“Into The Black Nowhere” by Meg Gardiner has such an intense plot that the light should be on when reading this. It is a testament to her writing that she can have a dark, action-packed plot without the gory details and still grab readers from page one. This novel delves into the minds of a serial killer and those in law enforcement who pursue them. In this second book of the series the psychopath mirrors the real-like killers Ted Bundy with a little of Dennis Rader.
Her descriptive scenes allow for Gardiner to “have a touch of blood going a long way. Readers’ imaginations are much more powerful than what I could put on a page. All I do is suggest and then people’s fears take it from there. It is a creepy idea that people are just here and then are gone. There are still victims of Ted Bundy that have not been found. I read about recent cases around the country where people have just vanished. Imagine, even with forensics, surveillance, and drones it is still possible for people to disappear.”
The premise of the story is that people can vanish without a trace. The book opens with a gripping scene in which the killer is holding an infant on his lap. He lures the new mother to him and is able to abduct her. She is not the first victim but actually the fifth. The local police enlist the help of Caitlin Hendrix, a former narcotics detective who had a knack for tracking killers, and is now a rookie FBI agent assigned to the elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. She and her colleagues, Brianne Rainey and C. J. Emmerich are called in to find this perpetrator. All the victims vanish on Saturday nights, one from a movie theatre, another from her car, and others from a salon, a college campus, and a café. What Caitlin must do is get inside the mind of this psychopath to figure out his selection process. The FBI is desperately searching for him before he can kill again.
The reason for Ted Bundy, “I wanted to show how he was someone on the outside who every mother would want for their daughter. He was so good at camouflaging himself and was able to slip through the cracks. Kyle is hiding in plain sight similar to what Ted Bundy did. Both passed themselves off to the world at large as clean-cut American guys who were bright, had a big future ahead, charming, who knows how to easily gain people’s trust. I wanted to show how these monsters wear the mask of sanity because they look normal. They take advantage of that to have people let down their guard.”
This is a gripping novel that concentrates on the pathological ways of a serial killer. It is informative, action-packed, and has well-developed characters.