Shadow Heart

Unsub Book 4

Meg Gardiner

Blackstone Pub

June 18th, 2024

Shadow Heart by Meg Gardiner is the fourth in the series.  As with the other books there is an overriding arc about a bomber and the individual case involves a serial killer.

“It started when I read a real-life case. All the Unsub books have a kernel of a case that I drew upon for authenticity.  In this case there was a convicted killer, Samuel Little, who started drawing sketches of women and told his jailer that these were people he killed. He was convicted of murder, but the sketches were of people he had killed across the country. A lot of times nobody knew these people were missing. From there the ‘what if’ took over in my mind.”

The book starts off with Efrem Judah Goode convicted of killing four people in Tennessee, but he insists that he is innocent. Now he is drawing haunting portraits of his real victims. There appears to be a copycat that is getting clues from his pictures.  To stop the killings, Caitlin needs to find the connection between Goode and this new killer. This copycat killer nicknamed the Broken Heart Killer is killing people in the same locations that Goode left his victims back in 2008. 

“Goode is bad. He is confident, bold, manipulative, a narcissist, sly, controlling, and he likes to improvise. Caitlin assumes them to be a copycat, but they turn out to be much more. They are methodical, orderly, well informed, patient, tactical, likes to dominate, reckless, ruthless, and devious.”

The heroine is Caitlin Hendrix, a 31-year-old FBI professional in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Her job is to offer investigative support for violent crimes. She is trying to balance her life and not become too obsessive with solving the crimes.

“Caitlin is an FBI profiler whose job is to hunt serial killers. This new one is book four. Book three was intense even for the heroine and it takes Caitlin to the edge.  It is about someone who sneaks into people’s windows in the middle of the night and kills them. In this book Caitlin is improving her mental and physical health. She has a fear of repeating her father’s mistakes, not wanting to become obsessive.  She is more mature as a person and an investigator. She knows she must keep herself balanced and works on improving her skills.”

This is a faced paced, action-packed page turner. People should read the other three books in the series first or they will miss a lot. Gardiner writes her twists and play on words perfectly, allowing readers to try to put pieces together that make for a suspenseful plot. 



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.