Back in March Don Winslow and Steve Hamilton both published tweets on the same day that were way too similar fluffing up the new Meg Gardiner book, UNSUB (Dutton). Both tweets compared it to The Silence of the Lambs and Seven, gee, I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they are all represented by the same agent, The Story Factory. Going into reading UNSUB, my hopes were not that high given the sloppy and forced publicity around it. Sadly, I was proven right.
UNSUB focuses on the return of a serial killer called The Prophet who was active in the 90s. The book opens with a young girl named Caitlin being woke up by the yelling of her father on the phone. Her father, a detective, was telling someone the next time the killer would strike. Caitlin sneaks into their garage which for some reason her father uses as a war room of sorts, the walls covered with photos of victims, “Faces. Flesh. Open eyes. Jagged slices. Blood. Her head began to pound.” Her father notices her in the garage and runs in saying, “Don’t look, Caitlin. Close your eyes.”
This was the first of my many problems in the believability of UNSUB, who puts pictures of dead men and women up on the walls of their house? (I mean other than the killer.) If it was just that I’d probably wouldn’t even mention it, but it wasn’t. The next chapter, Catilin is now part of the sheriff’s department and they are raiding a drug house at night. They manage to capture all the bad guys and the house is declared all clear. Except it isn’t. A noise is heard on the kitchen ceiling and the officer in charge says, “Upstairs. Two bedrooms. Go.” Wait. What? The house was cleared without checking the upstairs? It’s like we’re not even trying at this point.
It should be obvious that my tastes are not in line with regular America and I’m okay with that. I just read that UNSUB will be a TV series on CBS. That seems about right.