Though it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched TV on a regular basis, I have to admit that I used to be absolutely obsessed with true crime shows like Law & Order and Criminal Minds. I could seriously binge-watch Criminal Intent like it was my job. So, I was thrilled to discover that this story was basically an extended episode of Criminal Intent with teenage trainees thrown in the mix! This story also reminded me quite a bit of the Jasper Dent books because Cassie was so much like Jasper — she was unbelievably good at reading people AND that she was also hunting a killer. The main difference, nevertheless, was that she was hunting the killer who murdered her mom whereas Jasper was hunting a random killer as a way to prove (to society and himself) that he didn’t/wouldn’t take after his serial killer dad.
The basic premise of the “Naturals” program was that, although people can be trained in crime-solving methods, some people have natural gifts that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate with training. Some people are naturally good at reading other people’s emotions, for example, making them like human lie detectors. Some people are naturally good at combing through and manipulating data, which aids in detecting fraudulent data and figuring out the statistical probability of certain outcomes. Others, like Cassie, are so good at reading people (based on their behavior, clothes, actions, etc.) that they can often figure out motives for past actions and/or predict future behavior, making them natural profilers. By finding teenage “naturals” and training them in a special program, the FBI hopes to create an elite class of detectives. Definitely a cool concept. (I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series when my TBR list gets a little more manageable!)