For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, her colleague’s wedding is cause for celebration. Until a woman staggers down the aisle—incoherent, wearing only a white nightgown. A fingerprint check determines that she’s been missing for nearly eight years. Her coldly efficient captor toyed with her mind and body, imprisoning her, depriving her of any contact with the outside world. As Smoky fits together the pieces of what remains of the victim’s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a cerebral psychopath who doesn’t take murder personally, never makes a mistake, follows his own sinister logic, and has set the perfect trap.
A lie, a long-ago affair, a dark desire—everyone has secrets they take to the grave. No one knows that better than FBI special agent Smoky Barrett. But what secret was a very private young woman keeping that led to her very public murder? That’s the question Smoky and her handpicked team of experienced manhunters are summoned to answer by the FBI director himself.
As a mother, Smoky knows the pain of losing a child. As a cop with her own twisted past, she takes every murder personally. Brilliant, merciless, righteous, the killer Smoky is hunting this time is on his own personal mission. For in his eyes no one is innocent; everyone harbors a secret sin. Soon Smoky will have to face the secret she’s carefully hidden even from her own team—and confront a relentless killer who knows her flaws with murderous intimacy.
In Shadow Man, Cody McFadyen took the suspense thriller where other writers have feared to tread. He introduced readers to a heroine every bit as dark and edgy as the serial killers she hunts: Special Agent Smoky Barrett. Now, in his latest novel, McFadyen brings Agent Barrett back to track down a killer who breaks all the rules.
“I want to talk to Smoky Barrett or I’ll kill myself.”
The girl is sixteen, at the scene of a grisly triple homicide, and has a gun to her head. 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.
No one has. Until now.
Special Agent Smoky Barrett is head of the violent crimes unit in Los Angeles, the part of the FBI reserved for tracking down the worst of the worst. Her team has been handpicked 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 sixteen-year-old Sarah into the perfect victim—and the ultimate weapon. But Smoky Barrett has another, more personal reason for catching The Stranger—an adopted daughter and a new life that are worth protecting at any cost.
This time Smoky is going to have to put it all on the line. Because The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too relentless. And when he finally shows his face, if she’s not ready to confront her worst fear, Smoky won’ t have time to do anything but die.
Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best—until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead—but her life was shattered forever.
Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who’s lost everything, what is there left to lose?
She’s about to find out.
In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him—a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers’ attempts to understand him. And he’s issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.
The killer videotaped his latest crime—an act of horror that left a child motherless—then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.
Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again–and she’s about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother . . . and a merciless killer’s next victim.