An elite team of FBI profilers is called in to help Chicago detectives investigate a series of bizarre murders. Though all are violent and disturbing, the crimes seem unrelated—until profiler David Rossi makes the connection. He recognizes each grisly tableau as one modeled on the crime scenes of three of the country’s most notorious serial killers: David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Someone is taking the cult of true crime to terrifying extremes, and with so many killers left to emulate, Rossi wonders how he can possibly profile a killer who’s hiding within the killer profiles of others...
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For local detectives, one or more of four murder motives figure in ninety-nine percent of the homicides they encounter. These motives are, in no particular order, love, money, sex, and drugs.
No matter the circumstance, no matter how far afield the killers’ motives seem to be, the four basics almost always pertain: love, money, sex, or drugs. Love and sex, of course, have considerable overlap, but then so do money and drugs.
And when a crime comes up where the motive doesn’t clearly fall into those categories, that special one percent of murders that the local police cannot solve on their own, the best option remaining, in the minds of many in local law enforcement, is to bring such cases to the attention of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Just south of Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River from Maryland, the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, serves as home to dozens of Marine Corps schools, the DEA training academy, and the FBI Training and Development Division. Also nestled within the nearly four hundred acres of woods, surrounding what its inhabitants sometimes call the Facility, is the Behavioral Analysis Unit.
Within the walls of the blandly modern, anonymous concrete buildings, the BAU consists of several multiperson, close-knit teams, the nature of whose duty often creates a strong sense of family. Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner’s team was no exception; and his profilers were due back today from a weekend off—no duty, no on-call, no anything, just some much deserved R and R.
Rest and recreation meant, for Hotchner, reading through fitness results, budget analyses, and police reports for one day of his time off, rather than two. Other agents, both on and off his team, considered Hotchner a driven, somewhat humorless taskmaster. He considered himself only a professional with a job that required both concentration and detachment.
Without the latter, burnout or even madness could be the consequence, as Aaron Hotchner was a modern-day Van Helsing tracking down real-life monsters who made the likes of Dracula or the Wolf Man seem quaint.
This took its toll. He and Haley, his wife of eleven years, had separated last fall. Now, they were facing divorce, their marriage another victim of the monsters Hotchner pursued. The severe tension of the initial breakup had eased some, however, and he had been welcomed to her sister’s house where he spent Saturday afternoon with Haley and their son, Jack. Three now, Jack was harder to chase down than most of the UnSubs Hotchner had been after during his FBI career. They had gone to a kid-oriented pizza place for supper, as a family, if a broken one, and while Jack played, the soon to be ex-husband and -wife had talked in a guarded but not unfriendly way about where things were, currently, with how they’d gotten there undiscussed.
After half a day with the two people on the planet he loved most, Hotchner had gotten the best night’s sleep he’d had in months. After sleeping in yesterday, he had read the Sunday paper in the kitchen, where the emptiness of the house almost overwhelmed him. He spent most of the day in his home office, going over reports, coming out only to microwave his meals and catch up on cable news.
For many years Haley had exhibited saintlike patience with his workaholic ways, but these last several years had included an array of horrific cases that had made Hotchner only more withdrawn and had taken him away from home for days and even weeks at a time. When he’d turned down a nine-to-five job on the white-collar task force, Hotchner had finally pushed Haley too far.
‘‘You can’t stop all the monsters,’’ she’d said.
‘‘I have to try. I’ve seen what these creatures do to families. Think of our son.’’
‘‘No, Aaron. You think of our son. You need to put our family first, and everybody else’s family needs to go into second place.’’
‘‘Try to understand. Stopping these people is my way of protecting my family.’’
‘‘Oh, fine, wonderful. On some spiritual, metaphysical level, I’m sure that makes perfect sense. But how do you protect our family, this family, if you’re away all the time?’’
‘‘This is who I am, Haley. Please try to understand that.’’
‘‘I do understand that, Aaron. And I do love you. I do still love you. But I have to leave.’’
And she had.
He awoke early Monday morning, after not nearly enough sleep, eased out of bed, showered, dressed in his best navy blue suit, and came into the office. A tall, broad-shouldered yet slender man with dark hair and burning brown eyes, Hotchner bore the pale complexion of an indoor animal, although spending half a day outside with Jack and Haley had added a little pink to high, sharp cheekbones. His look, his demeanor, were fitting for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but he made considerably less, even if his responsibilities were similarly demanding. Seated behind a desk neatly piled with files, Hotchner sipped his coffee and checked his watch. The rest of the team would be rolling in over the next half hour.
That Hotchner was in charge of the team went beyond his assigned role to his nature, and it was in his nature to lead by example. Part of that meant being first in (and last out) of the office, with the exception of media maven Jennifer Jareau. Consequently, he had unlocked his door a full hour before the start of shift.
The first agent to get off the elevator and stride into the bullpen area below Hotchner’s office was Emily Prentiss. A willowy, quietly stylish brunette whose hair touched her shoulders, the thirtyish Prentiss had been a member of the BAU for over a year now. The well-connected daughter of a diplomat, with the looks of a fashion model and the intellect of a physicist, she’d served FBI tours in both St. Louis and Chicago before the FBI foisted her on Hotchner; but he had come to respect and value her—Prentiss worked hard, maintained a cool professional attitude on site, and never complained about an assignment. Further, she’d been embraced by the rest of team over time—no small thing, as she’d replaced a popular agent who’d gone over the line. As she sat at her desk, Prentiss glanced up at him through the window separating Hotchner’s office from the bullpen. When she saw him through the open venetian blinds, she nodded and smiled, just a little.
Hotchner nodded back, did not return the smile, then looked down at the file in front of him. He worked a while.
Next in was the team’s youngest member, Dr. Spencer Reid. Twenty-six and a five-year veteran of the BAU, the gangly Reid wore gray slacks and a blue blazer with a white shirt and a red-and-goldstriped tie, though the collar button remained unbuttoned and the knot loosened. The strap to his briefcase rode his left shoulder, the case tucked under his right arm. The overall effect of the outfit was that Reid looked like a scholarship student who was late for a chemistry class at some private prep school. Reid was doing better now. A sensitive young man who hid behind statistics on every subject, he had not so long ago suffered through a traumatic stretch; one of their UnSubs (unknown subjects) had taken Reid captive and subjected him to mental and physical abuse and, briefly drug dependence. The ordeal had made Reid question whether he belonged in the BAU, but Hotch and their former teammate Jason Gideon had counseled Reid and convinced him to stay—ironic, now that Gideon had suffered his own burnout and had gone off on his soul-searching way.
Every agent on his team was talented, even gifted, but Hotchner knew that Reid—with his triple PhDs in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Engineering from Cal Tech—was a special case, and very likely the most brilliant of them all. The young man had an eidetic memory, and a 187 IQ with a capacity to read twenty thousand words per minute. More important, the wealth of data at the agent’s mental fingertips had over time interwoven with his ever-growing profiling skills. No question, Reid was a key asset to Hotchner’s team.
Coming into the bullpen from her office was Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer Jareau, a quietly stunning blue-eyed blonde who served as the BAU’s Media and Local Law Enforcement Liaison. JJ looked typically crisp and professional in black slacks and black pumps with a white blouse under a black waistcoat. A Georgetown journalism graduate, she wasn’t much older than Reid and, hence, the second youngest member of the team. Over the last several years, Hotchner had watched with considerable satisfaction as Jareau’s maturity leapt beyond her youth.
The newest member of their team was nothing less than a legend in the FBI, and a bestselling author to boot, as well as a top lecturer both within the profession and without. The fiftyish David Rossi had the look of a professor at a small college—black hair, well-trimmed goatee, and casual business attire (blue work shirt with a striped tie under a gray sports jacket and, of course, jeans). When he strolled out of the elevator, as if he owned the joint, his confidence managed to stop just this side of arrogance.
Maybe he didn’t own the joint, but Rossi had certainly helped build it. Back in the day, along with Max Ryan and Jason Gideon (a Ryan prote´ge´), Rossi had pioneered criminal profiling, which led to the creation of the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Of this three-man profiler Hall of Fame, Ryan had retired to a quiet life away from the violence and heartache that accompanied their job, Rossi to the bestsel...
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Descripción Signet, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110451223829