Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"UNSUB" Review - This Book Actually Gave Me Nightmares

TITLE: UNSUB (UNSUB #1)
AUTHOR: Meg Gardiner
PUBLISHER: Dutton
PUBLISHING DATE: June 27, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: 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?


MY THOUGHTS: 
I have to be honest and admit that "UNSUB" started out as a slow read for me. As it is pretty much action-packed throughout its entirety, it's a pretty safe bet that it was me and not the book. However, once I got into the book and past the first 100 pages, the only reason I was able to put the book down was because of prior obligations.

Caitlin Hendrix spent six months as a Narcotics investigator when a suspicious murder takes place in her hometown Bay Area. The murder scene mimics that of a unsolved serial killer's from 20 years ago which drove Caitlin's father, now a retired cop, off the deep end and ruined her family. This mystery continues to haunt Caitlin and her family and when the police believe the killer may in fact be the same person, known as the Mercury killer, Caitlin is bumped to the homicide department because of her prior connections.

I really liked Caitlin. She is greatly flawed and has the potential to become overly involved in the Mercury case due to its personal connections to her family and her father's demise as an officer. She has a very supportive boyfriend who works for the Feds and is best friends with his ex-wife. That in itself threw me but the relationships in the book really seem to work. The book had me guessing and I had no idea who the Mercury killer was until the book revealed it. I have to say the ending shocked me a tad. I knew this was the start of a new series but I figured each book would be Caitlin working on new cases. However, there is definitely a twist at the end and a cliffhanger that made me definitely want more.

I've not read any of Gardiner's previous works but can see me picking up more from her in the future. I'm also now anticipating the next book in this series. If you love mysteries and psychological thrillers, I don't think you could go wrong with "UNSUB." I also need to add that this book actually gave me nightmares. I've always said humans are much more scarier that many of the monsters I read about in horror tales and this book definitely supports my opinion.

I received this book from Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.


RATING: 4 PAWS
 

19 comments:

  1. I am impressed this affected you so -- I just found out about it myself, and it sounded amazing -- and now your review sealed it for me!

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    1. I think because it's about an actual person who is a monster vs. monster/evil entity it hit me harder. I don't usually get this affected so I'm sure it's a combination of the book/stress. The serial killer is utterly terrifying though.

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    2. Ohhhhh, now you have me even more curious!

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  2. I am really curious about this one and at least I know if it's not moving for me at the beginning to keep going. :)

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    1. It's probably not even slow in the beginning. I think it took me a while to get in the mindset of reading it. I don't think you'd have a problem at all.

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  3. I have so little patience, I don't know if I could hang in there. I'm sorry it gave you nightmares but am glad it hooked you!

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    1. Like I told Stormi, I think it was me and not the book. It really starts out action-packed.

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  4. I'm wanting to read this purely based on your reaction to it! I've read other books by this author but it's been some time. Thrilling review!

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    1. Hope you love it. I look forward to reading some more of her books.

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  5. I am always looking for a truly scary book, so I'm actually encouraged to learn this gave you nightmares. I love when books can keep you guessing until the end. Sounds like a good one. Thanks for the review!

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    1. It definitely keeps you guessing and I love some of the twists she threw in.

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  6. Wow, I'm super curious about this one. I'm going to keep my eye out for a copy. You are right - humans can be the scariest kind of monsters.

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    1. So sad but so true. I actually prefer my 4-legged friends to most humans.

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  7. I don't really read the crime horror kind of books but if this is unsettling, it could be my kind of read!

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    1. You might like it. If you ever see it on sale or cheap, I'd say grab it.

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  8. I don't read crime mysteries because they really scared me! then I spent YEARS obsessing about like when I read Jaycee Lee Dugard's book... Now I panic every time a car slows down near my children and would NEVER let them walk to school by themselves. School is like three blocks away and we drive them!

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    1. There's nothing wrong with being a protective mother.

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  9. I'll definitely have to check this book out. I haven't read a really scary book in awhile!

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  10. I loved this book! I am sorry that it started slow for you and gave you nightmares. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

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