MINM Review: Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner

Building to a gripping, race-against-time crescendo, Into the Black Nowhere is an immersive, meaty thriller for readers to sink their entertainment teeth into. It features Caitlin Hendrix, formerly of the Alameda County Sheriff's department, and now a special agent with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. Into the Black Nowhere takes Caitlin and her colleagues initially to the southwest to investigate a series of killings. If you enjoy reading about characters, especially female characters, who are current or former law enforcement and/or military, who know their way around hand-to-hand combat, and weapons, and who just generally "kick butt", make Into the Black Nowhere by Edgar Award-winning author Meg Gardiner one of your next reads.

Violence: Moderate

Profanity: Mild-to-Moderate

Sexual Content: Mild

Explicit Language: Mild

Animal Cruelty: Mild

Thrilling Action: Moderate-to-High

Red Herrings: Mild-to-Moderate

Twists and Turns: Mild-to-Moderate

Suspense: Moderate-to-High

Plot Development: Moderate

Character Development: Moderate-to-High

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

Best for Crime Fiction Readers:

  • Who enjoy unraveling, right alongside law enforcement, the mystery of a serial killer's methods, and what makes them "tick".
  • Who appreciate reading crime fiction with an emphasis on psychological analysis and profiling. Into the Black Nowhere is perfect for fans of the show "Criminal Minds".
  • Who enjoy reading about characters who persevere, and who are fearless and heroic in the face of past or present adversity and challenges.
  • Who don't mind crime fiction that reveals a likely suspect relatively early in the novel. The "UNSUB", who is the focus of this investigation, is known to the reader at about the 25% mark. The thrust of Into the Black Nowhere is the procedure of the investigation, as well as the game of cat and mouse between the suspect and the FBI. Also, we ultimately find out that all is not as straightforward as it may have initially seemed.
  • Who enjoy crime books with thrilling action. While there is a buzz of excitement, suspense, and momentum running throughout the novel, the final 15% of Into the Black Nowhere is simply unputdownable. 
Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner book cover image.jpg

Publisher's Blurb:

Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer.

In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.

Caitlin and the FBI's serial crime unit discover the first victim's body in the woods. She's laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest's darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style--posed like Snow White awaiting her prince's kiss. 

To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology--that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy--dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin's profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people's trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.


MINM Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Does Into the Black Nowhere sound interesting to you? If so, what about it sounds appealing? Have you read Meg Gardiner's first book in the UNSUB series?

Mystery in Minutes would love to hear from you!