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Unsub    by Meg Gardiner order for
by Meg Gardiner
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Zodiac Killer, dubbed the Prophet by the media, seems to be back after twenty years and young Narcotics detective Caitlin Hendrix is determined to stop his new rampage through the Bay Area. But is it really the original serial killer or a copycat? The last time, the Prophet's eleven victims were spread out over time, but now his crimes are fast and furious.

Caitlin has a personal investment in finding him. Her father Mack was also a cop, whose partner was killed during the original investigation. Five years of the killer's cryptic messages and mind games drove Mack to drink and near madness. It ended his marriage and his career. After a journalist writes a piece about Caitlin's involvement in the case, and her prior family connection to it, the Prophet focuses on her. He's already haunted her childhood and destroyed her father's life - she won't let him ruin hers, but can she stop him?

Caitlin lives with Special Agent Sean Rawlins (an explosives expert) and he has her back, but he worries what this case might do to her. She's good at finding patterns, though, and she starts to see them - in a dating site and in a book. She talks to the Prophet's sole survivor and learns more. As the deaths pile up, they draw closer and closer to Caitlin's inner circle. She works out what he plans for his final act, and descends into hell to stop him.

Unsub is a gripping read, filled with surprises, and with an engaging (though obsessed) lead. But be prepared for plenty of gruesome details, which I must admit I tend to skim over.

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