Unsub by Meg Gardiner
This is a very good thriller from an author nobody seems to read. This is the start of a series and it sees Detective Caitlin Hendrix drawn into the case of a serial killer known as The Prophet. The infamous killer terrorized the city with ritual murder and cryptic messages in the 1990s before stopping for 20 years. Now The Prophet is back doing chill-inducing murders to add to his lasting infamy.
Caitlin’s father was the lead investigator on the case and was left a broken man by his failure to solve it. Caitlin has emotional volatility and the Prophet has moral deficiency. The city is in a perpetual state of fear due to the deeply troubling acts of the killer. The Prophet is a morally reprehensible mysterious unnerving cipher which makes it bizarre that 2/3 of the way into the book, Gardiner reveals the Prophet’s identity and motive.
This reveal shows that he is not quite horrid enough to be interesting or engaging without the mystique. There is a cliffhanger ending to set up the sequel. I’ll read that.
“Because he was angry she didn’t turn up for her own murder.”
“He drew maps of the entire neighborhood, with concealment spaces highlighted and escape routes plotted in detail. And with his goal inscribed in hard capital letters. PUNISHMENT.”
“Someone who didn’t arouse immediate distrust.”
“The play of the shadows in the wind was less than random.”
“Going to effect entry to the premises.”
“She was at his mercy, and knew he would show her none.”
“I feel kind of intimidated. This is like, microaggrssion.”
“All Hope Abandon, Ye Who Enter Here.”