cover image Abandoned


Cody McFadyen, Author . Bantam $25 (378p) ISBN 978-0-553-80695

In McFadyen's intense fourth book to feature scarred FBI agent Smoky Barrett (after The Darker Side ), a psychopath known as “Dali” abducts wives for men who wish to be rid of them, imprisons them for years in darkness and isolation (“I'm just storing meat”) until life insurance proceeds are paid to the husbands—then charges half the insurance for “services” rendered. Nonpaying husbands suffer excruciatingly painful blackmail. While Smoky, who heads the L.A. branch of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, is attending a friend's seaside wedding, a bald delirious woman is thrown out of a car, which speeds off. This incident leads to Smoky's own abduction, in which her sadistic captor forces her to choose her freedom on condition of what amounts to death for her young FBI colleague. McFadyen knows how to put readers into the minds of his characters, but many will need megawatt night-lights after finishing this violent psychological thriller. (Nov.)