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(UNSUB #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  8,675 ratings  ·  1,442 reviews
A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Dutton
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  8,675 ratings  ·  1,442 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dutton
Shelves: from-publisher
Most of the time, when a popular book has been hyped to kingdom come, it ends up being at least slightly disappointing to the readers who weren't able to go into the story prior to it being splashed everywhere. Whether it's because the story just wasn't great or it became so built up in your mind that nothing could possibly live up to that kind of standard, it makes readers who consume high quantities of fiction nervous and standoffish. But sometimes, every so often, the fandom has it completely ...more
Larry H
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't mind me...just waiting for my pulse to get back to normal.

When one of your absolute favorite crime writers continually waxes poetic about how incredible a book is, you probably should listen. So I have Don Winslow to thank for recommending the amazing UNSUB by Meg Gardiner.

This is a book that has my heart pounding and my pulse racing, and I very well might wind up with nightmares (this is why I stopped watching shows like Criminal Minds on television), but holy crap, was it worth t
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Yay--it lived up to the hype! And WOW--that ending!

UNSUB is a psychological thriller about a notorious serial killer who after 20 years of silence begins killing once again.

The Zodiac Killer, aka The Prophet, terrorized residents of the East Bay for several years in the 1990’s, committing murders and using the victim’s bodies to create heinous public displays for all to see. The case of the Zodiac Killer drove the lead homicide detective, Mack Hendrix, mad, causing him to attempt suicide.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
20 years ago, Caitlin’s father was lead detective on a serial killer case in California. The murderer, known as the Unsub, or as others referred to him as Prophet, got away. Leaving Caitlin’s father, and in fact her whole family, in utter shambles.

Now just to add salt to the wounds, the killings have begun again. Caitlin, grown up and a member of the police force herself, transfers to the homicide unit to assist in the reopened case. After all, who would know the dark inner-workings better than
Mary Beth
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those of you who loved Shadow Man. Here is another one that is just as intense!

This book is just so Awesome! It ROCKED on and on! I finished this book three hours ago and my heart is still pounding. I had to put this book down many times because it was so horrifying. It is a very dark intense crime thriller that just made #1 on my reading list for this year. It is a winner. It is so gritty, disturbing and dark. The serial killer
who calls himself ,The Prophet, was just as evil as the serial
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Caitlin Hendrix has been a narcotics detective for six months when the Prophet, a serial killer who terrorized the Bay area in the 1990's and whom her father failed to apprehend, begins to kill again. Her father, Mark, hunted the Prophet, who completed ritualistic killers, gave cryptic messages, and mind games, until his life began to fall apart. The killer etched the sign of mercury on all his victim’s skin. Why? How are his victims connected? Are they connected?

Almost twenty years lat
Susanne  Strong
5 Heart Stopping Thrillistic Stars!

OMG – My heart is Still in my throat, My nerves are Still jangled and my stomach is Still in knots. UNSUB is a suspense novel for the record books my friends - this is a novel that keeps you on your toes from the very first. My heart started pounding almost immediately and once I hit the ¾ mark – it didn’t stop till the wild end.

Caitlin Hendrix is a detective who works in the narcotics unit. Her dad, Mack used to be a detective before her. Unfortunately, for
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-shelf, 2017
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner is a 2017 Dutton publication.

Solid, intricately plotted, and smart serial killer crime thriller-

Confession: This is, to my knowledge, the first book I’ve read by this author. I see she has a healthy back list, and I wasn’t unfamiliar with her, but for some reason, which was not at all intentional, I just never got around to trying one her novels.

But, when several Goodreads friends left some very positive reviews for this book, and since it was the first book in a new seri
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
UNSUB is an intelligent, engaging, and gruesome fast-paced read that took us and Caitlin on a race against time for a killer that destroyed her father’s career and health and now the killer has his eyes set on Caitlin. Meg Gardiner does a great job balancing a crime and the personal life here with fascinating and ambitious Caitlin. She is haunted by her father’s failure to capture the killer 20 years ago and searches to stop him and to redeem herself and her father. I connected so well and was e ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a free advance copy of this from NetGalley for review.

You know a book is in trouble when it’s about a crazy maniac slaughtering people left and right, but you find yourself yawning a lot while reading it.

Back in the 1990s a brutal serial killer known as the Prophet terrorized the San Francisco area, and Detective Mack Hendrix was unable to catch him. Hendrix’s obsession with the case eventually destroyed his career and his family, but his daughter, Caitlin, has grown up to be a cop de
"An attempt to categorize unremitting hell. But hell couldn't be contained. It was the ultimate cold case."

And a cold case that sat in sealed boxes festering like tainted putrid waters for twenty years. Folder upon folder in testament to the demented works of The Prophet.....a relentless serial killer with no soul who hovered in the San Francisco Bay area.

Oh, did I mention?......He's back.

Just ask Detective Caitlin Hendrix who has recently left narcotics to work in homicide. She knows only too w
Krystin Rachel
Book Blog | Bookstagram

I love Meg Gardiner. She is a favourite author of mine. Anything she writes I want to read. Anything she has to say about writing, I want to hear. She is a smart, detail-oriented author with a talent for writing action-packed mysteries with perfectly placed twists.

UNSUB is, by far, my new favourite novel by her.

Hands down.

It takes elements from famous serial killers, both real and fictional, and boils it down into one epic, smart and intricate serial killer crime thrill
Jill McGill
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner is a deep, twisted, and evil psychological thriller that was inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer who destroyed a young detective’s family, and terrorized California’s Bay Area in the late 1960s.

He calls himself “The Prophet" and he is back in the area to continue killing and tormenting the police with his cryptic messages. But this time “The Prophet” has focused all his attention on Detective Caitlin Hendrix, the daughter of Detective Mack Hendrix, who wor
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So, I have been seeing Unsub and Into the Black Nowhere (Jan 30) on my feed. And I mean A LOT. I have not read anything by Meg Gardiner but that will change! What a thrilling ride! I could NOT stop reading this. I’m pretty sure my kid took a 1.5hr (maybe 2) bath while I read non stop. (She’s 5, I was sitting on the floor, she knows how to swim, and she had a grand time, don’t raise your eyebrows!). It was that good!

Caitlin Hendrix is a bad ass bitch and I loved her. She is six months into a nar
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.”

Caitlin Hendrix’s childhood was almost ruined by a serial killer. Her father was the lead detective on the case that featured . . . .

“Eleven murders, all unsolved. An UNSUB: the unknown subject who would come to be called the Prophet. He made women stay home instead of going out alone. He made parents bring their children in before it got dark, and keep them inside. For five years, one of
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, library-book
4.5 stars!!
I went into this book hoping to keep my expectations low and just enjoy it. I saw the hype last year with UNSUB and this is a favorite genre for me. *fingers crossed*

Well, it was worth the hype in my opinion!

This is a tense, fast paced crime detective thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat! I read it in 2-3 days and I just couldn’t put the book down.

UNSUB starts off with the main character of Caitlin Hendrix as a kid. She watches how the Prophet destroys her father’s sanity and

Yeah, it's like that. On the edge of your seat, a little freaked out, angry if anyone interrupts your reading, forgetting to feed yourself suspense.

This is the story of Caitlin, a cop, trying to catch a serial killer who just returned to his killy ways after a 25 year break. What was he doing for the past 25 years? Knitting sweaters for shelter dogs? Fighting whalers with Greenpeace? Learning Mandarin? Whatever it was, it sure must have frustrated him because he is pretty damn elaborate in his k
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book!!

The introduction of characters in the beginning was well done. Caitlin and her parents, and especially her relationship with her Dad, were very realistic. Even her relationship with boyfriend/ATF agent Sean was wonderful. Caitlin was with the Sheriff’s Department and assigned to a narcotics task force when her father’s nemesis began killing again after a 20-year absence. She asked to be assigned to homicide; her father told her to “stay the hell away from it.”

After th
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
If serial killer thrillers are your bag, delve into this one.  The plot is not unlike a Gordian knot, intricate and tricky.  Known as The Prophet, this serial killer is like quicksilver, mercurial, toxic, and deadly.  He believes in poetic justice in the most literal sense.  Devilishly good!
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ballsss to the Wallss!!!!! That was amazing.....

4.5 stars... review to come :).
UNSUB is a thrilling ride, a can not put down tale of suspense and horror! Admittedly this shocks me. I was given this book by my local bookstore to review and subsequently lead a discussion for the mystery book club. I've read Gardiner before and was somewhat bored with her series. This book, however, takes her writing to a new level. It is more tightly written, the characters more developed and the storyline itself, while familiar, is still very intriguing.

Caitlin Hendrix is the daughter of t
Linda Strong
The Prophet terrorized the Bay Area 20 years ago. He left 11 victims behind each killed in a horrific way ... and then he disappeared.

Caitlin Hendrix is a new Narcotics Detective when The Prophet seems to reappear. This is the monster she has nightmares about. Her father, Mack, was the lead detective when The Prophet was first known. Mack almost lost his sanity over his failure to catch this guy .... his partner was killed ... and Mack tried to kill himself.

Now Caitlin must face her biggest fear
Kelli Wilson
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

This was a solid serial killer mystery. I thought it was generally done at a good pace and I enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite of all time, but a decent read. I've seen mixed reviews on this, either raving 5 star reviews or lower reviews claiming it was slow and boring. I'm in the middle I suppose. So you'll have to decide for yourself on this one. I'm not sure I'll be jumping into the next book right away, but perhaps at some point.
There comes a point in every bibliophile's life where you find a book that is so unsettling, dark, and scary that it completely changes your perspective on how you view a normal thriller/horror read and how you view a masterpiece in action. Ladies and gentlemen, UNSUB is this masterpiece! Wow... I hope I can give this review any justice, but let's see.

UNSUB initiates the story with father and police officer Mack Hendrix running a mission to capture San Francisco's deranged serial killer
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, crime
An entertaining serial-killer thriller.
For me, it was just that!
It was kind of messy and put together haphazardly. I didn’t see any pattern nor any logic to the killings. Serial killers tend to stick to their routine. There was no background about the serial killer as to his reasons for the murders. I know he thought the sinners should all go to hell etc. but why did he believe such a thing? What was the catalyst for his killings? Did he lose a loved one? Was his family killed brutally? Was he
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found on

Having seen every single episode of Criminal Minds I like to fancy myself an amateur behavior analyst. Not in the sense that I can actually analyze human behavior with any skill, but more along the lines of; I know the right terminology and how profiling works in a general way. So the minute I saw the title of this I was interested, Unsub stands for unknown subject and my hours of watching CM taught me this along with terms like victimology an
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: Chanda @wherethereadergrows
Shelves: favorites, mystery
This is the first book in the UNSUB series. The stories in this series are inspired by real-life cases of well-known serial killers.

Intense, gripping, and unputdownable. Did you ever think you could go hours with goosebumps? Well, with this book you can.
The serial killer that drove Caitlin Hendrix's father mad is back, twenty years later. Now, Caitlin is on the team that is determined once and for all to get rid of "The Prophet". His crimes, victims and killing techniques are all over the plac
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
5 Stars!

I just had to take a few hours after I finished this to fully process what I just read. WOW was that a thriller ride or what? After all the hype that this book came with I can tell you that this did not disappoint. Also, I could NOT read this at night at all. This would have freaked me out too much to not panic. That's how thrilling it was.

We meet Caitlin who is a detective and a killer from her past reappears: the prophet. He is brutal and I mean he is at brutal as they come. The Prophe
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Prophet killed 11 people in the Oakland area in the 1990's. Then he disappeared. The fact the killer was never caught ruined the life of the lead investigator on the case. Detective Caitlin Hendrix knows that better than anyone else because that investigator is her father. Twenty years after The Prophet killings, a woman's body is discovered in a cornfield. She has been strangled to death. A crude symbol depicting Mercury has been pounded into her chest with nails. It's The Prophet's signatu ...more
L.A. Starks
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
UNSUB is a tour de force as Meg Gardiner pulls out all the stops in this Zodiac Killer reprise, obviously set in northern California. Nonstop action, great characters with deep ties to one another, and rich references to one of literature's all-time classics make this a rewarding read for thriller fans.

A funny point: one scene takes place in a biker bar on the road between Palo Alto and Half Moon Bay. Having attempted to drive that road myself a few times, the author should have allowed an extra
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Meg Gardiner is the author of fifteen thrillers. Her latest is The Dark Corners of the Night, the third novel in the UNSUB series featuring FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix. Stephen King says, "Don't miss it. This is a great one." It's been bought by Amazon Studios for development as a television series. The first novel in the series, UNSUB, won the 2018 Barry Award for Best Thriller.

Meg was born in

Other books in the series

UNSUB (3 books)
  • Into the Black Nowhere (UNSUB, #2)
  • The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB, #3)

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