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Ransom River Hardcover – July 5, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (July 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952855
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"If you read Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, or Nelson DeMille, you're going to think Meg Gardiner is a gift from heaven."
—Stephen King

"Stephen King is absolutely right. Meg Gardiner is an astonishing writer...I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."
— Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Garden

"Crisp writing and a breathless plot make this a must-read for both newcomers and fans of [Gardiner's] Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney series."

"Edgar Award winner Gardiner (China Lake) delivers another smashing hit."
Library Journal

About the Author

Meg Gardiner previously practiced law and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Originally from Southern California, she now lives with her family in London. The Dirty Secrets Club is her first novel published in the U.S. She will be promoting The Dirty Secrets Club on a national tour this summer.

More About the Author

Meg Gardiner is the author of twelve thrillers, including the Evan Delaney series and the Jo Beckett novels. She was born in Oklahoma and raised in Santa Barbara, California. A graduate of Stanford Law School, she practiced law in Los Angeles and taught writing at the University of California Santa Barbara. She's also a three time Jeopardy! champion. She lives in Austin, Texas.

China Lake won the 2009 Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Paperback Original.

The Dirty Secrets Club won the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Procedural Novel of 2008.

The Nightmare Thief won the 2012 Audie Award for Thriller/Suspense audiobook of the year. The Shadow Tracer was named one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013.

Her latest novel is Phantom Instinct.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard W. Klinzman on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are two things I love about summer. The Fourth of July and a new Meg Gardiner thriller. And for the same reason. Both contain loads of fireworks.

Rory Mackenzie has returned home to a place she swore she would never revisit. She is summoned to jury duty and in Meg Gardiner's trademark tale telling, an explosive attack on the courthouse begins a long and terrifying ordeal. Before it's all over, the grim facts of her family's past will rise up to change all she has ever known and believed. Thomas Wolfe says "You can't go home again." Rory learns you can never escape your home.

The action builds to a crescendo of violence in Ransom River that will overwhelm everyone involved. Danger looms for all touched by Rory. Before it's over, justice must be served, honor returned and past lies exposed and confronted. In this novel, "thrill ride" is just too tame a description. The characters are emotionally complex, both the good and the bad. She has also created two of the creepiest siblings to be found outside a Stephen King novel.

This novel is a labelled a stand alone, but it's in great company with Ms. Gardiner's previous nine thrillers. I don't know if Rory will return but I, for one, certainly hope so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hira N. Hasnain on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Two masked men attack the courtroom in which Rory Mackenzie is juror number seven, for a case that involves cops killing the son of a known mafioso. When she is singled out by the gun-men, it sends Rory spinning back into her old life in Ransom River, a place she had left behind and vowed never to return to. But she is back, and caught in the eye of the storm, that soon sends her back to her past, and leads her to an unsolved case that might just shake the very foundation of all her beliefs - about love, family, life. And then, there is Seth Colder, the ex-cop, and her ex-boyfriend...a man she has loved since her childhood, but does not feel comfortable allowing him back into her life.

While I was reading this novel, it got crazier and crazier. The book begins with a bang, and tailspins out of control. And at one point I was very afraid that the author may lose control of the characters, and that the plot may become too convoluted to follow. It came dangerously close at times, and YET, somehow, author Meg Gardiner manages to keep all the different strings separate and still manage to weave them all together. The book, and the plot, are coherent and it is a very well-composed mystery. It kept my attention all the way to the end, and was an adrenaline rush all the way through. But despite the rush, the author also manages to make her characters vulnerable and believable. She actually managed to get me invested in some of the characters, which is usually rare for mystery novels. I wish the ending was more...conclusive...but the fact that it is not, also gives me hope that there might be a sequel. And if there is, believe me...I'm reading it! :)
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Format: Hardcover
Gardiner plunges into the abyss of serious family dysfunction in a thriller that begins with a courtroom siege. As one of the jurors in a murder trial of two Ransom River officers charged with killing an intruder in cold blood, Rory Mackenzie has only recently returned to the California city outside LA after two years of volunteering overseas. Out of a job when the organization's funding dries up, Rory answers the call to civic duty, her long and emotionally treacherous past relegated to unhappy memories and the slow recovery from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. In a courtroom drama gone horribly wrong, the villains bleeding out on the floor while SWAT teams save the day, Rory finds herself accused of collusion with the intruders, a suspected link to a larger organization in play.

Regardless of Rory's hopeful intentions, this first violent encounter is only the beginning of an unfolding nightmare that includes the return of Seth Colder, ex-Random River PD and Rory's best friend (later lover) she broke off with after the near-fatal car crash; Grigor Mirkovic, father of the murder victim at the trial, a heavy player in organized crime; suspicious Ransom River detectives; and extended family members, Boone and Nerissa Mackenzie, son and daughter of Rory's uncle Lee, who has been missing for twenty years. Desperately assembling random clues from the courtroom siege, Rory accepts assistance from Colder, albeit reluctantly, a tangled web of vague childhood memories, a Ransom River cold case heist, the malicious intentions of her cousins and the ongoing threats from Mirkovic and the Ransom River PD in a chilling tale begun in Rory's childhood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Attorney Aurora "Rory" Mackenzie comes home to Ransom River, California, a place she hates, in answer to a jury summons. She becomes part of a jury in a Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles case in which two cops (Lucy Elmendorf and Jared Smith) are accused of shooting a burglar Obrad Mirkovic. Two gunmen (Nixon and Reagan) assault the courtroom but a SWAT team ends the hostage siege.

The Ransom River PD believes Rory is an accomplice to the gunmen as one of them targeted her as shown in the courtroom video. Detective Zelinksi angrily and accusatorily asks her why her if she was not an accomplice, and about her being unemployed since the not for profit Asylum Action lost its funding. Her childhood friend former undercover cop Seth Colder warns her that the police force contains deadly dirty cops so she better remain vigilant at all times.

This is a taut thriller in which the tough protagonist deals with being the prime surviving suspect in a hostage situation that soon spirals even further out of control for her. Fast-paced from the moment Nixon and Reagan invade the court, readers will relish this superb tale while wondering what is going on in Ransom River.

Harriet Klausner
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