Gardiner, Meg. “Unsub: A Novel, Dutton, 2017.
Caitlyn Hendrix, Detective
“Unsub” is the first book in a new series about detective Caitlin Hendrix. We meet her as she is hunting down a ruthless, cunning serial killer known as “The Prophet.” The book is inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer and we meet the new, young detective determined to find the serial murderer that destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years before. Hendrix has only been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer who caused her to have nightmares as a kid reemerges. The Prophet is classified as an unsub or an unknown subject by the FBI. He terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed Hendrix’s father who had been the lead investigator on the case.
Back then, The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and he failed to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh. It was the case that ultimately ended a once promising career.
Now, twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never been able to escape the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. Now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her thereby threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly has kept up for her own protection.
Hendrix is determined to decode the Prophet’s messages and end his career as a criminal even though her father has warned her to stay away from the case. She soon finds herself getting closer to the killer with each murder although she is not sure in the killer is the Prophet or an imitator. To say anymore about the plot would ruin the thrilling read that keeps you glued to your chair and turning pages as quickly as possible.
Author Meg Gardiner is superb at developing characters and I understand that this is true of every book she has written. This is my first Gardiner read but I will be reading the others now that I see what a fine writer she is. The book immediately pulls in the reader in and if you are like me, you will read the book in one sitting. Everything about this book is wonderful ant that includes the crisp prose and the suspense of the plot.