Special Agent Karen Vail, is the only female profiler within the FBI’s profiling unit, which means she has to work twice as hard to prove that she belongs. Vail has been assigned to a task force, for a serial killer dubbed, by the press, as the Dead Eyes Killer. Sadistic, brutal, and ritualistic describe Dead Eyes method of killing, it is the likes of which Vail and the task force has not seen before. His victims are all brown haired and brown-eyed women, that have no connection to each other, and who seem randomly selected. With each murder there is a message that haunts the task force, “Its in the...” scrawled across the walls of the victims’ homes and ever increasing violence, begins to cause the public to panic and for the higher ups to get uneasy and wanting to have someone they can trust on the case. But Vail’s life is not going to get any easier. She is almost divorced from her abusive husband, but somehow she winds up with Him filing assault against Her, which forces the FBI to put her on leave (but her boss seemed all too willing to have her spot filled), and she has to look after her son, who she believes her husband could harm as well. All forces are determined to keep Vail from the Dead Eyes case, but Vail is determined to be part of the team, to stop the Dead Eyes murders. Vail knows that the 7th victim is the key to this serial killer’s puzzle, an individual that Vail had an unknown connection too, but there are secrets and lies surrounding everything in this case. In order to break the case, Vail has to unlock all the secrets and lies, some that may be too painful for her bear, put her life in danger and others that could destroy her.
I enjoyed this book. I appreciated the research that Jacobson put into his book (he has a few pages of acknowledgments for everyone who was able to help to make sure he used the right information, some from right in the FBI and profiling). He was able to create something that could be a detective’s real life. The case is always there but there are things happening outside of Vail’s life as well, that take her away from the case, but she can never really leave it. I believe that this really personalizes Vail, shows her character and just makes her more real. She is strong, passionate, and all about the law but put her ex-husband in the room with her and she just wants to fight. This makes her very real in my eyes; she has a range of emotions that are not just based around the Dead Eyes case. I liked how Jacobson had chapters that were from the point-of-view of Dead Eyes and that he showed the evolution of how Dead Eyes learned with each victim.
I love trying to figure out the who, how and why in mystery books, with just the information the author has given me. Trust me, more often than not, I figure things out before the end of the book; that said, with this book I was able to figure out most of the questions, which makes it a good book, because the author was able to think outside the box somewhat, which is always enjoyable.