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Profesor Theo Cray se kvůli podezřením, která ho obklopila po smrti jeho někdejší studentky,
a skandálním spekulacím poté, co byl zabit její vrah, se nemůže vrátit ke svému univerzitnímu výzkumu. Pokouší se tedy začít nový život v jiné oblasti, ale téměř proti své vůli je vtažen do dalšího nevyřešeného případu. Zoufalý otec pohřešovaného dítěte, jehož úřady odmítají vyslechnout
a odnikud se mu nedostává podpory, se obrátí o pomoc na Thea. Jediné stopy představují dětské kresby a městská legenda z chudinské čtvrti o bytosti přezdívané Hračkář. Aby Theo odhalil, co se za Hračkářem skrývá, musí odsunout stranou všechno, co mu říká věda, a vydat se do světa, v němž mají sny a noční můry stejnou váhu jako skutečnost. A čím hlouběji se do případu noří, tím zjevnější je, že za tím může být dalekosáhlé spiknutí – a nejspíš má i další oběti.

295 pages, Hardcover

First published March 13, 2018

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Andrew Mayne

49 books2,211 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 921 reviews
Profile Image for Liz.
1,964 reviews2,413 followers
November 27, 2018

Book two in the Dr. Theo Cray series has Theo with a new job and a new set of problems. He’s still managing to piss everyone off. When he leaves the job, he decides to take on another investigation. This time it’s a young boy who went missing 9 years ago in LA. Before long, he’s seeing signs of another serial killer.

The book has lots of supposed science and data management theories. I’m not sure how real they are. Theo truly is a bit of a jerk, smarter than most people and not afraid to tell them. He has access to all sorts of cutting edge equipment. And as the book goes on, there’s a conspiracy theory at work. You have to suspend belief at times, but the book is definitely engaging.

I liked that this book has a different premise. There’s an urban myth about The Toy Man, a black Santa type figure who brings toys to good boys but punishes the bad. Is this man real? Is he the one taking the missing boys? Because the missing boys are black and from poor neighborhoods, the police haven’t done a lot to investigate.

This is a fast paced mystery. I listened to this and it’s not always an easy audiobook because of the complexity of some of the theories. This is a book that requires you to pay attention.

I’m not a big one for conspiracy theories so the ending didn’t really do it for me.

The narrator does a good job and his voice seems exactly how I envision Theo soundin

Profile Image for Matt.
3,673 reviews12.8k followers
April 2, 2021
Andrew Mayne is more versatile than many other authors I have read over the last few years. While he remains within the crime thriller genre, Mayne uses unique situations and protagonists that keep the reader on their toes and wondering. While I devoured two of his other series already, I was eager to get my hands on his Theo Cray novels, as I hear they are quite different, even by Mayne standards. Professor Theo Cray is still buzzing from his discovery of a serial killer in rural Montana, but is not all that keen about people using him for his skills alone. When Cray is asked to help locate a missing boy in Los Angeles, he reluctantly agrees, which only opens a complex web that he could not have predicted. One of the better crime thrillers I have read over the last number of years, Mayne proves that he is miles apart from others in the genre. Perfect for the lover of unique novels in the genre, as well as Mayne fans alike!

Theo Cray prides himself on being a computational biologist, one who studies the systems in which things live, but his past discovery of a serial killer in rural Montana is what everyone remembers. After leaving academia because of a somewhat problematic set of decisions, Cray finds himself working for a company that seeks to predict terrorist activities. However, Cray soon sees that he is being used for what he knows and his sentiments are not taken into account. It’s surely not the life for him, though he needs something to occupy his time.

Cray’s notoriety has left him having to dodge many people who want his help locating their loved ones, using his unique tracking measures. When a man approaches Cray for help locating his son, the biologist-cum-crime solver wonders if this might be a sign. There is no trace of the boy and the authorities have decided that it is not worth their time. The poor Los Angeles community has also given up hope that there will be anything they can do. All that’s left are some drawings that might mean nothing.

As Cray begins to look into things, he makes a valiant effort not to offend anyone, though his style of investigating is unique and not always pleasant. He is abrupt and direct, while also bending the rules as he sees fit. When Cray uncovers that there are other young boys that have gone missing, it all comes back to the drawings they made of a Toy Man, someone who gives presents to young children, but is said to punish the bad.

When Cray uncovers another interesting trait about the children, he is on a mission to solve the crime. The case takes on new meaning and gains momentum as Cray travels across the country to follow traces of the Toy Man and what might be really going on. It’s a race to uncover the truth, even if everyone else has given up on what matters most, the life of a little boy!

Since discovering the world of Andrew Mayne, I cannot say that I have been disappointed in the least. His unique take on forensics and crime detecting leaves the reader with something exciting as they delve deeper into the novels. This third series of his has proven to be anything by usual, offering up some wonderful spins on the traditional approaches, helping him to stay apart and be noticed.

Theo Cray is definitely unique as he tackles life and the criminal element. He is happy to pursue what makes him happy, using a unique skill set to find answers where others cannot. While he refuses to ‘colour in the lines’, Cray gets results and so many have come to accept his ways, if only for the time being. His grit and determination have shone through in this novel again, as he chases after clues that appear to take him further into danger. It’s a chilling story that leaves the reader wondering what else they can learn about him.

Andrew Mayne does a masterful job once again developing a supporting cast. There is so much to learn about Cray’s interaction with others, as well as how these characters present themselves. The story comes to life repeatedly and the reader is able to use these strong secondary characters to see where things are headed. The action is non-stop and it is those who grace the pages of the book that make them all the more exciting for sure.

Andrew Mayne never ceases to amaze me with his approach to storytelling. A strong narrative that pushes along throughout the story, there is something for everyone. Many will like the uniqueness that Mayne offers, particularly the momentum seen throughout the narrative. Short chapters leave the reader pushing further and wanting more, if only to see the next twist on the horizon. I devoured this piece and cannot wait to see what’s next in the Theo Cray series.

Kudos, Mr. Mayne, for a brilliant novel that will have me telling anyone who will listen about all you have done in the genre.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,069 reviews2,674 followers
March 31, 2018
This book and the book before it, about the same character, are hard reading for me, since I'm not sure I understand even half of what the character is thinking. Of course the character has a way of thinking that makes him what he is and gives him the ability to see thing differently than most of us so my not understanding him isn't a complaint. I enjoyed the book, despite the violence, since the violence was meant to stop more violence. I wouldn't mind reading more books about Theo Cray's work in the future, as he does what he thinks needs to be done, while having to compromise his values along the way. Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Michael Slavin.
Author 6 books227 followers
April 9, 2019
I loved the Naturalist (book 1 which I also reviewed), but book two in the series, Looking Glass, while it was well worth the read, it wasn’t quite as good to me.

The Good:
-Scientist Theo Cray is approached by a grieving father whose son is missing. Theo reluctantly agrees to help, then it takes on its own life.

-There is a serial killer that has been hunting there for many years. He takes children that almost no one would miss and the authorities won’t take seriously. The bones in the yard were interesting too.

-Theo uses the methodology he used in Montana to hunt for a serial killer in Los Angles.

-A very good story.

The Bad:

Not really bad, but what I liked about the first book was that it was really different. Taking place in Montana and looking for a serial killer that everyone thought was a bear, with an interesting methodology. Nice!

Read It:
If you liked the first one, read this one. It was interesting, I very much enjoyed the book.

Profile Image for LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!.
561 reviews139 followers
November 10, 2021
I've decided that I would probably read just about anything by this author. This story made a huge impression on me, and Andrew Mayne has already been added to my "just buy it" list. I liked his character Theo Cray. His lone wolf style reminded me of my favorite book boyfriend Charlie Parker. "Without the supernatural bent." When and if the people he works for can be convinced that he knows what the heck he's doing, he'll be damn near unstoppable. The big bad in this story, the Toyman, gave me the heebie jeebies. Looking forward to the next in the series, and I've already bought the first book. Recommended. My thanks to Thomas and Mercer publishing, and Netgalley for letting me read and review.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,008 reviews2,597 followers
March 20, 2018
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/03/20/...

Before I started Looking Glass, I made sure to clear my schedule for the rest of the day because I had a feeling I wouldn’t want to be interrupted. As it turned out, I was right. God help anyone who would have dared disturb me, it sure wouldn’t have been pretty! This was a book I finished in just one sitting, and in that time, you couldn’t have pried it loose from my hands with a crowbar.

This second installment of The Naturalist follows protagonist Theo Cray as he once again digs his heels into a case involving the missing victims of a serial killer. You can jump into it without having read the first book, but just bear in mind there will be some references and spoilers to his time in Montana if you ever have plans to go back and read it. In the aftermath of those events, Theo has become a bit of national celebrity for helping catch a prolific killer, but at the same time, his involvement in such a high-profile case has also made him anathema to the academic community. Stuck doing soul-draining work for the government, Theo finds himself drawn to the hunt again when a distraught father of a missing boy shows up on his doorstep with a request to look into his case.

The only problem? Little Christopher Bostrom disappeared nine years ago, and for most investigators this would mean a cold case with no chance of being solved. Theo, however, is scientist who finds patterns, and after crunching some numbers and doing some database searches, the results he finds are disturbing. Not only was Christopher a likely victim of a serial child abductor and murderer, there is evidence that this killer is still on the loose and active today. The only clues Theo has to go on are a couple of kids’ drawings and an eerie urban legend told among elementary school children about a mysterious figure called the Toy Man.

The author has done it again. I spent most of this book with my heart in my throat, because even when there wasn’t much action on the page, Mayne was able to keep up the intensity and fast pace with his vivid descriptions of the scientific processes and fascinating facts. Looking Glass was an electrifying book that never had me bored for a second. Because so much of what Theo does also involves computational biology, or the study of the development and application of biological data to generate patterns and models, readers with an interest in any of the related scientific fields will likely eat this one right up.

In addition, Theo Cray is fast becoming one of my favorite protagonists. As a vigilante scientist, he’s an unconventional hero, a bit socially awkward and tactless because he’s more used to dealing in facts and not feelings. He’s also frighteningly clever and fast on his feet, using what he knows of social and behavioral patterns to spin elaborate scenarios and identities for himself to get out of sticky situations. What’s more, ever since the events of The Naturalist, Theo’s heart has become hardened which has in turn emboldened him, making him more focused and gutsier when it comes to getting what he needs. When he’s not keeping me on the edge of my seat with his high-risk escapades, he’s making me laugh with his reckless yet ingenious stunts like that one particular incident involving an Amazon delivery box and glowing bacteria. At the end of the day, Theo Cray is a weirdo nerd, and I love him for both his intellect and humor.

As for the story, I won’t be going into too much detail because the less you know going in, the better it is going to be. Suffice to say Mayne knows how to get a reader’s blood racing. One small lead from a cold case ends up snowballing into a series of bombshell clues which lead to even bigger and more shocking discoveries. From my experience with The Naturalist, I already know the author is not afraid to go all out, even if it means delving into the realm of the incredible and far-fetched, though in the context of this tale it was easy to just follow along. I’m certainly glad I did with Looking Glass, because I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun with a book.

Hard to believe the first book could have been topped, but I believe Andrew Mayne has done it. I love this series so much, it’s almost ridiculous how badly I want to read more right now. I’m thrilled to discover a third book is already in the works, but the bad news is that it’s not listed to come out until early next year. Oh, this wait is seriously going to suck…
Profile Image for Emma.
2,394 reviews824 followers
August 28, 2018
Absolutely superb! Possibly even better than the first one largely because it feeds into all my paranoia about cover ups! If you haven’t read these first two books in this amazing series, I suggest you do ASAP! Recommended.
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,328 reviews110 followers
February 27, 2020
Wow, what an excellent thriller. I haven't read the first book in this series, but I will definitely do it now. I just wanted something like that.

This is not a book for people sensitive to cruelty, especially those sensitive to harm to children. But if you don't mind some gruesome elements in your books, you should definitely read this book.

Theo is not your standard detective or even an amateur sleuth, he is above all a scientist. After the events of the first book, he is involved in tracking down the potential terrorists, work he is not satisfied with. Forced to take a break, he decides to solve the case of a boy who went missing years ago. The case turns out to be much more complicated and much larger than it seems at first.

As I said, Theo is primarily a scientist. So, to find a murderer, he uses the modern scientific methods of social sciences and mathematics. I found it incredibly fascinating. I like this classic police work, but when I read something like that I am fascinated by both the idea itself and the amount of work that the author had to do in preparation for writing this book. And I always wonder what the truth is. Which technologies and theories used by Theo are true or at least can actually be used as described in the book. As a result, we get a story completely different from the others. Really unique.

And a very interesting, remarkable hero. Morally ambiguous. This does not mean that Theo has no moral code or goes against social norms. Not at all. Theo has a strong moral code but his own. It is fascinating to observe his moral dilemmas and discover where his boundaries are placed. That is why the narrative in first person that I usually don't like didn’t disturbed me here. Theo's determined, somewhat cynical, sometimes slightly chill voice gave this story an additional, interesting aspect.

In contrast, the case of murders is not so unlike what we can find in other books. Yes, these are terrifying crimes with an interesting side thread, but nothing extraordinary. This absolutely does not mean that the plot is not interesting. This book is so well written that I liked things I usually don't like. Usually I prefer not to know who the killer is and I prefer when the detective's goal is to discover the perpetrator of the crime. And here, we learn a lot about the killer very early. And the whole thing comes down to catching him rather than finding out what happened to the boys. But all this is given in such a remarkable form, and the action is so fast that I was delighted.

I would definitely recommend this book to any thriller fan. This is for sure one of the best books I've read recently. And proof that the book does not have to be excessively long to be excellent and contain a whole lot of twists and turns. I feel like recently the authors of thrillers have fallen into some trend of writing unnecessarily long books. This is an excellent example that it can be done differently.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews149 followers
September 3, 2019
I’m just as happy with this book as I was with The Naturalist! Dr. Theo Cray is gaining experience in hunting serial killers, and this book exposes him to a dark political underworld. I think I’m going to have to read Murder Theory, the next book, immediately!
Profile Image for Juli.
1,859 reviews473 followers
April 21, 2018
Professor Theo Cray has a reputation as a rogue scientist willing to do anything to catch a killer. Having just used every scientific and investigative tool at his disposal to catch a serial killer in Montana, Cray is approached by a father whose son disappeared 9 years before. The police assumed the boy was involved in gang activity because the area of South California he disappeared in is known for violence. His father knows better. Cray agrees to look into it, and finds that a killer called the "Toy Man'' has been stalking, enticing and murdering young, black boys for years. Once again acting outside of law enforcement, Cray is on the trail of a dangerous serial killer and making use of every revolutionary scientific approach he knows to pinpoint a suspect, getting himself into hot water again in the process.

Looking Glass is the second book in the Naturalist series, but the first book by Andrew Mayne that I have read. Readers can jump in and start the series with book two like I did, but be forewarned that lots of information about the first story is revealed during the second book. I don't mind....I'm still going to backtrack and read the first book, even though I know who the killer is already and some of the events leading up to his capture. Cray is an interesting character. He is highly intelligent and very knowledgeable about scientific investigation, procedure and testing. He thinks in a purely logical manner, which makes emotion and social situations a bit tough for him. He tends to come off as a jerk, but it's really just directness and true knowledge, not know-it-all jerkishness. He annoys law enforcement because he bypasses their investigations when they refuse to listen to him. He solves cases they can't solve themselves and doesn't care whose toes he steps on. When I first started Looking Glass, I had a hard time liking this character. He really did come off as a bit of a self-absorbed academic. But, then I got pulled into the story and came to understand that Theo Cray merely looks at all things in a purely logical and scientific manner. He has a goal and uses everything in his disposal to reach that goal -- this time, it's catching a serial killer preying on children. It wasn't long before I was totally on Cray's side, forgiving him for his personality.

This story is well-written and just amazing. The suspense is fantastic and the investigation is incredibly interesting. Cray has access to new scientific tests and tools that help him ferret out clues. Whether or not these things are actually available I have no clue....but the science seemed credible enough to me. I'm no expert....so I just went with the flow and enjoyed the story. Loved it! By the end, I was completely immersed in the story. The ending is fantastic! (No spoilers from me! Read the book!)

A third book in this series, Murder Theory, will be coming out in February, 2019. I can't wait!! I will be backtracking to read the first book, The Naturalist. Andrew Mayne has written several other books including the Station Breaker series and the Jessica Blackwood novels. I will be reading his other books while I wait for the new Theo Cray novel.

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for İlkim.
1,378 reviews11 followers
March 15, 2023
İlk kitapta sinirimi bozan her şey burada da vardı. Peki neden devam ettim? Ben de inanın anlam veremiyorum kendime. Baş karakter aslında aşırı bilimsel yöntemlerle katilleri bulan ama her nedense bunu siz hepiniz ben tek kafasında yapan, sosyopat olması muhtemel bir karakter. Böyle düşününce sosyopat demek de doğru değil bence, ama psikiyatrik bozukluk skalasında nerede çözemedim. Seviyor muyum katlanamıyor muyum arada kalıyorum sürekli. Her yere cengaver gibi tek başına gitmesi, o sonlardaki hapishane sahnesi felan bunlar aksiyon filmlerinde gerçek olamayacak şekilde iyi sonlanan şeyler gibi bence. Bitirmeye yaklaşırken daha okumam heralde bu seriden dedim ama bitirdikten sonra acaba sonrakini de okusam mı diye düşünmeden edemedim. Böyle iki arada bir derede hissettiğim garip bir seri kısacası.
Profile Image for Erth.
3,429 reviews
March 13, 2022
Another page turner. Some places in book were drawn out and technical but overall a great read.
Profile Image for Natalia Luna.
262 reviews121 followers
February 17, 2020
Enganchada a este científico caza asesinos y sus peculiares métodos. Los libros se leen del tirón, lástima que de momento no hay más traducidos. Toca esperar pero merece la pena.
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
922 reviews53 followers
March 11, 2023
3,5 / 5
Bu ben tek hepinize karşı kurguları J. Wick veya J. Bauer değilse pek sevmiyorum 😏
Bir de yazarın bilimsel konuları bu kadar detaylandırarak anlatması ne derece gerekli? Amaç sayfa sayısını mı arttırmak 🤔
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,866 reviews421 followers
June 8, 2021
Looking Glass', book two in The Naturalist series by Andrew Mayne, is a superb thriller! I'm in love - with the book, with the series, with Dr. Theo Cray, with Mayne - the whole package. Mr. Mayne, I will be buying every novel you write!

I am copying the book blurb because it is accurate:

"Professor Theo Cray caught one of the most prolific serial killers in history using revolutionary scientific methods. Cut off from university research because of the shroud of suspicion around him after the death of his former student and the aftermath of catching his quarry, Cray tries to rebuild his life but finds himself drawn into another unsolved case.

The desperate father of a missing child, ignored by the authorities and abandoned by his community, turns to Theo for help. The only clues are children’s drawings and an inner-city urban legend about someone called the Toy Man.

To unravel the mystery behind the Toy Man, Theo must set aside his scientific preconceptions and embrace a world where dreams and nightmares carry just as much weight as reality. As he becomes immersed in the case, he discovers a far-reaching conspiracy—one that hasn’t yet claimed its last victim."

Cray is developing into a very tough guy! Originally, in 'The Naturalist', book one, Dr. Cray was a self-involved scientist geek more comfortable with mathematics and computer algorithms than he was with murder and serial killers and corrupt police.

Because of his exposure to both criminals and the varying forces of the law supposedly enforcing the legal system of America in the previous book, he has upped his game. He no longer is a university professor but he has become a civilian operative working for a Defense Intelligence Agency contractor called OpenSkyAI. His desk job is to sort through data points, searching for clues to terrorists who are enemies of the United States.

The shocks he had after a student he liked was murdered in Montana by a serial killer affected Clay profoundly. He has changed his entire life as a result. Although he is working for the government, he no longer trusts any officials of any kind, suspecting they will be compromised in performing their duties by politics or ambition. So far, he has been correct. On his own, he has learned to shoot a gun and he has taken martial arts lessons.

The people he works for have their agenda, Clay has his. Sometimes the agendas intersect, but sometimes they don't. When they don't, Clay has learned how and when to cover his ass when he goes off-script. Clay wants to actually track down and stop killers. Officials often do not....

In his narrative, Clay knew he was different from most people, and most certainly he is a genius, but he never really knew or cared before how different he is. In tracking down the Toy Man, he realizes suddenly the line between himself and serial killers is only one of who they each have chosen to hunt. Gentle reader, "looking glass" is another term for mirror.

Clay uses a lot of science studies and logic to aid him in his hunts. Some readers will feel there are too many "info dumps", I suppose, of various science methodologies, although the "dumps" are rarely more than a few paragraphs. However, for me, Clay is as logical as a Vulcan and as passionate for justice as Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I suspect it is Arthur Conan Doyle's character of Sherlock Holmes Mayne is tribute-imitating in the creation of Theo Clay. The similarities are striking! Looking glasses indeed.
Profile Image for Claire.
805 reviews175 followers
June 18, 2022
Very chaotic, very fun, very few brain cells required.
Profile Image for Inna.
606 reviews127 followers
February 10, 2020
«Розслідування, яке веде науковець? I’m in!» - так подумала я і підсіла на цю серію. Єдина маленька проблемка полягає в тому, що деякі наукові методи, описані американцем Мейном, звучать для мене, українки, як наукова фантастика. Ця тема з бактеріями дійсно існує?! Я б не відмовилася від післямови, де б такі речі розібрали �� пояснили. А оскільки до цього ніхто не додумався, то доводиться мучити googlе, очікуючи третю частину)))
Profile Image for Nika.
284 reviews101 followers
February 14, 2020
Цьому світу потрібен герой і ім'я йому Тео Крей! Справді, що може бути кращим за привабливого, дещо соціопатичного, дико розумного та милого месника-науковця?)
Дуже динамічна річ, без зайвих деталей - гарний детектив і навіть певні малоймовірні "збіги" не зіпсували задоволення від читання. Серію рекомендую :)
Profile Image for Tom S.
417 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2018
Great Series

This is the second installment of The Naturalist series. Dr. Theo Cray started out as a professor, now he works in the murky world of national security. His talents are valuable tools for catching serial killers.
Profile Image for LJ.
3,156 reviews313 followers
April 7, 2018
First Sentence: Tiko kicked the deflated soccer ball down the alley, laughing as MauMau, the tan puppy with the chewed-up ear, chased it into the puddle, his too-big paws splattering mud and droplets everywhere.

Professor Theo Cray is trying to put his life back on track after having been responsible for the capture of a mass serial killer. The father of a missing child has been ignored by law enforcement and sees Theo as the last hope for finding his child. The only clue is the child’s bike still where the boy was last seen, and stories of “The Toy Man.” As Theo investigates, it’s clear that this is a case of more than one missing child.

Mayne has written an opening that tears at your heart but won’t let you stop reading. One is drawn into the suspense almost immediately. You are also drawn to the character—“What does your get say?” “I’m a scientist. I’ve trained myself not to have a gut.” One is also drawn to the fact that Mayne is an author who truly makes one think—“The real danger is that the good guys will blindly keep doing bad things that they don’t see as bad. It’s why people who would give the shirt off their back to help the poor and the hungry will then march against genetically modified food, even if such food products could save millions of children from blindness or starvation. It’s when people who want democracy in the Middle East find themselves building military bases instead of schools and hospitals.”

This is one painful book to read. One is only peripherally aware of how many children, in fact, especially those from families of illegals, broken homes and those afraid to talk to the authorities are missing and that there is next to nothing being done to find them. A major clue in the story is nearly as disturbing, but very effective for it so being.

One weakness the plot has is the redundant references back to Cray’s previous case. It almost seems to be a plot filler and takes the effectiveness away from this story. There is, however, one link made which does work—“Don’t think just because you survived one monster you’ll survive the next. I’m alive because I kept running from them. Not to them.”

Mayne does creepy well. He excels at creepy. He creates visual images that may stay with one, but one certainly hopes they don’t.

The scientific information can, at times, be a bit overwhelming. But it is fascinating and not so complex that one doesn’t get the gist of what is being conveyed. Even Cray’s analysis can make one think—“Every murder has at least five important factors: a victim, a means of death, a location, a time, and a murderer. Solving for one or more of them can lead you to a solution, much like an equation, assuming they’re not all random.”

The link between the killings is unique. And then Mayne introduces the tried, true, and highly effective element of racing against the clock.

It helps that Mayne’s humor lightens the darkness of the events—“There has to be some other distraction that doesn’t involve a siren and dead hostages. Shit. There is. There’s actually an app for that.” He throws in an effective plot twist, and some excellent advice--“Never believe anything that’s reported in the first twenty-four hours. In the age of social media, this is especially true.”

The story contains a lot of information, some of which may not interest everyone but may well fascinate others. One might wish for author notes.

“Looking Glass” is a twisty, grim, and takes one to unexpected places. While not Mayne’s best book, it keeps one reading non-stop from page one to the very end.

LOOKING GLASS (Trad Mys-Theo Cray-US-Contemp) – G+
Mayne, Andrew – 2nd in series
Thomas & Mercer – March, 2018

577 reviews24 followers
March 14, 2018
4.5 of 5 stars
It's ridiculous how much I'm enjoying this series - I love 'em.
Profile Image for Renee.
210 reviews10 followers
March 16, 2018
Another fantastic read from Mayne!

I eagerly awaited the next book after the terrific book, The Naturalist. Of course, I was hoping this book would live up to the other one. I'm here to tell you it's even better.

I love the way the hero uses science as both his means to investigate and to capture the bad guy. The story was gripping and fast paced. An easy read even with the level of technical detail. I've read plenty of crime fiction, thrillers, suspense, etc and Mayne is, quite simply, one of the best.
Author 46 books76 followers
April 16, 2019
Tohle je přímo ukázkový případ toho, co se nazývá "čtivo". Krátké kapitoly, končící vždycky tak, aby vás táhli kupředu, bizarní sériový vrah... a aby čtenář neměl pocit čisté cukrové vaty, jsou přihozená i nějaká sociální témata (někdo unáší a zabijí děti z nižších sociálních skupin) a samozřejmě, spoustu faktů - ať z přírody nebo ze života sériových vrahů. Potud by to byla knížka, kterou byste mohli vycpat a používat na literárních školách jako učební pomůcků. Do toho hrdina, který má sklon být lehce autistický... což je sice módní, ale díky tomu se autor vyhýbá tomu, aby musel na každé stránce projevovat emoce, plakat či stydět se za svou bílou pleť - a může se soustředit čistě na pohyb vpřed, na řešení problémů.
Do té chvíle je do to fajn... i když si člověk říká, že to hrdinovi všechno až nějak moc vychází, každá stopa vede dál. Dokonce člověk odpustí autorovi i to, že se police chová účelově jako skupina pitomců, jenom proto, aby mohl být hrdina zase proti všem. I to, že tady fakt tlačí na pilu ohledně počtu mrtvých. Jakoby si říkal, že čím víc mrtvých, tím lepší román. Ale pak přichází poslední třetina. A tak je fakt špatná. Do příběhu se sériovým vrahem vstupuje nový prvek, který je podivný a nesmyslný a najednou se celé finále z konfrontace s psychopatem mění v politický thriller, kde je samo dopadení vraha v podstatě nepodstatné a odbyté (stejně jako jeho motivy a spousta dalších věcí). Je to proto, že si autor netroufl udělat souboj čistě mezi černým vrahem a bílým hrdinou... nebo si myslel, že to nestačí a potřebuje tam přihodit něco většího? Jasně, udělat uspokojivý konec je u thrilleru vždycky to nejtěžší, ale udělat takhle neuspokojivý konec... to je fakt umění.
Profile Image for Eli Easton.
Author 64 books2,603 followers
July 5, 2018
I read this book immediately after finishing The Naturalist. I adored the first book and the second was nearly as good. The killer is quite different in this story--a sort of Voodoo boogey man. The ending stretched the vigilante theme, and reality, a bit too far IMHO. But nevertheless, this is still a white-knuckled read that kept me engrossed and I love the character of Dr. Theo Cray. I highly recommend both "The Naturalist" and this sequel.

You can read my longer review of The Naturalist here:
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews394 followers
September 2, 2019
After thoroughly enjoying the first book in Andrew Mayne's The Naturalist series, and applauding how different from the usual sausage machine plots it was - this one blew me away. It could be sub-titled Revenge of the Nerds for that's what our chief protagonist is, brains not brawn win the day in this gripping tale.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,405 reviews989 followers
July 18, 2020
I LOVED the first Theo Cray thriller and I recently purchased the rest of the series to date and having read book 2 I'm glad I did.

These are real page turners, a mix of forensic, psychological and serial killer thriller (Well the first two have a serial killer anyway) and our main protagonist kind of fell into chasing after the first one and made a more conscious decision to go after this one. The hook here is these particular killers are off the radar and the way Theo finds them is like no other...

Echoes of the Atlanta child murders here (which I randomly happen to be listening to a podcast about at the moment- Atlanta Monster) indeed the character talks about those at points in the book. This is a dark taie indeed but it is quietly action packed and cleverly plotted.

A huge thumbs up from me. I'm glad I can dive into book 3 almost immediately. Recommended.
Profile Image for Sarmīte.
495 reviews12 followers
November 19, 2020
Patīk man abi šie puiši - gan rakstnieks, gan viņa radītais tēls:) Iespējams, varētu atrast dažus trūkumus utt, bet ja patīk, tad vienkārši patīk.
Zināmā mērā grāmatas tēma sasaucas ar Larsena meiteni ar pūķa tetovējumu - dižu (un ne tik dižu) ideju vārdā daži (desmiti, simti, tūkstoši utt) parastie iedzīvotāji, kā es un jūs, aci nemirkšķinot, tiek ziedoti ideju, varas, naudas dēļ. Tas notiek visu laiku, un vispār jau labi, ka mēs to nezinām, citādi tiešām var nojūgties..
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.2k reviews421 followers
August 6, 2022
I really liked Theo's thought process on finding the man who was taking little boys. It was unusual and spot on. While he made some mistakes along the way that let people know he was on to them, Theo was doing the right thing. I hated seeing Theo so disillusioned when he found out who the bad guy was and the people that were helping him. I didn't mind his last moves at all. This guy and the people behind him needed to be taken care of.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,072 reviews266 followers
February 7, 2018
Review: LOOKING GLASS by Andrew Mayne [The Naturalist, Book 2]

LOOKING GLASS is the eagerly-awaited second novel/scientific thriller/criminal mystery in author/illusionist Andrew Mayne' s super fantastic THE NATURALIST Series. Computational biologist, mathematical and programming genius, Dr. Theo Cray (formerly Professor, University of Texas-Austin), is without a doubt my favourite protagonist. (I can only think of one other protagonist and one highly important secondary character I admire as much, and both of those are found in John Connolly's Charlie Parker series.) Theo is an exceptional individual, a character who is so self-analytical but almost constantly doubting his human traits, an intellectual genius, a scientist with incomparable value to science, academia, law enforcement, business and industry, government, because he is a savant at spotting patterns. What he doesn't see on his own recognizance, he codes programs to find. He could be so valuable, but bureaucracy and egotism rule, so instead of being applauded, his own academia jettisoned him, certain law enforcement agencies basically despise him, and now he is employed by a subcontractor working on Defense Intelligence Agency research. But you can't keep a facile brain muzzled, and quickly Theo finds himself drawn into a horrid ongoing killing series spanning decades, involving children, international politics, conspiracy and cover-ups--and black magic. I kid you not. Theo nearly didn't survive his first encounter in The Naturalist; he's likely not to survive this either.
Profile Image for Ed.
632 reviews56 followers
March 20, 2018
Computational Biologist Dr. Theo Cray is back in the sequel to Andrew Mayne's brilliant series debut "The Naturalist" looking into the disappearance of missing children in the LA suburb of Compton. Theo thinks there might be a serial killer operating for years under the radar targeting preteen boys. Compton PD and the FBI are unconvinced leaving Cray to pursue his uniquely innovative "out of the box" investigation solo. As he outpaces the FBI team's short sighted investigation, he's confronted with official push back originating from an unexpected source. Using the logic of science, he accelerates his efforts to find and stop the serial killer Compton children call "the Toy Man" before another boy disappears in this exceptionally original thriller.
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