October 21, 2009
Abandoned by Cody McFadyen
2009 Bantam Books
Finished on 9/30/09
Rating: 4.5/5 (Terrific!)
This title will be released on October 27, 2009
He doesn’t kill for thrills, for sex, or even for power.
It’s far more twisted than that….
Cody McFadyen, acclaimed author of The Darker Side, The Face of Death, and Shadow Man, delivers this shocking new thriller that brings to light a psychopath unlike any we’ve ever seen—a killer who thrives in absolute darkness and doesn’t derive pleasure from the kill. And only one woman has the ability to see him coming…even if it’s already too late to stop her own murder.
For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.
No one knows who she is or where she’s come from—or why she’s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years—that once she was someone’s wife, someone’s mother…and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn’t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.
Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he’s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim’s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads—a professional psychopath who doesn’t take murder personally and never makes a mistake.
There’s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.
I've read all of McFadyen's backlist (so nice to get in early on a fairly new series) and I have to say this is his best! Shadow Man was a favorite in 2006 and The Darker Side and The Face of Death both made my Top Ten for 2008. And Abandoned will most certainly make my 2009 list. I could not put this thriller down!
As I've said in previous reviews, I find it oddly disturbing to enjoy reading about a serial killer, and yet I can't stop reading these intensely compelling mysteries. Smokey Barrett is one tough character and I love to watch how she and her team slowly unravel the tightly woven threads that make up the case of yet another twisted mind. I was actually relieved that McFadyen toned down the grittiness of this fourth installment without forfeiting the realism and strong impact of the story. Certain scenes still had me cringing with fear and horror, but when he could have spelled out the details of specific acts, the author chose to leave those behind the scenes. All the worse for someone with a vivid imagination!
I was completely satisfied with the final outcome of the case and applaud Cody for another awesome book! I look forward to handselling Abandoned this holiday season. For those who love a gritty thriller, I can't think of a better series. What a nice bundle of books all four titles would make for a mystery/thriller reader on your Christmas list.
Click on the titles below to read my reviews for the others in this series (listed in order of publication):
The Face of Death
The Darker Side