Review: The Dark Corners of the Night by Meg Gardiner

Official Thrillerfix Review

Review by Gavin Reese

 Everyone who loves thrillers, suspense, and police procedurals should be reading Meg Gardiner’s UNSUB series. If you haven’t met Caitlin Hendrix, you’re missing out on a fantastic hero! – Gavin Reese

He appears in the darkness like a ghost, made of shadows and fear—the Midnight Man. He comes for the parents but leaves the children alive, tiny witnesses to unspeakable horror. The bedroom communities of Los Angeles are gripped with dread as the attacks escalate.

Still reeling from a hospital bombing six months ago, FBI behavioral analyst Caitlin Hendrix is called to Los Angeles to do what she does best — hunt serial killers.

Her work is what keeps her going, but something about this UNSUB — “unknown subject” — doesn’t sit right. He calls himself “The Midnight Man,” and Caitlin soon realizes this investigation will test all her skills and dedication, for within the heart of a killer lives a secret that mirrors Caitlin’s own past. As it always does, the hunt for depraved men eventually demands immediate decisiveness, but can Caitlin do everything she fears will be necessary to save the public, and maybe even herself?

The Dark Corners of the Night” is Gardiner’s third effort in her UNSUB series, but it’s my introduction to her work. This novel read very well as a standalone, and it’s now compelled me to go back and put the first two UNSUB books in my TBR list.

Gardiner’s writing is polished, crisp, and razor-sharp, and her storytelling kept me turning pages much later into the night than I had planned. 

Her biography says nothing about having worked or pursued education in criminal psychology, but her characters are so authentic and perfectly written that I could easily believe she had. The story never spoon-fed information or conclusions to me, and I felt like I was working the investigation right alongside Hendrix, her FBI partners, and the local detectives assigned to these horrific cases.

Gardiner’s scenes are well drawn, but she left plenty of room for me to fill in the background with my own interpretations and experience. Her characters’ dialogue flowed well, and I never found her using those exchanges to repeat what I already knew. Most importantly in novels that address such heinous crimes, Gardiner left much of the gore to our own imaginations and never went too far in detailing what the cops and agents had to witness.

As a retired cop who’s worked almost all manner of investigations, this story and its characters kept me engaged and guessing. 

I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of Gardiner’s work, and I hope you’ll do the same. Her efforts to craft an original work in a very popular and densely populated genre deserve a piece of our time and treasure. If you still remain unconvinced, you should know Gardiner’s initial UNSUB novel won the 2018 Barry Award for Best Thriller, and she’s won an Edgar, an Audie, and her works have been included in O Magazine’s “Best Books of Summer.”

And, a little company called Amazon bought the rights to develop this UNSUB series for television, so you’re running out of time to read them all before your friends start bragging about this great new series they binge-watched over the weekend. 

Get your copy of The Dark Corners of the Night here on Amazon, Audible, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play.

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THRILLERFIX ALL-STAR REVIEWER: A former law enforcement officer, Gavin Reese wrote his first six crime thrillers between patrol shifts. An author, thriller aficionado, and podcast host, Gavin has interviewed some of the top names in the genre.  If you enjoy novels with authentic cops, crimes, and criminals, you'll want to follow Gavin Reese's book recommendations here on the Thrillerfix blog.

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