This was a new author for me, and I took a chance ordering this book. SO GLAD I DID. There are very few books that I rate with the highest 5-star rating, but this is one of them. Absolute page turner, gripped me right away. This was one of those that I couldn't put down even for a minute - but it was a double-edge sword because I saw the book coming to an end and I wanted the story to go on forever. Smoky Barrett FBI agent, is a complex, riveting character and the writing style really helps you get into her head. The meticulous FBI procedures are written in such a way that you "live" them rather than just read and understand them. Can't wait to read more in this series.
A first book by McFadyen, who is writing a series about his female FBI profiler and head of the brutal crimes unit, Smoky Barrett. She has just been horribly injured by a serial killer she was following- and whom she brought down, too late to save herself and her family. Now she is recovered enough to begin leading a chase in Los Angeles, tracking down a serial killer of young women who are being tortured and killed because they have some connection on the internet to sex sites. McFadyen has a clear and fast-paced story-telling style, with prose that moves swiftly, carrying the reader along in suspence, fascination, and terror. I don't like graphic bloody assaults on women and children- yet this novel feels authentic and truly scary. Barrett loses a very dear friend in this first novel, and also becomes care-taker to a severely damaged young girl. Her own emotions are still very raw as she deals with her physical and psychological scars. McFadyen handles both the FBI procedurals and the psychological and philosophical issues with skill.