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Killer Instinct
Cover of Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct
The Naturals Series, Book 2
A chilling copycat killer has the Naturals in his crosshairs in this exhilarating crime thriller from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inheritance...
A chilling copycat killer has the Naturals in his crosshairs in this exhilarating crime thriller from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inheritance...
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  • A chilling copycat killer has the Naturals in his crosshairs in this exhilarating crime thriller from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inheritance Games.
    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?
    With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.
    Praise for Killer Instinct "A welcome addition to the teen-sleuth genre."
    -Kirkus Reviews
    "Barnes knows how to keep the reader hooked, and fans will be eagerly reaching for this title and clamoring for the next in the series."
    -Booklist
    "This is a definite purchase for libraries...."
    -School Library Journal
    "Intricately plotted, this novel will keep teens guessing and leave readers eagerly waiting the next installment in The Naturals series."
    -VOYA Praise for The Naturals
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2014
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers, 2014
  • "The Naturals is Criminal Minds for the YA world, and I loved every page."-New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter
    * "[A] tightly paced suspense novel that will keep readers up until the wee hours to finish."-VOYA (starred review)
    "This savvy thriller grabs readers right away."-Kirkus Reviews
    "It's a stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book, and it doesn't disappoint."-Publishers Weekly
    "In this high-adrenaline series opener...even a psychic won't anticipate all the twists and turns."-Booklist

About the Author-

  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written more than a dozen acclaimed young adult novels, including The Inheritance Games, Little White Lies, Deadly Little Scandals, The Lovely and the Lost, and The Naturals series: The Naturals, Killer Instinct, All In, Bad Blood, and the e-novella, Twelve. Jen is also a Fulbright Scholar with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012 and is currently a professor of psychology and professional writing at the University of Oklahoma. You can find her online at www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com or follow her on Twitter @jenlynnbarnes.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2014
    In order to catch a serial killer, a quintet of gifted teens needs first to cooperate with one another in this sequel to The Naturals (2014). Cassie is a member of the FBI's Naturals program-a supersecret squad of gifted teens assigned to work cold cases. Cassie's a profiler; she learned at her con-artist mother's knee to read people's motivations and fears. Her teammates include an expert at reading emotions, someone with immense skill at both lying and detecting lies, a numbers whiz and another profiler. The serial-killer hunt that quickly entangles them all (not a cold case at all, but a live murderer they can't avoid) is a well-constructed and suspenseful mystery. But they'll never be able to catch the killer if they don't get their collective act together. The five teens and their adult caretakers are at constant loggerheads, fighting about both romance and secrets. One of the Naturals is a serial killer's son, the adult team members were involved in said killer's arrest, and the current killer seems to be a copycat. As in Cassie's previous adventure, all their gory mysteries revolve around the tragic pasts of multiple members of the Naturals team. A romance plotline, though its messy complexities are rich in verisimilitude, grates: Everybody wants a piece of Cassie. A welcome addition to the teen-sleuth genre. (Mystery. 12-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Cassie and her teenage partners in an FBI secret-criminal-investigation division are recovering from trauma and injuries resulting from the high-profile serial murder case they solved in the first book, The Naturals (Hyperion, 2013). Not only did they lose their leader turned serial killer, Agent Locke, their involvement provoked the attention of FBI authorities and they are now faced with the stoic, by-the-books replacement, Agent Sterling. Suddenly the Naturals are struggling with curfews and study sessions and are confined once again to cold cases. However, they are quickly involved in an ongoing investigation connected to Dean, the pensive and restrained profiler whose father is currently serving prison time for murder. In the course of the investigation, the Naturals are able to use their skills to find answers to aide the FBI. These answers come at a price; Dean must face his father, Cassie winds up confined to the house, and the other team members take considerable risks to acquire interviews and information. Readers will want to be familiar with the first book since the characters' skills and previous relationships are assumed information. The engaging plot moves at an even pace, though a bit slower than its predecessor, and the murder mystery is compelling. The love triangle among Cassie, Michael, and Dean continues and development of all the characters is furthered with revelations of their past. This is a definite purchase for libraries that were served well by the first title.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2014
    Grades 8-11 Barnes follows up the promising debut title The Naturals (2013) with a fast-paced, stand-alone sequel. Cassie, Dean, Lia, Sloane, and Michael are 17-year-old FBI prot'g's in a secret program that trains gifted teens to solve criminal cases. Supposedly, they only work on cold cases, but when a grisly murder occurs on a nearby college campus, they immediately start working on the case, despite the FBI's orders. What complicates matters is that the murderer is using the same methods as imprisoned serial killer Daniel ReddingDean's father. Narrator Cassie gradually uncovers more truths about her fellow Naturals, and a fuller picture emerges of the group of gifted, misfit teens. Perhaps most intriguing are the chapters written in the voice of the killer(s), titled You in a nod to Cassie's method of profiling killers. Although the action follows standard plot devices (first real suspect is next person found dead), Barnes knows how to keep the reader hooked, and fans will be eagerly reaching for this title and hungry for the next in the series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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The Naturals Series, Book 2
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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