FBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the “For You” killer’s task force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country.
The homicides are both calculated and savage, occurring in different states, but bearing the same signature: the words “for you” scribbled at each crime scene. The case chills Kassidy, bringing back memories of her own encounter with a violent criminal five years earlier.
Kassidy’s mentor, legendary agent Talia “The Confessor” Crossen knows the task force assignment is Kassidy’s chance to prove to her colleagues that she belongs in the Behavior Analysis Unit. For five years, other FBI agents and profilers scoffed at Kassidy’s appointment to the BAU, believing she was only offered the position in exchange for her silence about the brutal assault that almost killed her.
The stakes rise when the task force links the killer’s signature to Kassidy. As more and more bodies turn up, Kassidy must delve into her past and the mysterious death of her twin sister, which holds the key to uncovering the killer’s identity.
The closer Kassidy comes to finding the killer, the closer she comes to a deadly confrontation that could cost her everything—including her own life.
“You thought you had me, didn’t you?” he said.
He needled the knife until I felt a small puncture. A drop of blood slid down, pooling in the hollow of my throat. As I became more alert, the blurred edges of the room turned sharp one by one. My heart thumped furiously in my chest, rattling my rib cage. Soon I’d be fully awake, conscious of every last detail of my death.
It wasn’t how I thought I’d go. I thought—okay, I’d hoped—I’d be shot in the line of duty or killed in a car wreck. Maybe even cancer or simple old age. Too much to hope for.
It had to be this. Torture, rape, death and probably dismemberment at the hands of a violent criminal. I knew I was going to die. It was just a matter of how fast or how slow.
I thought of my parents. Well, mostly I thought of my dad. This would kill him. He’d always been so worried about this sort of thing. I always assured him that these things never happened. Never. They only happened in books, movies or on TV. Real life wasn’t like this. Real FBI agents didn’t have to worry about collars coming after them.
He pulled the knife away with a sound of disgust. He continued to pace. My head felt full. The crank made my spine ramrod straight. I held my head up and looked at him. He wore khakis, loafers and a muted green shirt. The sleeves were rolled up, revealing muscular forearms. His greasy black hair was in disarray. Even so, he didn’t look like a killer.
They never do, Kass.
That’s what my SAC at the Baltimore field office said when I closed my first string of homicides. The FBI didn’t normally handle homicides, but several state and city police departments had asked for our help tracking a particularly malicious serial killer whose work spanned three states. Again, I thought of Ted Bundy. He had been handsome and a charmer from all I heard.
The man before me was a charmer, but he had the blackened heart of a demon. As if sensing my thoughts, he looked right at me. A sneer slithered across his face. I wondered if this was how he’d looked to his previous eighteen victims.
“Remember me, bitch?”
“Nico Sala,” I said. “I wish I didn’t remember you.”
For that, I caught a wild punch to the face. His fist landed close to my left eye. Again I felt sharp pain. This time it seared across my forehead. I could practically hear my eye swelling.
“I told you, you stupid bitch. I told you I’d find you. I’m gonna gut you alive.”
I believed him. I’d talked to lots of victims of violent crime during my career, and many of them said the same thing: there comes a point where you know your attacker is going to kill you.
Well, here I was. Nico Sala had broken into my home. He’d shot me up, bound me to a chair, hit me. Fear crept along my body with thin, icy fingertips. I moved my arms and legs, trying to figure out how much room I had to work with to free a hand or foot. There wasn’t any.
“Don’t bother,” Nico said. “You’re not going anywhere.”
I rested and watched him with my good eye. I tried to tamp down the fear bubbling up inside, making my already thundering heart race faster. My ears filled with the sound of it, like a train roaring down the tracks. My whole body vibrated. I wondered fleetingly if it was possible for my heart to actually burst right out of my chest. It felt like it might. I drew a deep breath.
He gave me a few more slaps for good measure, grunting as he did so.
Stay calm. The fear will only escalate his violent tendencies.
It was the FBI agent in me, a ridiculously calm voice in my head. I tried to hold onto that part of me. In that moment I wanted to be the clinical behavioral analyst, not the terrified woman I was in reality.
“Aren’t you gonna scream?” he asked.
It wouldn’t do any good, I realized, tears gathering behind my eyes. People in this neighborhood screamed all the time. Everyone heard, but nobody listened.
Calm, the voice urged again. Your life depends on it. I managed to force some bravado. “What?” I said. “And forego hours of torture? Nah.”
Nico grinned and pulled a chair out from the dining room table. He faced it toward him, straddling it so he could fold his arms over its back. “I’m not going to kill you fast,” he said.
As most know, I love a good suspense/thriller novel. Sandra Brown, Karen Rose and Andrea Kane are auto buy authors for me in the genre but I now have a new author to follow. The book made me jump, made my skin crawl and creeped me out no end…LOVE THAT! Thank goodness I didn’t have any nightmares. That would have been bad.
I won’t rehash the blurb because it pretty much tells you everything. Kass had something to prove not only to the BAU that she was assigned too but to herself. When a rash of murders mirrored her own near death experience and then her twin sister’s death, she realizes that she must act fast.
Kass was a strong heroine but also feminine. She wasn’t the hard nosed, lack of being a woman or the completely opposite…too pretty, too sexy, and sometimes TSTL and need a man to rescue her, that most FBI agents that are written these days. She’s relatable, likable and you root for her to find the killer in time. I liked that she had a vulnerability to her, too. And then find out that she was connected to the killer? Wow, just wow.
What was truly the gem of the book was the alternating POV’s between Kass and the killer. You got to know the killer from their stand point and it made them much creepy and truly villainess. The killer isn’t a “nice” killer; someone that you can sympathize with, or at least I couldn’t. True evil resides within this person and I couldn’t shake it off for a couple of days after I finished the book.
With so many twists, turns and OMG moments, I truly couldn’t put this book down. It like getting caught up in the best crime story of the decade and I think I put it down to maybe eat and bathroom breaks. Don’t worry about the twists and turns…you don’t get whiplash but it does make you think. The ending…dear Lord…and that’s all I’m going to say. Sorry, spoiler free here.
Ms. Regan has done her research and it shows. The pacing is well developed and not too long. She does explain things but she doesn’t go over your head with it and her characters are believable and well drawn out. Ms. Regan will scare you in places that you didn’t think that you would be scared in. I got so caught up in the book at one point, my light flickered and I jumped. Also, parts of the book are quite graphic but necessary for the story.
Whatever you do, make sure you read this book during daylight hours. Just fair warning and be prepared to NOT put it down. Yes, its that good and I can’t wait for read more from Ms. Regan. 🙂
Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime and Pennwriters. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher was recently nominated for the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards in three categories: Best Novel, Best Thriller and Best Heroine for Claire Fletcher.
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