Book Review: Night Fall by Nancy Mehl (The Quantico Files #1)

About this Book-

Now that Alexandra “Alex” Donovan is finally free of her troubled upbringing, she’s able to live out her childhood dream of working for the FBI. But soon after she becomes a member of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, authorities in Kansas and Missouri contact them about bodies found on freight trains traveling across the country–all killed in the same way.

Alex never expected to be forced to confront her past in this new job, but she immediately recognizes the graffiti messages the killer is leaving on the train cars. When the BAU sends her to gather information about the messages from her aunt in Wichita, Kansas, Alex is haunted by the struggles she thought she’d left behind forever.

In a race against time to solve the case while battling her own weaknesses, Alex must face how far she’ll go–and what she’s willing to risk–to put a stop to the Train Killer.

My Review-

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This was a fun book! It was the first suspense book that properly spooked me in a good while. I’ve read Nancy Mehl’s books before, and I have been impressed with the suspense that was written and the characters in the books. In my opinion, this book was not quite as good as the other series of hers I’ve read, the Kaley Quinn Profiler series. However, it was still good and the message was also really well done.

In this book, Alex, Logan, and the rest of their team are trying to find a serial killer who also has a deadly virus that they plan on spreading to the world. The story is told in split perspectives, one from the team (and split among several members), and one from the killer’s point of view. This causes a really interesting form of storytelling, as it is already known who the killer is from the get go (in fact, the book opens in the killer’s point of view). I think it makes the pacing really interesting and the storytelling really unique.

There is a really interesting juxtaposition between Alex, the protagonist, and Adam, the antagonist. They were raised in similar situations, but Adam became a serial killer, while Alex worked to better herself and go into the FBI. There was a very heavy emphasis on religion (since they were raised in a cult that was analogous to Christianity, and thus, Alex has sworn off Christianity). If you want/like books that have a strong emphasis on Christianity, you might like this book, but I personally think the emphasis was a little ~too~ there (there were–I believe–THREE come-to-Jesus conversations?? which is great and all, especially with the cult stuff, but also . . . THREE?!). Overall, I think it was done really well but it was still a bit overdone.

Something that really bugged me from this book was the CONSTANT and FREQUENT mention of COVID-19. This book is set in the future (apparently), and due to the nature of the book (a deadly virus threatened to be spread), COVID-19 was brought up SO MUCH, for no reason. They kept sprinkling in sentences like “if this virus gets out, it will be infinitely worse than COVID-19, which as we all know was a terrible pandemic.” like YES?? WE KNOW. THIS BOOK WAS THE ESCAPISM FOR THAT. So if you are ~triggered~ by COVID-19, this is potentially something to watch out for.

The last part of this story that I didn’t really like was that there were some plot points that were simply not realistic? There were some plot points that seemed to come out of left field and were not as relevant to the story as they could have been. It was just a little disorienting, and I thought they detracted from the story rather than added to it. The final conclusion of the story was also not as strong as it could be, and left me wanting more.

With that being said, though, the final plot twist was INCREDIBLE. I definitely did not expect it coming at all, and I was thoroughly impressed by it. Overall, this book was really good: it was super suspenseful and the pace was really good. There were some aspects that I thought were unrealistic and some parts that I thought could have been done better, but overall I did enjoy it and I will be looking forwards to the next book!

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

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