The Monster Underneath is the maiden voyage for Matthew Franks and I have to say that I am really impressed. He has a masters degree in counseling and he uses that knowledge as the foundation of The Monster Underneath.
Max Crawford is an unusual psychologist for the Texas prison system. He has a special psychic ability where he can enter inmate’s dreams and relive their crimes with them to get them to feel remorse for what they have done. The FBI approach Max to use his special abilities on suspected killer, William Knox. Knox is being held on flimsy charges and is being accused of killing three young women. Without enough evidence to hold Knox and no chance of securing a confession, they turn to Crawford to enter into Knox’s dreams while they still have him in prison to try and find enough evidence to force a confession.
Franks characters are the strength of his storytelling. Crawford and Knox are fully fleshed out and wonderfully three-dimensional. I enjoyed being a part of Crawford crawling inside Knox’s head and he had me rooting for him to bust the bastard. Up to the 85% mark in this story, I was completely invested in it. Then the ending took an odd U-turn and simply felt like it was a weak attempt to leave it open-ended for the possibility of a sequel. That was disappointing. Outside of that, The Monster Underneath is an extremely solid entry by Franks and his storytelling will have you hooked. I’m looking forward to seeing where his career takes him.
4 1/2 Serial Killers out of 5
This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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