Friday, October 30, 2009

Cody McFadyen - Abandoned (Smoky Barrett series, Book 4)

For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.

No one knows who she is or where she's come from—or why she’s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years—that once she was someone's wife, someone's mother…and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn't know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he's a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim's fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads—a professional psychopath who doesn't take murder personally and never makes a mistake.

There's a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.


FBI special agent Smoky Barrett celebrates her best friends wedding day when the ceremony is concluded by a woman dumped out of a car in front of the church. She was tortured and looks like her skin hasn't seen the sunlight in a very long time.

The victim is identified as homicide detective Heather Hollister who vanished years earlier. Her husband just recently had her declared dead and received a huge insurance payment.
Meeting the husband Smoky and friend and colleague Alan find his wife and one of his sons killed. Eventually the husband admits to have met a man on the internet who offered him a way out of a bad marriage by having his wife vanish and receiving half the insurance money after seven years. When the husband declined the payment heater was released.

Because Heather isn't the first case across the U.S. it seems that someone offers husbands a way out of bad marriages by kidnapping the wives and keeping them locked away for years.

The case gets very personal when the kidnapper recognizes Smoky's internet trap and kidnaps her and young computer expert Leo.


Cody McFadyen is one of my favorite writers. His different approach to serial killers, who are almost always out of the box in what they do to their victims, usually gets to me right in the beginning.
Unfortunately with this one my expectations were already high after I received the latest newsletter from the author's website. The plot sounded delicious but couldn't keep up with the promises that were made. It almost wasn't dark enough.

However, without thinking about the newsletter Abandoned is a nice addition to the series. It doesn't top the first two novels but still is a frightening tale.

Visit Cody McFadyen.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Bantam (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553806955
ISBN-13: 978-0553806953

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