Abandoned: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett Series)

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9781501295522: Abandoned: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett Series)

For FBI special agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of the Bureau’s own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown. No one knows who she is or where she’s come from — or why she’s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a finger-print check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years — that once she was someone’s wife, someone’s mother . . . and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn’t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive. Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he’s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim’s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads — a psychopath who doesn’t take murder personally and never makes a mistake. There’s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.

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Review:

Cody McFadyen on Abandoned

I build my books around the bad guy. I have from the first. I remember making a conscious decision to build my bad guys a little bit outside the box--the box being the firm reality we all know and agree to be.

Why?

Because it’s a lot more fun to write about serial killers that way.

Think about it. Hannibal Lecter is a lot more interesting than Son of Sam. Hannibal is brilliant, complex, unclassifiable. He kills with finesse and precision. Son of Sam was an unhinged lunatic, blowing people away at random. As a character, Hannibal is much more interesting to write about (and read). Because true serial killers aren’t super villains. They’re disturbed, sordid individuals, driven by hungers and needs that usually destroy them from the inside out. A lot of the time, they’re socially inept, and not very smart. Their depravity is most often senseless. Writing about what they do would be like writing about a great white shark: it eats because it is hungry and it has such big sharp teeth... you can’t sustain an entire novel on pure savagery. So I like for my bad guys to have a reason for what they do, some guiding purpose. Otherwise, all I’m doing is asking you to pull up a chair and watch the feast--and while something in our reptile brains might enjoy seeing a little bit of the feast, we shy away from the full truth of it.

So when I started thinking about Abandoned, the fourth book in my series, I started by thinking about my killer. I wanted to do something different, but what? The killers in the books earlier in the series had all been pretty "hungry;" in other words, they were appetite driven. "So what," I thought, "about a killer with no appetite at all?"

I actually rejected it at first, but the idea kept swimming back to the forefront. There was something terrifying about the idea of someone operating with such cold clarity. It was haunting me--which is always a good sign! I thought about it a lot and finally realized what (for me at least) makes such a killer so chilling: that kind of coldness relegates us to nothing, nothing at all.

The killer who is purposefully cruel, the killer who drools with excitement, still needs our humanity, at whatever level. There is a validation of our value as sentient, emotional beings, even if that only means they need our fear and our horror. It’s a terrible kind of "mattering," but still, we matter.

In the world of the killer I envisaged, we don’t matter at all. There’s no intentional cruelty, no enjoyment of our suffering, no acknowledgement of the value of our existence. He assigns his victims numbers, because it’s a more economical use of oxygen than saying their names.

I saw him, he terrified me, and then I wrote him. He lies within the pages of Abandoned. It’s my hope he’ll terrify you as well.--Cody McFadyen

About the Author:

Cody McFadyen is the author of Shadow Man and The Face of Death, which have both been international bestsellers. The Face of Death was #5 on Amazon.com’s Best Books of 2007 Mystery/Thriller list, and was also on their list of Top 100 Books of 2007. McFadyen lives in California, and his website is www.codymcfadyen.com.

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. For FBI special agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of the Bureau s own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown. No one knows who she is or where she s come from or why she s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a finger-print check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years that once she was someone s wife, someone s mother . . . and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive. Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads a psychopath who doesn t take murder personally and never makes a mistake. There s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501295522

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. For FBI special agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of the Bureau s own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown. No one knows who she is or where she s come from or why she s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a finger-print check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years that once she was someone s wife, someone s mother . . . and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive. Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads a psychopath who doesn t take murder personally and never makes a mistake. There s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501295522

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