I have to let the gushing out first… I totally love this book. This here is my favorite YA mystery/ thriller/ crime story of the year. Don't worry, that surprised me too. As you know I love a good mystery thriller- after reading a lot in that genre, and watching plenty of CSI, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds and Sherlock -I have to say that this just took me by surprise.
The surprise wasn't just the twist at the end, it was the characters foremost. I love how Cassie was characterized. Cassie is a natural profiler. She can look at a person- clothes, stance, facial expression, eye contact - and tell exactly what kind of a person he/she is. She’s not the well rounded good girl or a heart-of-gold kind of character. She’s a regular kid with troubles hanging on her shoulder, and plenty of attitudes going on. She was brought up in a rather felonious environment. Being a fake fortune teller, Cassie’s mother used her to profile people while they line up for fortune telling. Then one day, her mother was assumed dead; her blood was splattered around her dressing room, although her body was never found.
For some reason, the FBI knew about Cassie’s ability. A quick turn of events landed her under an FBI program for gifted teens just like her. All these teens are uniquely gifted with different profiling specializations. I have to say that Barnes is pretty brave casting an ensemble like this, but I believe too that she knows the trick. I like how their characters were developed to support the whole story, making it a whole mesh of interlocking contribution. It just felt like omitting someone means leaving a hole in the story.
“And the one thing this so-called psychic won't see coming is you.”
I also love how the narration transports you into the mind of the killer. And in spite of that the story kept me guessing until the end. Nothing was squeamish too; crimes were laid out as any crimes should be. The brutality of the crimes will pull in any reader; it was futile to look away. And that’s one of the best characteristics of this book.
This is a really good start for a series –good plot, unique characters, and a unpredictable twist. What worries me is the love triangle involved here; seems to me that almost every YA series operates on that. But then again, if Barnes can work that to her advantage, so be it. I just truly hope that she can keep the thrill and the pace intact in this series. So, here I am crossing my fingers and wishing her Godspeed.