In this satisfying psychological thriller inspired by the terrifying, never-solved, real-life “Zodiac” killings, the brisk pace never lets up and the twists keep coming till the very last line.
Twenty years ago, a diabolical serial killer, dubbed the “Prophet” for the poetic language in his cryptic messages, terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area. Lead detective Mack Hendrix was driven to a nervous breakdown over his obsession with the case, his failure to apprehend the killer, and the loss of his partner—the Prophet’s last victim. Now, the “UNSUB” (law enforcement shorthand for “unknown subject”) strikes again, apparently at random, leaving the Prophet’s signature Mercury symbols at the murder scene. Mack’s daughter, rookie narcotics officer Caitlin Hendrix, is immediately assigned to the homicide squad because of her connection with the case.
Caitlin is soon caught up in a race against time, determined to stop the Prophet—or his copycat—before he can kill again. At 29, Caitlin is tough, stubborn, yet empathetic, both confident and highly conscious of her junior status on the homicide team. As the body count rises, she struggles desperately not to fall prey to the killer’s intricate mind games or her own resurfacing personal demons. Aided by Deralynn Hobbs, a bubbly “casting-call PTA mom” who runs an online forum dedicated to the Prophet, and dogged by burnt-out local crime reporter Bart Fletcher (who may know more than he lets on), Caitlin pursues every lead. The murderer’s escalating game gets more and more personal, drawing ever closer to her and to those she loves. The clues reveal that the Prophet plans to stage a macabre “grand finale” over Easter weekend. Where, when, and how will he strike—and can he be stopped in time? Edgar award-winner Meg Gardiner’s crisp prose and sharply drawn, believable characters maintain the reader’s interest from the first page to the last.