A 16 year old girls holds a gun to her head at the scene of a grisly triple homicide. She claims "The Stranger" killed her adoptive family, that he's been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her. But Special Agent Smoky Barrett does. Her team has been hand picked from among the nation's elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they'll have to be to deal with this case. For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an "artist" who's molding Sarah into the perfect victim, and the ultimate weapon. To catch him, Smoky is going to have to put her own fragile, once-shattered life on the line. For The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too determined. And when he finally shows his face, Smoky had better be ready to face her worst fear.
***McFadyen writes a very dark world. One where at least, sometimes, the good guys win. His story may seem too detailed at times, but i find that i appreciate it. If you close your eyes, you are actually there watching it happen thru his description. The characters are well developed and you become attached to them and want the happy ending for them all. But the path to the end is full of fear, courage, and raw rage at times. It shows you what it takes to keep your soul intact.
"I've called this a diary, but that's not what it really is.
This is a black flower. This a book of dreams. This is a path to the watering hole, where the dark things go down to drink."......Sara
Sara has everything she has ever loved taken from her, killed by The Stranger. It started for her when she was 6 years old. She is now 16 and his game is coming to an end. It has been a well controlled plan of vengeance, taking place over 10 years. But for the killer it started at age 6 with the bottom dwellers of human trafficking. But Smoky is smarter than him. Smoky and her team are thinkers, they get into the mind of the most sickest creatures of humanity and get ahead of the game before the final play. McFadyen never lets you see who the bad guy really is until you are almost at the finish. It's an edge of your seat ride and i can't wait to finish the next 2 in this series. If you haven't read the first...start there. You need to understand Smoky first before you follow her to the watering hole.