In the Darkness (Zoe Bentley #2), by Mike Omer

Eight stars

Mike Omer is back with another impactful thriller that presents another ruthless serial killer out for some twisted revenge. Dr. Zoe Bentley is a star within the FBI’s Behavioural Analyst Unit (BAU), using her skills to profile some of the country’s worst killers. Bentley is still coming to terms with the knowledge that an acquaintance is on the loose, a serial killer in his own right. Zoe’s sister, Andrea, appears to be a target, which leaves everyone feeling a little less than safe. When Bentley and her partner, Agent Tatum Gray, receive word that there appears to be a sick killer down in Texas, they take a particular interest. Someone using the online handle ‘Schrodinger’ has posted an extended video of burying a woman alive, which includes streams of both the grave digging and inside the makeshift coffin. When asked by the San Angelo PD to assist with this, Bentley and Gray fly across the country, though Andrea’s safety remains a concern. When they arrive, Bentley and Gray scour the crime scene photos and posted video for clues, but things are slow going. When another woman goes missing, Bentley tries to better understand the psychological aspects of the crime. She learns as much as she can about the famous Schrödinger Box thought experiment, including the nuances of what is supposed to be inside the box itself. When another link appears, it would seem that things are ramping up at an unexpected rate. Bentley and Gray must work quickly to solve this case and stop the disappearances. Meanwhile, Andrea is haunted by the constant fear that she will be attacked, which only makes her all the more paranoid. Things on both fronts soon take a turn for the worse, leaving the reader to pay close attention during the latter chapters of the book. Omer has developed another stunning novel that takes the reader into the mind of someone divorced from reality. Recommended for those who love a good psychological mystery that keeps the mind racing throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed Omer’s debut novel in this series, as it pulled me in from the early chapters and would not let go. This was another wonderfully crafted piece that mixes sadistic killings with a psychological angle. Zoe Bentley proves yet again to be a wonderful character, whose attention to detail works wonders in her work life. Wanting to get to the core of those whose minds she seeks to analyse, Zoe does all in her power to better understand those who wreak havoc. All the while, she must battle with the knowledge that her sister, Andrea, remains a potential target. With a narrative offering parallel advancement of the plots, the reader is able to see the dedication that Zoe possesses. Other characters offer wonderful flavours to the story and complement the narrative effectively. Omer is able to craft wonderful individuals to keep the story fresh and the reader fully engaged. The story is strong and takes the reader into the depths of a killer’s mind, which also serves to entertain throughout. With short chapters, the pages seem to flow by without much effort, matched with a strong story and insightful perspectives.

Kudos, Mr. Omer, for another wonderful novel. I know you have other series and I may have to give them a read through before long.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: