"He doesn't kill for thrills, for sex, or even for power.It's far more twisted than that.... "
Cody McFadyen, acclaimed author of The Darker Side, The Face of Death," " and Shadow Man," "delivers this shocking new thriller that brings to light a psychopath unlike any we've ever seen--a killer who thrives in absolute darkness and doesn't derive pleasure from the kill. And only one woman has the ability to see him coming...even if it's already too late to stop her own murder.
For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown. No one knows who she is or where she's come from--or why she's chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years--that once she was someone's wife, someone's mother...and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn't know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive. Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he's a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim's fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads--a professional psychopath who doesn't take murder personally and never makes a mistake. There's a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.
Full of horrific violence, this solid third thriller to feature scarred FBI agent Smoky Barrett (after The Face of Death) shows that McFadyen knows how to shock. When the FBI director calls Smoky to Washington, D.C., to inspect the body of a beautiful young woman stabbed to death aboard an airplane, Smoky can't figure out why she's been assigned a case so far outside her L.A. jurisdiction. But when Smoky learns that not only was the victim, Lisa Reid, the child of a powerful Democratic senator but also that she was a pre-op transsexual, Smoky realizes that this is more than a bizarre homicide. Smoky and her team soon get on the trail of the man they dub the Preacher, a sin collector who murders people to obtain their darkest secrets. Harboring secrets of her own, Smoky must stay one step ahead of the killer if she's to bring him down. The forays into the victims' minds to expose their secrets are unnecessary, but the formidable Smoky makes up for the occasional plot tangent.