her experiences with the Zodiak-like killer known as the Prophet, former Alameda police detective Caitlin Hendrix has joined the Crimes Against Adults division of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit—in a very short period she has risen from rookie detective to rookie Special Agent. 

One of her first field cases involves a series of disappearances in the small town of Solace in Central Texas. Five women have been reported missing on Saturday nights over a six month period, taken without a struggle often from public venues. This UNSUB must have a way of charming his victims without raising alarms. The pace is accelerating, so the FBI is summoned. Shortly after they arrive, the first body is found, suggestively dressed and posed, together with evidence of the magnitude of this killer's spree. Not to mention evidence revealing of his psychological pathology.

Gardiner, who lives in Austin, makes good use of her knowledge of that region of Texas, delving into the small town politics and relationships that might provide the FBI with the evidence they need to identify the killer. Caitlin's profile—in unison with a helpful tip—points her in the direction of one man, although there's no hard evidence against him. 

She and her colleagues decide to pressure their prime suspect, a character inspired by Ted Bundy, through the use of overt surveillance, which flirts with harassment. Per the profile, this suspect, no longer unknown, won't file a complaint because he thinks he's smarter than the authorities. The pressure to kill builds within him, though, so he takes a calculated risk to satisfy his needs, but the FBI is one step ahead, or so they think. Just when they have him within their grip, he pulls off a daring escape and leads Caitlin and the others on a cross-country chase. The bodies of those who have worked against the killer pile up.

The shadow of the Ghost, the one who got away from the Prophet case, who may still be plotting against her, lingers in the background throughout the novel. Caitlin is also dealing with a long-distance relationship with boyfriend Sean Rawlins, who works for the ATF in San Francisco, where he remains in close proximity with his ex-wife, with whom he shares a daughter. His work is dangerous—there's a serial bomber at work—but Caitlin has to keep her head in the game because her nemesis is cagey and resourceful, and he may have allies as well, so she can't allow herself to be distracted by domestic issues.

This is another solid serial killer novel that explores the type of profiling that will be familiar to viewers of Criminal Minds, although this team flies on domestic airlines instead of on a dedicated Lear jet. The psychological profiling is well-researched and utilized in the story, both in assembling the events that created this twisted killer but in creating the character of Caitlin, too, who has her own psychological baggage to mine. Her life is personally at risk in this case because she has dared to challenge a lunatic with delusions of grandeur and murderous intent.
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Meg Gardiner, Meg Gardiner, Meg Gardiner...you SLAY me! Reading UNSUB a month or two ago just blew me away, and here you are again, with another heart-pounding, completely riveting novel featuring FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix. What an amazing series this is turning out to be!!

In a little town called Solace, Texas, women are literally disappearing on Saturday nights. One moment they're there—on a concession line at a movie theater, in a mall parking lot, in their car stopped at a railroad crossing, even at home with their baby—and the next second, they're gone. There are no signs of struggle. Did these women go willingly?

Caitlin Hendrix, a rookie FBI agent recently assigned to the agency's Behavioral Analysis Unit, heads to Texas to help determine whether there's a serial killer preying on women in this town just outside Austin. When they find their first bodies, they discover a disturbing, gruesome sight—the women, both blonde, have been meticulously laid out in white, baby-doll nightgowns, with full makeup. Their wrists are slashed and they lay face up, almost like sleeping princesses, and their bodies are surrounded by Polaroid pictures of other victims yet to be found, posed in the same way.

As she and her colleagues try to make sense of just what kind of person would be the mastermind behind such a crime spree, the killer strikes again, outside of Solace, in order to throw the FBI off his trail. But with the help of a tip from a woman who has lived most of her life in fear, they find their man—a handsome, charismatic businessman who can gain a woman's trust in a split second, and isn't afraid to depend on a little subterfuge if necessary. He immediately identifies Caitlin's own demons, and tries to use them against her in an effort to disarm her.

The FBI finds themselves in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse once the killer uses his intellect and charm to make a fool of them. From Wyoming to Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest, Caitlin and her colleagues try to gain the upper hand on this man before he kills again—and try to figure out just how he's able to get the information and advantages he needs. It's a race that could prove deadly to more than his usual victims, and one which could put Caitlin's mental state at risk as well.

This book, much like the first in this series, had me from page 1 and left me breathless until the very end. Gardiner is so skilled at giving you just enough evidence but leaving you in the same place as the FBI, so you aren't frustrated by knowing more than the crime fighters do. There are some terrific action scenes in this book, worthy of the best thrillers, and Gardiner also pays close attention to character development.

In UNSUB, more attention was paid to Caitlin's relationship with ATF agent Sean Rawlins, and I like the interaction between the two of them. I missed that in this book, although clearly there are some plot points which I guess are setting up the third book in the series. (Plus, Gardiner makes Sean sound seriously sexy, so that's always a welcome distraction from the profiling work, lol!)

This is truly one of the best series I've read in some time, and I will breathlessly await the next book in the series, even though my wait will be a little longer than it was between books 1 and 2! Into the Black Nowhere is just excellent. You can't go wrong with these books!!

NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!
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The second of Gardiner’s UNSUB series. Fast, dark, and thrilling FBI procedural. I’ll be going back to her other novels for sure.
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I couldn't put this book down. I was worried it would be too much like the first one and that the series would become predictable. I could not have been more wrong! This story is paced differently than the first, but that's a good thing! I cannot wait for the next installment!
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I am a huge Meg Gardiner fan and always have high expectations for the plot and dialogue in her books.  This book meets all the criteria and is terrific.  The characters are strong and many twists hold your interest.  For any fan of intrigue or romantic suspense.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.

I had read the first novel at the recommendation of a friend and it didn’t disappoint. I was inspired by that to see where this went and what the author decided to follow up with. I wasn’t disappointed this time either. Inspired by Bundy was interesting and I can see some of the parallels via a loose inspiration outline but in reality I was reminded somewhat, also, of The Zodiac Killer incidents at times too. Without wanting to spoil much I didn’t let the middle of the book dampen anything and still found myself wanting another book in the series.
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Unsub by Meg Gardiner was one of my favorite books of 2017, and absolutely my favorite thriller of the year, so I was understandably looking forward to Into the Black Nowhere a great deal. While the second book in the series didn’t have me frantically turning pages the way Unsub did, it is an incredibly solid second book in the series, and does an excellent job setting this up as a series versus a standalone first book or a duology. 

This book picks up with enough time having passed after the events of Unsub that Caitlin Hendrix is now working for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Her team is called to Texas where women have been disappearing at an alarming rate. At about the halfway point of this book, I was starting to get curious about how the author was going to continue the story through the second half as I felt like the storyline was wrapping up. Without providing too many details (because the fun of a thriller is not knowing what happens!), the book only picked up from there. While I thought Caitlin had been pretty well developed in Unsub (considering the fast paced plot), Into the Black Nowhere has a pace that slows down enough to let readers get inside Caitlin’s head a little bit more. 

The pacing of this book is not as frenetic as that of Unsub, but by no means is it a slow story. The ending leaves readers certain there’s more to come in Caitlin’s story, and I think that if Meg Gardiner can continue with what she has done so far with these books, this could be a series that has longevity and can maintain an audience. I will be anxiously awaiting the next.
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I loved the first book in Meg Gardiner's UNSUB series, and was so excited to read the second. It did not disappoint... so many twists, turns, and intrigue. Rooting for Caitlin the entire time as she tries to balance work, catch a psychopath, and a her long-distance relationship with Sean. I loved that the mystery unraveled the way it did -- never quite figuring out the entire story until it smacked you in the face (like it did to Caitlin). A wonderful read -- could not put it down. Hope there's many more UNSUB stories to tell.
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I can do nothing but praise this wonderful thriller, the second from Meg Gardner in this series.  She manages to take what could have been a routine story and make it edge-of-the-seat thrilling, leaving the reader in suspense, especially in the last part of the book when I literally did not know how it would end (despite it being only the second in a series - usually a tipoff).  But Gardner goes even further by giving the characters depth and shape rarely found in this genre.  This is a tour-de-force, and I cannot wait to read her next effort.
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This book actually had me holding my breath, not knowing which way it would end.Ms Gardiner has written another wonderful thriller. The story kept building momentum all the way to the end. I hope she will continue with this series as the ending suggests.
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Review: INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE  by Meg Gardiner
(UNSUB #2)

In this second mystery in Meg Gardiner' s new (2017) series, Caitlin Hendrix, former Alameda County, California, Sheriff's Detective,  is fresh from both victory and tragedy, and the continuing  identify puzzle still disturbs her. At the end of UNSUB, she was instrumental in wrapping up the long-standing case which had trapped and ruined her father, Detective Mack Hendrix. Yet the puzzle remained of an additional, unidentified, killer--the late Prophet's protege. 

Tapped for the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, Caitlin is assigned to a new serial abduction case in Texas. As the Prophet in UNSUB bore overtones of San Francisco's Zodiac Killer, the killer in INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE has resemblances to that smooth, charmingly charismatic, vicious killer Ted Bundy. Readers seeking a skin-crawling villain will find that chillingly done right here. Killers who are upfront are bad enough; but those who can charm, who are emotional illusionists, are far more dangerous, because nearly invisible until it's too late for the prey.
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In Into the Black Nowhere, Meg Gardiner brings us a killer inspired by none other than Ted Bundy.  He’s suave, he’s charming, he’s clever…and he’s got absolutely no conscience.

This is a roller coaster ride of a thriller.  The body count is high and it’s devastating – at times, even heart breaking.    Caitlin, our FBI agent, is determined, smart, and damaged.  And facing off against our perverse killer just may damage her even more.   I loved Caitlin and even I found myself charmed by our killer.  It was far too easy to see how he managed to take his victims.

While the search for our killer is fascinating, what happens after that is a real knuckle biting, popcorn chomping read.  You simply won’t want to look away from the page.

An immensely satisfying thriller that I simply loved!

*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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