Published: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Naturalist #2
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 316 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
Professor Theo Cray caught one of the most prolific serial killers in history using revolutionary scientific methods. Cut off from university research because of the shroud of suspicion around him after the death of his former student and the aftermath of catching his quarry, Cray tries to rebuild his life but finds himself drawn into another unsolved case.
The desperate father of a missing child, ignored by the authorities and abandoned by his community, turns to Theo for help. The only clues are children’s drawings and an inner-city urban legend about someone called the Toy Man.
To unravel the mystery behind the Toy Man, Theo must set aside his scientific preconceptions and embrace a world where dreams and nightmares carry just as much weight as reality. As he becomes immersed in the case, he discovers a far-reaching conspiracy—one that hasn’t yet claimed its last victim.
Theo Cray is back at it again. After his narrow escape from the serial killer Joe Vick in the previous book, Theo takes on some slightly less dangerous work with the government, though that is quickly derailed. Theo is contacted by the father of a boy who went missing years prior, and though he accepts that his son is probably dead, he hopes Theo can track down the person that took his son. The only thing there is to go on is an urban legend of someone called the Toy Man.
Though initially reluctant, Theo quickly gets sucked back into hunting another killer with little regard to his own safety. He takes so many risks and it totally stresses me out yet I cannot put these books down once I start them! The books aren’t very long – audiobooks run around 8 hours and I think the print editions are right around 300 pages a piece – so if I chose to do print over audio I could easily finish one of these books in a day. That being said, the audio format of these books are great. I love the narration and it really adds to the tension of the story and helps bring Theo’s inner thoughts to life.
I enjoyed Looking Glass slightly more than I did The Naturalist which I think was largely due to the fact that we now know Theo Cray and what he’s capable of. He’s a brilliant (ridiculously brilliant) computational biologist and he uses semi-legal (sometimes illegal) methods to get his information. He’s had his introduction already and the reader has a vague idea of what to expect from him in terms of how he handles cases. The great thing is that yeah, he’s kind of a Mary Sue with his brilliance but he DOES mess things up and he gets himself into some pretty bad situations. Theo Cray is by no means entirely perfect and he struggles with his own inner demons – he too loves the thrill of the hunt, he just hunts the killers.
This book was epic and the author added the same high-stakes tension that he pulled off so well in the first book. I enjoyed this so much that I’ve already listened to the third audiobook as I type this review and am eagerly awaiting the fourth book, Dark Pattern, which will be released October 15, 2019.