Next Victim

Next Victim (Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum Series #2) by Michael Prescott

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I picked this book up at a library book sale. I never realized that it was part of a series until I was going to post the book review on here. It is weird because the first book The Shadow Hunter, has nothing to do with Tess McCallum but featured Abby Sinclair.

Hmm…

And in this book there is no Abby Sinclair. I’m not sure why it is called the Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum Series. Maybe they meet up later in the series?

Plot Synopsis:

FBI Agent Tess McCallum has been searching for  a serial killer for years. Barely anything is known about him other than the brand of duct tape he uses, the knife, etc. No one knows his name or anything else, just that he refers to himself as Mobius.

After he murdered her boyfriend, Tess became more determined than ever to get him. She goes after every lead and every person who has a ghost of a resemblance.

Meanwhile, Amanda Pierce is on the run from the federal government. She was working for a company that was creating a chemical weapon for the military. She has stolen it and was in the middle of trying to sell it, when she crossed paths with Mobius.

Now they are on a race against time as they have to find Mobius before he unleashes this chemical and kills millions.

But one thing is in their favor. When they were close to grabbing Mobius he slipped through them but left a very important clue behind. But will this clue be enough to find him? Or will al be lost?

I wonder…

Thoughts After Reading:

So when I first read this book I wanted to be a behavioral scientist and work for the FBI. I read this and was jazzed.

However, after I read the first book I reread this one and didn’t like it as much. This time it felt formulaic and predictable. In this book Tess had a personal connection to a death by the killer and was trying to hunt him down-proving herself and making up for the past-just like Abby.

Hmm…

The killer identity is a twist and it turns out to be someone they know professionally.

It gave me mixed feelings as it was a good thriller but was also…old hat.

It’s possible that Prescott might have done that to build a shared history for when they team up later. I’m not sure, but I’ll find out. When I start reading a series, I always finish it.

Eventually…

For more from Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum Series, go to The Shadow Hunter

For more FBI Agent mysteries, go to Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla

For more serial killers, go to Candy from a Stranger

 

The Shadow Hunter

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The Shadow Hunter (Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum Series) by Michael Prescott

So I was first introduced to this series when I picked up a copy of Next Victim at a library book sale.

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It’s been a while since I read and before I look at it again I decided it was time that I started the series from the beginning.

Read it today!

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So the first thing that surprised me about this book is that it is all about freelance security consultant, Abby Sinclair.

What?

There is no FBI Agent Tess McCallum, the protagonist from Next Victim.

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Looking at Goodreads, it looks as if the two meet up in later books so maybe the first two are introductory novels to the characters? Or two books that were combined to create a series. I guess I’ll have to do some research.

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So the book starts out with a flashback. Abby’s firm has a different way of going about protecting their client from stalkers and other potential threats. Instead of being around the client, she instead places herself in the perpetrator’s world: befriending the stalker/threat, living next to them, discovering their secrets, and judging whether they are actually going to act on their fantasy or whether it is just bluster.

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Abby has been assisting a case on a case of a famous rock singer. To her chagrin, he won’t listen and remain in seclusion, but insists on going to a club.

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Of course his stalker followed and were she goes Abby does too.

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After many drinks, Abby leaves to conduct standard protocol and notify her team that they should come in, the stalker is nearing red light warning status. But as she is making the call, the stalker kills the client.

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It’s been a year later and that incident has caused trouble for many. Abby left the firm, and the firm has suffered from bad press. The once flourishing company has been culled back to the barest of bones.

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But Paul Travis, head of the company, is a forgiving guy and calls Abby back in to help with a new case. Abby is eager to help as she feels horrible and guilty for not only being unable to save the rock star, but for damaging her boss/”boyfriend”‘s business.

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The new client is the beautiful news anchor, Kris Barwood. Kris was the only one to not blame the company for the death of the rock star, so Travis and Abby are in some real pressure to do right on this. If they succeed in stopping her stalker, it could set everything right. But if they fail, completely demolish them both.

I wonder...

Kris’ husband doesn’t believe in Travis’ company and thinks they should finds someone else to assist them. Kris, however, chooses to ignore him as she no longer trusts her husband, knowing that he is out cheating on her with younger women.

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Kris has been stalked by Raymond Hickle. Everyday he grows more and more intent on reaching Kris and killing her. While he starts planning, a new neighbor moves in: Abby Sinclair.

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Abby begins working on Raymond and his apartment, getting closer and closer to him. Just as she has made incredible progress, Raymond receives a note from his partner. Yes, it seems that someone anonymous wants Kris dead and is using Hickle to get rid of her.

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This partner has just let Raymond know the truth about Abby, and put her life in danger.

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Who is this mysterious person? Which of the people in Kris’ life are trying to kill her? And will Abby make it out?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this book was pretty good.

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It was a tough crime novel that gave an interesting perspective into stalkers’ minds.

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I liked the character of Abby, although at times she was a little dense at judging people. Choosing to trust the untrusty over the worthy, but then again that’s is pretty realistic.

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I thought the the twist ending of who Hickle’s partner was, was done excellently.

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It is obvious who it is, but Prescott did a wonderful job at smoke screening it so that you thought it was another or doubted you judgement.

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I give it three out of five stars

***Spoiler Warning***

 

The only thing I really didn’t like was how Abby could not see that Paul was the bad guy. The way he acted so closed off, his emotions/personality; how could she not tell that he hated her and wanted him gone.

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I knew it was him.

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I didn’t put the pieces together why he wanted Kris dead and thought that was a great twist. And the way he set the husband up? Excellently planned for his character.

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For more stalkers, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more undercover tales, go to A Change of Fortune

For more mysteries, go to Bake Until Golden