Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library, on To Buy list
Series: The Naturals (#2)
Other Titles in the Series: The Naturals (#1)
Summary (goodreads.com): 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?
The first book introduced readers to The Naturals: Cassie and Dean the profilers, Michael who reads emotions, Lia the human lie detector who can dish them out just as well as she can spot them, and Sloane a walking encyclopedia of stats that can analyze a crime scene like no other. The world of these teenagers is expanded in this book. Killer Instinct delves deeper into the characters so that readers gain even more affection and/or dislike for them. Each character is given more of a background story, even Judd, Briggs, and the director. This makes the series as a whole more interesting and stronger.
As for plot, where the first book focused on crimes related to Cassie’s mother’s disappearance/ murder, Killer Instinct focuses on a copycat of Dean’s dad, a serial killer. I like this a lot about The Naturals series. I like that they aren’t just dealing with any case, they are dealing with an open case that hits home. It makes the stakes higher and more intense. The Naturals will break all the rules to help Dean discover who is copying his dad, but when the FBI director gets involved it could mean the end of the entire program.The suspense of the mystery kept me guessing until the very end.
I highly recommend this series!