UNSUB

UNSUB

by Meg Gardiner

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Overview

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner

2018 Barry Award Winner for Best Thriller

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101985540
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 106,273
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 7.47(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Meg Gardiner is the author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including China Lake, which won the Edgar Award. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, she lives in Austin, Texas.

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Excerpted from "UNSUB"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Meg Gardiner.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

New York Times bestselling author of The Nowhere Man - Gregg Hurwitz

'Sleep Destroyer' Meg Gardiner is up to her evil tricks again with UNSUB, a bracingly fresh serial-killer novel that hums like the third rail. It has all her trademarks—a complex, compelling heroine, a jet-fueled story, and elegant, crisp prose. I blasted through it in a single sitting last night and remain conscious today only due to espresso and the half-life buzz of reading adrenaline. An entrancing and stunning thriller!

New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel - Don Winslow

Like The Silence of the Lambs, this novel scared the hell out of me. I dare you to try putting it down The UNSUB, or unknown subject, at the heart of Meg Gardiner's thriller is terrifying.

Customer Reviews

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UNSUB 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down!! Can't wait for the next book to come out in January, it is a must read.
AmberK1120 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most brilliant psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. So many twists and turns, so many clues right in front of my face that I never even saw. . . Read it.
Samantha1020 More than 1 year ago
I requested this one from the library after hearing so many good things about this author and this series. It had been on my radar but it was the comparison to Criminal Minds (a television show I enjoy) that bumped this one to the top of my TBR list. I can honestly say that this book was just as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be! From the very beginning, Caitlin is pulled into the hunt for a serial killer - the same one that her father was hunting when she was a young girl. This book starts off fast paced and that pace doesn't stop until the very last page. Like I was seriously reading so fast that there were times that I had to go back and reread. There was this constant layer of fear and tension that the author created in this book. It had me unable to put this book down as I just needed to see how it would all end. It was intense, dark, and twisted - just everything that I enjoy from a good thriller. I really enjoyed how while reading this book I never knew what going to happen next. I was just along for the ride and I enjoyed every minute of it! It's funny because this author has been on my radar for awhile now but I'm just now finally giving her books a try. This was a great book to start with and has me really excited for the next book in this series! I really don't want to give you too many details as this is a book to experience for yourself. I'll leave you with a READ THIS BOOK recommendation! Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and am super excited about this series. I almost brought the second book home from the library with me the other day but I wasn't ready to be completely caught up with this series yet. I'm so weird like that. I don't think that I'll be able to hold out for very long though since I enjoyed this first book so much! I can't say enough good things about this book though which should tell you how much I enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers and mysteries. Be warned that it is dark and if that isn't your type of read, you might want to pass on this one. This is exactly the type of book I enjoy though so I couldn't get enough of it! I love when I find a book that I can't put down and has me unable to stop reading. I also adore when that same book gives me creepy vibes as well. I would highly recommend this one for just those reasons alone! Bottom Line: A tense and thrilling read that I couldn't get enough of! Disclosure: I read this book courtesy of my local public library!
Carmen Rivera-Morgan More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!! If you are looking to read something that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this is the book! My first time reading this author and she is amazing, i cant wait to read more of her books!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book. Bit of a slow start but picked up toward the middle. Good start for a series but expect future books to be more engaging from the start since characters are already developed to a point. Plan to read next one but not immediately since it didn't set me on fire. Stephanie Clanahan
thebookishlibra More than 1 year ago
Meg Gardiner’s UNSUB was my first read of 2018 and I have to say I don’t think I could have possibly picked a better book to start with. UNSUB is a riveting serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last, and not only that, but it will also have you screaming for the next book in the series because it ends with a cliffhanger that will blow your mind.
SPCarr More than 1 year ago
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner is an intense fast paced thriller about the decades’ pursuit of a serial killer. Opening with a flashback of Mack Hendrix and his partner in close pursuit of the killer. The novel jumps to the present day with Mack retired and suffering from PTSD with the mantle of law enforcement now being carried by his daughter Caitlin. Caitlin catches a murder case with a calling card all too familiar and personal to her. She finds herself and colleagues in pursuit from one bloody crime scene to the next unraveling the cryptic clues of a killer known as ‘The Prophet’. A serial killer who has already brought her father to the edge of his own sanity during his own obsessive pursuit. Ms. Gardiner’s novel is a non-stop thrill ride through the mind of a sadistic serial killer and those who become obsessed with catching him. The novel grabs you from page one and never let’s go; giving the reader little time to catch their breath. Gardiner excels at the pacing and creates vivid, horrifying scenes. An author who isn’t afraid to kill her darlings, Gardiner is THAT good in her latest offering and her fans as well as newcomers should be more that satisfied with ‘UNSUB’.
Joe-L More than 1 year ago
Amazing read. I couldn't put it down. Great accurate details. You can tell the author did the research necessary to write such a compelling story.
SUEHAV More than 1 year ago
Good premise but I'm not a fan of books that leave you hanging for the next book.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this one. I have never read anything written by Meg Gardiner before picking up this book but after reading the description, I knew that I would have to give this book a shot. I am very glad that I did. The books opens with a lot of excitement so I was immediately hooked. There was never a moment where I felt like I wanted to put this book down even though I had to every once in a while due to various responsibilities including my job and other such boring things. This was one of those stories that really got into my head and didn't let go until I got to the last page. The Prophet killed one person after another, sometimes more than one at a time, before suddenly stopping over twenty years ago. He was never caught and he killed his victims in different ways so that it was hard for the police to get ahead of him. Mack Hendrix was one of those detectives tasked with catching this ruthless serial killer. He was never able to catch the murderer and the case ended up destroying his life. Caitlin, Mack's daughter, became a detective even after everything her father has went through. She has worked in narcotics but as soon as a murder occurs similar to that of the Prophet, she gets a call. Is it a copycat or could the Prophet be back? She is highly motivated to catch this killer but also fears losing herself in the case as her father did. I really liked the characters in this one. They just all felt really authentic to me. Caitlin seemed like she really cared about her job but she worked hard to have a life outside of it. I really felt that all of her emotions during the case were very well done. Sean was amazing. He knew exactly how to be supportive without being overbearing. I thought that Sean and Caitlin were wonderful together. The secondary characters were equally well done. I thought that the mystery was exciting and pretty complex. This wasn't one of those books where you figure out what is going on early on. I don't think I ever figured anything out before the author wanted me to but I never stopped trying. All of the descriptions in the story really helped bring the story to life. I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. This story does involve a serial killer so there are a few more graphic scenes as you would expect in this kind of story. I am really looking forward to future book in this series. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group Viking - Dutton Books via First to Read.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner is a very highly recommended psychological thriller/police procedural. An UNSUB is what the FBI calls an unknown subject. Between 1993 and 1998 anyone who lived in the Bay Area knew about the UNSUB called the Prophet. The Prophet terrorized the area and was responsible for eleven ritualistic murders, all unsolved. Caitlin Hendrix understands the terror and harm the Prophet caused because her father, Mack Hendrix, was the lead investigator on the case. The case nearly destroyed him while tearing her family apart. Twenty years later Caitlin is a detective on the Narcotics Task Force. When two bodies are found bearing the signature of the Prophet, the sign for Mercury on their bodies, it appears that the Prophet is back, or a copycat, and the killings are going to begin again. Caitlin asks and is reassigned to Homicide where they are hopeful that she can convince her father to share some of his knowledge and insight about the previous cases. As the body count rises along with fear and tension, the Prophet leaves horrifying videos and cryptic written clues. Soon he begins to target Caitlin UNSUB feature extremely well-developed characters set in a fast paced, complex, riveting plot. Gardiner takes care to set the scene and establish her characters right away; then the action takes off and the tension steadily rises. Caitlin is a compelling, well rounded character and it will be exciting to see her return in another case. (And there will be a sequel, Into the Black Nowhere.) I'll be looking forward to the next case Caitlin is assigned. Additionally, I was impressed with the skillful way Gardiner presented her complicated plot and the clues that needed to be deciphered in order to stop the murders and figure out who is the Prophet. The Prophet is intelligent and utterly evil, resulting in a gripping thriller with a terrifying killer. (The infamous Zodiac killer was the inspiration for the novel, so it is dark and disturbing.) But he is up against the intelligence and sheer determination of Caitlin, and she is a clever, serious adversary. All in all, UNSUB is a perfect summer vacation thriller. This is definitely a stuck-over-night-at-the-airport book that will keep you awake and hold your complete attention - only you'll want to be in a well lite area, maybe near security. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Wow, intense, gripping, and unputdownable. Did you ever think you could go hours with goosebumps? Well, with this book you can. The serial killer that drove Caitlin Hendrix's father mad is back, twenty years later. Now, Caitlin is on the team that is determined once and for all to get rid of "The Prophet". His crimes, victims and killing techniques are all over the place. This time he is out for vengeance and on a mission, he's not stopping this time. The first in a series that has Caitlin Hendrix looking for the one her father "could not put away". I really liked this new character and seriously look forward to reading more in the series. Caitlin with her analytical skills and ability to solve puzzles really made me want to keep on reading. And I want to keep on reading with any future books in the series. Thanks to Penguin Group Dutton for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Mercury, the Prophet, the Messenger is a serial killer. He’s been silent since the 1990s but now has returned in malicious, blood-curdling ways. His first killing in years is a double homicide, accompanied by his message pounded into his victims’ chests. UNSUB stands for unknown subject. Detective Caitlin Hendrix cannot believe he has returned and is obsessed with finding him. Her problem is that this killer is responsible for undoing her own father’s sanity and yet her father is probably the one who truly knows the psyche of this killer. But insisting he unload all he holds in his mind may enable them to find the killer but destroy her father in the process. His partner had died in that investigation years ago and he had tried to kill himself. This is obviously no mundane, predictable killer! Clues begin to make sense, as more deaths occur and the killer sets his sights on Caitlin. Caitlin seems like a vulnerable woman instead of an intrepid detective. Her anxiety and fear of getting sucked into the power and control of this killer keeps the reader on edge as much as the grisly details of the killings set the reader’s psyche on shaky ground. The plot’s intensity increases as Caitlin and other detectives figure out the time and even place where the next killing will occur but something always goes awry so they fail to nail the psychopathic killer. The Prophet has some kind of affinity to the poet Dante and his famous work, The Inferno. However, even knowing that doesn’t enable the reader to predict what the killer is thinking, feeling and how he will next act. This is a superb psychological thriller that forces readers’ adrenaline to flow galore. The twist at the end of the story makes one gasp with shock, an ending that guarantees a sequel to this novel. Deftly plotted, Meg Gardiner! We look forward to the follow-up to this amazing crime novel!
booklover- More than 1 year ago
The Prophet terrorized the Bay Area 20 years ago. He left 11 victims behind each killed in a horrific way ... and then he disappeared. Caitlin Hendrix is a new Narcotics Detective when The Prophet seems to reappear. This is the monster she has nightmares about. Her father, Mack, was the lead detective when The Prophet was first known. Mack almost lost his sanity over his failure to catch this guy .... his partner was killed ... and Mack tried to kill himself. Now Caitlin must face her biggest fear. Two bodies are found, each bearing the same injuries as his earlier victims. The bodies are mutilated and he sends notes ... the only clues he leaves for the police. Although her father tries to warn her as she draws closer to the killer with each new killing. 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? (from book synopsis) Excellent psychological thriller! Kept me glued from the very first page to the explosive sending. I have read a few of this author's earlier books ... she has really mastered her craft. The characters are credible and I really enjoyed the relationship between Caitlin and her father.... and the relationship between Caitlin, her FBI boyfriend, Sean, Sean's ex-wife and daughter. Another book featuring Caitlin Hendrix will be out sometime next year. INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE. I will be watching for it ... will you? Many thanks to the author / PENGUIN GROUP Dutton / Netgalley for the digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very violent and disturbing with unnecessary graphic descriptions. It seemed like the author was trying to outdo herself and as a result it was just a cheap thriller. It was simply torture to read with no character development to balance all the gore. The only reason I finished it was that I needed sonething to read in the car and didnt have a chance to get to the library. Ive read one other book by the author which was really good so this was surprisingly awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book it was great as all her books are!