Posts Tagged With: Cody McFadyen

The Darker Side – Cody McFadyen

Amazon Synopsis
When FBI Agent Smoky Barrett and her team of investigators are called in by the Director himself to handle a case of murder committed on a flight from Texas to Virginia, the case begins with a shock, and the twists keep coming. It soon becomes apparent that Smoky is dealing with a serial killer who appears to have committed a truly horrific number of murders already, someone who can find people with secrets not just the secrets we all admit to ourselves, but the deepest, innermost secrets of all and is using them to target and destroy his victims. The case is on the edge of going public, and when that happens, with all the accelerated power of the Internet behind it, public hysteria is not far behind. Just at the time when she is working so hard to bring up her adopted daughter Bonnie, Smoky is now under the most intense pressure of her career to get results. Yet the team has never been faced with such an apparently insoluble problem. Who will the next victim be? Everyone in the world has secrets. Even Smoky.


My Thoughts

This is the first book by McFadyen for me and I was gripped from the very beginning. I loved the characters that he has created and felt I got to know them and understood what was going on in their heads. Smoky, the main character has a traumatic background with some harrowing history but is dealing with her demons the best she can. Murders are being committed in their hundreds and the only link is that all the victims had a dark secret that they had shared with someone. How the killer accesses this information is a mystery that Smoky needs to unravel. Yet she has a secret that she’s never told to anyone before, will this hinder or aid her search for the murderer? When the killer’s methods are described it makes for cringing reading. I felt the pain and fear of the victims, and their sense of helplessness. There is also a strong religious theme running through this storyline that is sure to spark many discussions. This is a tale of love, loss, pain and grief, with a strong sense of endurance and hope. 

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Face of Death by Cody McFadyen

Date of Publication: 2007, Bantam Books

Number of Pages: 592

Synopsis (from back cover): A sixteen-year-old girl 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.

Review: This book was a wonderful, yet horrifying surprise for me. Having never read any other book by McFadyen, I didn’t know what to expect from a main character named Smoky. I didn’t know if this was going to be just another run-of-the-mill thriller, or something worse. but after reading the first three pages, I was immediately drawn into the story and I found myself intensely caring about Smoky, a woman who lost everything and yet gained a unique strength which carried her through the worst imaginable tragedy. It is this strength that Smoky relies upon as she delves further into sixteen-year-old Sarah’s mysterious and unbelievable past. She also relies on her team, a mix of unusual and fun personalities who each bring something different to the investigation. My favorite was the striking redhead, Callie, whose “tell it like it is” mentality brought a breath of humor into the story that it very much needed, given that the bulk of it revolves around incredibly gory and horrific murders.

The story centers on the idea of revenge, and also on the idea that something horrible happening to someone can change him or her into an evil person who is wholly bent on punishing those who, in their mind, are the ones responsible. The Stranger is single-mindedly pursuing and punishing people for his own tragic past. Sarah, as an innocent, is being molded in his image: A Ruined Life. His life was ruined, and now, so is Sarah’s. The crimes, as they are described through Sarah’s bitter diary, are simply horrible. I wept over the book more than once, and found myself holding my breath quite often during scenes of intense emotional torture and pain. That’s why this book was a horrifying surprise: I loved it, but it still caused me physical pain. It’s almost impossible not to react in this way to the story. It’s the ultimate story of tragedy and loss, and of recovery and strength and new beginnings.

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Sarah

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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