Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

My Review:

5 Out of 5 Hearts

Genre: Mystery, Teen--

Cassie and the gang are back, still trying to emotionally recover from the events of the last book. The use of them as a tool to help the FBI solve cold cases is in jeopardy, so this could be the end of the naturals. Meanwhile, a murderer is on the loose, recreating scenes from a notorious serial killers victims. A serial that just so happens to be the father of one of the naturals. Can Cassie help to stop the killer while proving that the team is needed?

I love love love the first book, so I was incredibly happy to get my hands on the second book in the series. This series needs to be read in order to get all the back story and characters details. These are not standalone books; they have a consistent underlying storyline with a new murder case each book to solve. And really, they are so good why would you want to miss out and not start at the beginning. The book picks up after the turmoil of the first book’s ending has just started to settle and Cassie is trying to get her life back into order. She and the gang are under the supervision of a new FBI agent who has a history with her fellow Natural, Dean, and does not think the program should exist. And then the murders! I love how the book switches from Cassie’s point of view to random snippets here and there told from the unknown murder’s point of view. The series is really dark, full of gruesome murder and insight into serial killers and other criminal activities. Just like the first, this was intense and captivating, and I completely loved it!

I always love romance in a book, and in this story Cassie finally chooses between 2 very great yet completely different boys and I wanted to do a happy dance at her choice. I love love love the boy she picked. It didn’t happen until right at the end, so don’t expect a warm fuzzy story here, but I just had to mention this.

The dynamic of the group is my favorite part of the story. The five teens are so different, yet together they are like superheroes solving crimes. I like that this is a realistic story, that these gifts are honed by traumatic life experience, not some random magic bean or something else not believable. I enjoy being inside Cassie’s head as a profiler as she figures out motivations behind every little action. And even seeing the difference between how she and Dean operate while both still being profilers was quite an experience.

I can’t express my love of this series enough and I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book because I am excited with the direction the author is taking the story. If you are a fan of a murder mystery, these are a must.

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