Dr. Theo Cray and FBI agent Jessica Blackwood confront a cataclysmic conspiracy in a pulse-quickening thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Naturalist.
A mysterious electrical storm plunges Manhattan into darkness. As a strange, smothering fog rolls in, all communication crashes. In the blink of an eye, the island seems to vanish into a void.
FBI special agent Jessica Blackwood and brilliant scientist Dr. Theo Cray know this isn’t a freak accident. It’s a sinister sleight of hand. Their greatest adversary, a serial killer and cultist known as the Warlock, has escaped during a prison transfer in New York. A depraved master of manipulation, he promised the end of days. He’s making good on it.
One by one, cities across the globe are erupting in chaos as they disappear into the same black holes. Even for two ingenious trackers like Jessica and Theo, there’s still so much to learn about the pattern to the Warlock’s madness. The voids are just a warm-up for something bigger. To discover it—to stop it—Jessica and Theo must descend into the darkest of shadows—and minds.
What I Loved
The combination of elements- technology, medical, and criminal thrillers with a dose of performance magic is just incredibly fascinating. I spent most of the book simply in awe of everything I was experiencing within the pages. You know, when a story begins with the disappearance of New York City, you might as well strap yourself in because it’s going to be a wild ride, and Mastermind delivered and then some.
Bringing together two main characters that each has a series individually is an intriguing idea. And, even though I haven’t read either of the two series, I had no trouble following them in this story. I loved the way they provide so much insightful knowledge for the reader about each other. So, even though I was meeting each character for the first time, they were also meeting each other for the first time. This worked brilliantly for me as a new reader.
The fast-paced and constant thrills kept me glued to the page. The short chapters and first-person narration added to the smooth quickness, along with the witty banter and explanations that were a bit over my head but read authentic. I love the magician aspect of the story too. I’ve always been fascinated by magic, and to have the main character from a family full of magicians added a unique element that just gave the story an extra spark.
Jessica Blackwood is a lone-wolf investigator who rubs many people the wrong way while maintaining essential connections that help smooth her path. She is from a family full of magicians, and she grew up learning the tricks of the trade and subtly falls back on those skills as needed.
Dr. Theo Cray has a bad reputation for playing by his own rules to catch serial killers, which has put him on a list of possible accomplices to one of the worst of the worst. I enjoyed the match-up of these two brilliant and strongly determined investigators.
What I Wish
My only wish is that the changes in narrators had been marked. I’m easily confused by multiple narrators and found myself scratching my head more than once as the narration switched between Jessica and Theo.
Reminds Me Of
It reminds me of when two popular tv series have a crossover event.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a thriller with a mashup of subgenres that will leave you amazed, Mastermind is a book you won’t want to miss.