Meg Gardiner

Meg Gardiner

Meg Gardiner made an appearance at The Bookworm, in Edwards, Colorado, on Feb. 10, 2009.
Occupation Novelist
Nationality United States American
Alma mater Stanford University (B.A.) &
Stanford Law School (J.D.)
Period 2002-
Genres Crime Thriller fiction
Notable work(s) Evan Delaney, Jo Beckett series
Spouse(s) Paul Shreve
Children 3 children

Meg Gardiner (born 15 May 1957, in Oklahoma) is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer, who currently lives in the United Kingdom. Her best-known books are the Evan Delaney novels. In June 2008, she published the first novel in a new series, featuring forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett. The second Jo Beckett escapade, The Memory Collector, was published in June 2009, the third, The Liar's Lullaby, in June 2010, and her latest Becket book, The Nightmare Thief, was published in June 2011.

Gardiner's first novel, China Lake, received the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original novel upon its publication in the United States in 2008. Her first Jo Beckett novel, The Dirty Secrets Club, won the 2009 The Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice award for Best Procedural Novel.



Gardiner was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Santa Barbara, California. She currently lives in the UK near London with her husband, Paul Shreve, and their three children.

In describing herself, Gardiner has said quite simply: "I write thrillers," before recently elaborating: "I used to practice law. I taught writing at the University of California. Of course, there’s more — and because the Internet can fact-check you, faster than you can type 'Sarah Palin', I’m going to come clean: It’s true that I used to be a mime. But only before mimes became annoying. And yes, I did go in costume to the Star Trek exhibition in Hyde Park. But I did not wear the Ferengi ears.[1] And though I’m American, I currently live near London. This can confuse people. At British book events, people ask, 'When did you get in from California? Aren’t you jet-lagged?' And in the USA, people sometimes say, 'But you don’t have an English accent.' And I never will. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pronounce jolly good, I’d blurt out, 'Dude!' Or, if truly panicked, 'Y’all!' [1]

Gardiner is the daughter of English professor Frank C. Gardiner and Sally Love. Gardiner attended Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, a community just north of Santa Barbara, graduating in June 1975.[2]

Following graduation, she attended Stanford University, where she attained her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and lettered in track. She went on to graduate from Stanford Law School and to practice law in Los Angeles, before returning to Santa Barbara to teach law writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Writing career

Writing is her “third career,” says Gardiner. “In earlier incarnations, I practiced law in Los Angeles and taught writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After living in California most of my life, in the early 1990s, I moved with my family to the United Kingdom.”

It was during her freedom in those early years in the UK that she wrote her first novel, completing a task she’d set for herself a decade earlier. “I always wanted to write a novel. And it was time to put up or shut up.” [3]

Initially, she began documenting her travels in a journal, titled Hitchhiking in Lion Country, or Stupid Things I Have Done in Zambia. Entries include "Damn, That Cliff is Steep" and “With the Kids at the Cobra Petting Zoo." She lacked the insurance to keep this up, however, and so she sought new thrills. Too squeamish to rob convenience stores, she took up crime writing. Her first novel, China Lake, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2002. Since then, Gardiner has written full time and published six additional titles. “It’s a job I’m immensely lucky to have.” [4]

Gardiner says that she writes crime fiction because it “gets to the heart of the human condition. It’s about people facing a severe danger, or confronting an evil that has invaded their world. It’s also fun. I get to slingshot readers into situations they would hate to face in real life. A kid in danger? Bring it on. Sadistic killers? Here, have another helping. My book gave you nightmares? Thank you, that’s wonderful.” [5]

She likes thriller fiction “because it grabs readers, takes them on a menacing ride to places they'd hate to go in real life and returns them safely, feeling thrilled. And especially because crime writing is about morality: finding justice, restoring order out of chaos.” [6]

As the daughter of an English professor, “I was obviously in a home where books and reading and writing mattered,” Gardiner told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper.[7] At Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, she reported for the Charger, the school paper, but her father urged caution to his budding writer. “He said I could write novels after college and be another novelist who waits on tables or I could become a lawyer who writes novels.” She heeded his warning, but later left the law behind and began writing. “I decided I didn’t want to argue for a living,” she said. Instead, as the title of her blog "Lying for a Living" implies, she now lies for a living.

Gardiner on Writing

Asked what she considers the most difficult aspect of writing, Gardiner answers, “The first draft. Sketching ideas — 'Somebody is killing Evan's high school class' — is simple. Turning those ideas into compelling scenes is like pulling my own teeth with pliers: slow, painful and messy.” [6]

When asked how she knows when a story is right, Gardiner said, “It's right when readers say ‘Oh my God’ at a plot turn they never saw coming. It's right when they laugh out loud on airplanes, can't sleep until they finish the book, and phone at three a.m. to yell at me for killing a favorite character. But those things don't happen till I've jettisoned half my original ideas, mud-wrestled others into submission, and flayed several drafts of the story to shreds.” [6]

Gardiner explained that in her writing, she tries “to explore the boundary between morality and wrongdoing. When is it justified to go outside the law to right a wrong? When can you use ruthless violence to defend somebody you love? Possibly I came to reflect on this issue after an armed robber asked questions about my little girl.” [6]

Always plying her trade, Gardiner said, “I observe, take notes and shamelessly, appropriate things my friends and family say and do. I'm also a news junkie. The problem with that is that all headlines start to look like story material. I see 'Volcanic Vent Plunge' and think, wild. Gotta be a great story. Until I read that a California ski patrol died falling into that volcanic vent. Then I know it's time to back off and read as a human being.” [6]

Gardiner considers no subject taboo. “No subject should be off-limits. That road leads to timidity and repression. However, I think certain approaches to subjects are repulsive. Gratuitous, protracted, explicit violence is sometimes offered as a feast, and portrayed with such lurid and eager detail that it becomes almost pornographic. But we should argue about such approaches, not forbid them.” [6]

Gardiner insists that being an attorney helped her success a great deal. “The intellectual rigor prepared me for a lot of things. The grounding in legal knowledge has been helpful in practice, in teaching, and in being a writer. I learned not to write in legalese. I learned how to tell a story and take a position.” [3]

But when asked if she has any plans to return to law practice, Gardiner quickly replies: “Nope. I’ve escaped and they’d have to catch me. But that is a measure of my satisfaction with the career I now have rather than a distaste for the law.” [3]

Stephen King's Review of Meg Gardiner

“Good things are sometimes found by coincidence,” Stephen King wrote. “I believe that. I also believe that when great things are found, it's part of the Big Plan, and if you don't pass on your discovery, you go to Columnist Hell when you die. I think of Columnist Hell as either an eternity of Larry King interviews or a never-ending American Idol audition in Memphis. Dig the pain: damned to converse with Paula Abdul between acts...forever. And because I don't want either — please, God, no — I need to tell you about Meg Gardiner, who simply must be part of the Big Plan. And if you love great thrillers, you'll want to listen.” [9]

“Take my word for it: Anyone who can describe Southern California as the Taco Bell school of architecture deserves an audience. And that would be you.” [9]

“For the last couple of years, I’ve from time to time mentioned the books I was reading (or the music I was listening to, or the movies I’ve been seeing). In the case of Meg Gardiner, a little more is necessary, because her five novels are, simply put, the finest crime-suspense series I’ve come across in the last twenty years.” [10]

“If you want, think of Kinsey Milhone crossed with Jack Reacher, the soldier of fortune in the Lee Child novels. Only Reacher has little sense of humor. Evan Delaney has Cousin Tater, the mad Midwestern relative-from-hell with the crazed libido and even crazier sideline: lingerie shows for suburban matrons. You wouldn’t think Cousin Tater would mix with serial killers, insane rock stars, and homicidal, homophobic religious cults…but somehow Meg Gardiner makes it all work.” [10]


As of June 2010, Gardiner has written eight novels, including five in the Evan Delaney series and three in the Jo Beckett series. A fourth Jo Beckett novel is in the works:

Evan Delaney novels

  1. China Lake (2002)
  2. Mission Canyon (2003)
  3. Jericho Point (2004)
  4. Crosscut (2005)
  5. Kill Chain (2006)

Jo Beckett novels

  1. The Dirty Secrets Club (2008)
  2. The Memory Collector (June 2009)
  3. The Liar's Lullaby (June 2010)
  4. The Nightmare Thief (June 2011)

For more about Gardiner's books, visit

Gardiner on Evan Delaney

The Evan Delaney series features legal themes (the protagonist is a lawyer-turned-journalist whose boyfriend is a trial lawyer) and a great deal of white-knuckle action.

Gardiner describes Delaney and the series as “a smart-aleck freelance journalist dealing with identity theft, religious extremism, a high school reunion killer, and sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll. (They’re set in California. Of course they do.) ” [4]

Evan is “a freelance journalist from California. She's spirited, quick-witted, and fights hard for the people she loves. Okay, she's too brash for her own good, which is why she's on her second set of teeth. But she's a softy at heart. She thinks the world is tragic and so you'd better laugh whenever you can. Pour her a glass of Jack Daniel's and ask her about finding that FBI agent hogtied to her bed, stripped and ranting. Just don't get on her bad side, because she may have a heat-seeking missile stashed in her car.” [6]

“Evan is me with the brakes off,” Gardiner told Melanie Gold of Take 3. “She says and does things I would never have the chutzpah to say or do myself. We share a background as lawyers, Californians, and tomboys. And we share a sense of humor, though hers is darker than mine. However, I live a calm life compared to Evan. I've never had to defend myself with a ferret.” [11]

Nancy Fraser of Midpoint Publishing] describes Gardiner’s Evan Delaney series as: “A bold, brash, slightly-too-much-gumption-for-her-own-good kind of girl. Harpoon guns, GPS tracking devices, rabid coyotes, airplane crash mementos, the FBI, homemade bombs, explosive Redi-Whip, imposter nuclear warheads, Navy fighter pilots, flirtatious fighter pilots, ladies’ lingerie, small dogs, religious megalomaniacs, fires, imprisonment, alcoholic in-laws, has-been rock stars, never-were rock stars, smashed pumpkins, AIDS, broken glass, burning cowboy boots in trash cans—still attached to the feet that wear them—kidnappings to Las Vegas, NCAA swim meets, men in swimsuits, men in wheelchairs, men in Mustangs, margaritas, murder by guitar chord, and efforts (failed efforts, often) at redemption from every angle known to man.”[12]

Synopses of the Evan Delaney Books

Evan Delaney Novels

  1. China Lake (2002) Evan Delaney is a heroine of our times: a woman with a big heart, a quick tongue and a hot temper that gets her into trouble. She is shocked to discover that Tabitha, her ex-sister-in-law, has joined The Remnant - the Reverend Pete Wyoming's fanatical band of disciples. And that Tabitha is trying to regain custody of her six-year-old son, Luke, currently in Evan's care while his father is posted to the Naval Air Warfare Center. Then one of the Remnant is killed, and Evan's brother is the prime suspect. With her boyfriend, lawyer Jesse Blackburn, Evan tries to clear her brother's name and rescue her nephew. In doing so, she finds herself caught up in a wild plan to steal weapons, and a blazing inferno on a Santa Barbara hillside.[13] Winner of the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original upon its publication in the United States.
  2. Mission Canyon (2003) Evan Delaney, novelist and legal go-fer, is dressed as Diana Ross in order to crash a fancy-dress party and serve a summons, when she hears that Franklin Brand is back in town. Brand is the hit-and-run driver who sentenced Evan's lover Jesse to life in a wheelchair, and killed his best friend. Since the accident, Brand has been avoiding justice overseas; but if he's back, Evan and Jesse are determined to get him, helped by the dead boy's brother Adam. Brand had been a high-flier in Mako Technologies, a cyber-security firm, and this is where Evan starts looking. She quickly uncovers evidence that Brand was embezzling funds, and that Adam's brother knew all about it. So maybe that hit-and-run wasn't an accident at all? Then the policeman investigating is killed, and Adam and Jesse both come under suspicion. The plot has more twists, thrills and spills than a white-knuckle ride, and is complicated by the confused emotions of the main parties involved: Jesse feels a survivor's guilt; Adam resents the fact that Jesse is alive while his brother died. But there are more corpses - including a near miss for Evan herself - to come before the bad guys are finally brought to book.[14]
  3. Jericho Point (2004) When a young woman tumbles dead onto the beach, the police identify the body. It's Evan Delaney. Except that Evan is very much alive. It's her identity that has been stolen. And the thief has compromised more than just Evan's bank account. She has been scamming money from rich Hollywood wannabes - including a vicious drug boss. He wants his money back. From Evan. Soon she finds herself harassed by drug runners and suspected of murder. She must save herself - but to do that must escape a web of deceit that threatens to destroy not just her, but her boyfriend Jesse.[15]
  4. Crosscut (2005) For Evan, China Lake was a tough place to grow up. But she didn't realize just how tough until, returning to the desert military base for her high school reunion, she discovers that a disturbing number of her classmates have died young. The morning after the reunion another is found, savagely butchered. She is just the first. Someone in China Lake has a major ax to grind with the class of '91. And that includes Evan ...[16]
  5. Kill Chain (2006) When Evan Delaney's father disappears, the cops think he's fled the country to avoid prosecution. But Evan is sure that Phil has been abducted or killed for reasons associated with his work for Naval Intelligence. As Evan hunts for clues, she is attacked by an armed man. The attacker ends up dead—and turns out to be a federal agent. Now Evan is on the run, implicated in his murder. Then she is contacted by a sinister duo — a Madam and gigolo mother-and-son-team who claim that Phil was mixed up in their very dirty business. Can Evan save her father's reputation — and his life? And can Jesse save Evan? Time is running out! [17]

Book Reviews

What reviewers say about Gardiner's Evan Delaney novels:

Evan Delaney Novels

“From beginning to end, China Lake is a book that no reader of thrillers will be able to put down. Great characters, dynamic plot, nail-biting action — Meg Gardiner gives us everything. I highly recommend it.” Elizabeth George

“Religious fundamentalism, anti-Aids crusaders, nutty relatives, and a Waco-style shootout: they’re all here in the exciting mix that Gardiner expertly stirs up. Great stuff.” Independent on Sunday

“With a colorful cast of richly delineated characters, a protagonist with whom the readers will easily identify — all big-hearted, quick-tongued and hair-trigger-tempered — this novel provides a fast-paced ride through some of the more dubious nooks and crannies of the American dream and is an impressive salvo by a Surrey-based expatriate who hits the bookshelves running.” Maxim Jakubowski, Guardian

“China Lake makes a strong impression. The story grips and Ms Gardiner is a welcome addition to the ranks of American thriller writers.” Sunday Telegraph

“A great first novel Fast and hard-edged. Buy it, read it.” Hull Daily Mail

“A cracker, with memorable characters, memorable lines and a plot that races along to an explosive ending. A great summer read.” Huddersfield Daily Examiner

“A rattling good read, with an unexpected twist at the end.” Sunday Telegraph

“It seems that the most enjoyable thrillers bring together the past and the present in unexpected yet suspenseful ways. So it is with Mission Canyon…. Echoes of a horrible auto accident in the past, involving Delaney’s fiancé, keep coinciding with a harrowing (and all-too-timely) story of corporate greed and evil-doing in quirky Southern California. It’s up to Delaney to deal with this risky business and sort out the good from the bad, which she does with characteristic pluck and wit. The personal issues Gardiner raises about the physical and emotional consequences of severe injury are among the best parts of the story.” Jeffrey Deaver

“An explosive new thriller by the author of China Lake which received excellent reviews…. It is a strikingly good story.” Publishing News, Tim Merderson’s special section

“She’s sassy, streetwise and not afraid of getting in deep — but that’s because her latest mission is close to her heart. Loud-mouthed legal journalist Evan Delaney leads a life like no other journo I know — getting herself into the kinds of scrapes that could easily end up with her funeral — but hey, that’s what fiction is all about. And Mission Canyon is certainly fiction at its finest. … There are so many nail-biting moments and hand-wringing twists that Mission Canyon makes exhausting reading. But that’s a compliment. So here’s looking forward to the next Evan Delaney installment — if my heart can stand it!” Alex Gordon, Peterborough Evening Telegraph

“A kick-ass heroine who would stop at nothing to protect those close to her … wry humour oft-times peppered with sarcastic wit, and a quickening pace to the climax. … I couldn’t put the book down.” Jacina Ho, The Peak, Singapore

“Meg Gardiner dishes out the gripping plot in tense helpings. Short punchy chapters keep the pace flowing fast and you’ll find it impossible to reach a resting point, even just to make a recharging cuppa. Definitely a book for the holiday suitcase.” Glasgow Evening Times

“Meg Gardiner has a powerful style: fast-paced, immediate and imaginative. Her depictions of the criminal elements of the Hollywood fringe and the local drugs culture is a tightly observed slice of realism. … Evan is a great tough but tender thriller heroine … we are with her all the way as her life is eroded and replaced with a hellish nightmare. This is a relentless, claustrophobic examination of mistaken identity and the terror of being accused of crime for which you are not responsible.” Kathryn White, Sherlock[disambiguation needed ]

“Meg Gardiner has rekindled my interest in thrillers. Her latest Evan Delaney novel is fast paced, witty and brutal. I’ve got one more word for this novel: movie.” The Independent, South Africa

“Well into X-Files territory, this is a tense and exciting thriller where almost anything seems possible. A conspiracy theorist’s must-have.” Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday

“Meg Gardiner goes from strength to strength.” Paul Blezard, OneWord Radio “Marvelous ... if you like AWOL assassins kicking ass then this is for you ... It just gets flying from the first page when the first victim comes a cropper ... it is so gripping that I read the last 150 pages into the early hours of the morning!” Five stars (highest rating) Chris Simmons,

“Engaging characters, a richly coated atmosphere and a neat and nasty plot make this easily one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. I could barely wait to get to the next page ... If you start this book, be prepared to be unable to put it down. Meg Gardiner has written a cracker.” Caroline Carver

“This book rips. It makes “Silence of the Lambs” read like Mary had a little one — it never lets up.” Adrienne Dines

“Gardiner is brilliant at making the over-the-to seem utterly convincing. Her heroine, Evan Delaney, is a paragon for our times: tough, funny, clever, brave, tireless, and compassionate ... The pace and inventiveness never flag, and the climax ... is both nail-biting and moving. But the brilliant writing is what puts this thriller way ahead of the competition. Reading the fifth Evan Delaney book first is not a problem, but you’ll probably want to go back and read the others. Intelligent escapism at its best.” Joanna Hines, The Guardian

“The feisty Evan Delaney makes a welcome return in Kill Chain. … As ever, the plot is pacy and tight.” Sunday Express

“A rattling good read.” The News of the World

“If you like Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich you ought to have discovered Gardiner by now. She hard boils her American crime with the best of them. … Brilliant.” Peterborough Evening Telegraph

“The action is high octane from the first page ... Meg Gardiner is a class act at the top of her game. Once you pick it up, it’s a very hard book to put down.” My Weekly

“Fast and furious.” Literary Review

“Gardiner’s prose is cool.” The Telegraph

Gardiner on Jo Beckett

"Jo is law enforcement’s last resort in baffling cases," says Gardiner, "but she’s not a cop. She’s a doctor — a forensic psychiatrist who analyzes dead people for the police. She’s a deadshrinker.

"When the San Francisco Police Department runs out of leads and the crime lab can’t figure out why a victim has died, they call on Jo to perform a psychological autopsy. Her job is to find the truth in ambiguous cases — the cases that frustrate the police and leave victims’ families bewildered in their grief. She delves into victims’s state of mind to determine whether their deaths are suicide, accident or homicide.

"Jo doesn’t pick up gory bits of trace evidence with tweezers. She digs into people’s passions, obsessions and secrets to find out what killed them. Her territory is the psyche and the human heart."

"Jo calls herself a deadshrinker," Gardiner says in a Poe's Deadly Daughters interview.[18] "She analyzes the dead for the police. She’s the last resort in baffling cases. When the cops and the medical examiner can’t determine the manner of a victim’s death, they turn to Jo to perform a psychological autopsy and figure out whether it was accident, suicide, or murder.

"Jo looks at victims’ emotional, moral, and psychological lives to figure out why they died. She digs beneath the clinical what and how of the police lab, into the messy, mysterious, and spooky realm of the mind. And that’s what fascinated me about her job.

"CSI is great, but I wanted to go beyond it. In the real world, crime lab technology is not an infallible truth-o-meter. Physical evidence is not in fact bulletproof. Real life is murkier—and more fascinating. That’s what Jo explores. She goes beyond DNA sequencing and gas chromatography to uncover why a victim has died. And she can come at cases from fresh, atypical angles."

Synopses of the Jo Beckett Books

Jo Beckett Novels

  1. The Dirty Secrets Club (2008) Meet Jo Beckett — a forensic psychiatrist who profiles victims' lives to help solve their deaths. On a San Francisco street, Jo confronts a scene of pure carnage: four dead, five injured after a high speed pursuit. In the mangled remains of a BMW lies prosecutor Callie Harding, dead with the word dirty written in lipstick on her thigh. Why did Harding run from the police? Why did she crash through a bridge railing? Was it an accident? Suicide? Or murder? Jo is a last resort in difficult cases. But now she's on the front line, because Callie Harding isn't the first high flyer to go down and take others with her. And if Jo can't figure out why the prosecutor died, Harding won't be the last. Jo's about to discover how dirty some secrets can be.[19]
  2. The Memory Collector (2009) San Francisco forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett examines Ian Kanan, a distressed airline passenger who turns out to be suffering from anterograde amnesia, which makes it impossible for him to form new memories. Kanan, who's sure that his family has been kidnapped and he's been poisoned, disappears from the hospital before Beckett can learn more. When she starts digging into his background, Beckett discovers not only that Kanan was a security consultant for Chira-Sayf, a nanotechnology company, but that he may have been exposed to Slick, an experimental bioweapon. Along with her SFPD contact, Lt. Amy Tang, and para-jumper boyfriend, Gabe Quintana, Beckett races to find Kanan before the people he's pursuing unleash Slick on San Francisco.[20]
  3. The Liar's Lullaby (2010) Tasia McFarland is a washed-up country-pop singer desperate for the break that will get her back atop the charts. She’s also the President’s ex. So when Tasia writes a song with politically charged lyrics, people take notice and her star begins to rise anew. In the spectacle-driven opener of her comeback tour, she flies down a zip line above her adoring fans, fake-firing a Colt .45 at the fireworks-filled stage. Tasia is riding high. Until she’s killed by a bullet to the neck, in front of a shocked crowd of forty thousand. When video and ballistics can’t prove the shot came from Tasia’s Colt .45, the police call in forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett to perform a psychological autopsy and help avert a political disaster.[21]

Book Reviews

What reviewers say about Gardiner's Jo Beckett novels:

Jo Beckett Novels

"A winner in every way. The Dirty Secrets Club is nuanced and layered -- and a harrowing thriller... Meg Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page." -- Jeffery Deaver

"Meg Gardiner is an astonishing writer, and The Dirty Secrets Club is a humdinger of a thriller, with shocks and twists galore. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough." -- Tess Gerritsen

"A crackerjack thriller." -- Miami Herald

"Hitchcockian scenes of suspense will rock even the most jaded thriller reader." -- USA Today

"Not only is The Dirty Secrets Club filled with thrills, spills, and danger, with a suitably gripping climax, but the whole caboodle is tied together at the end with a most impressive grasp of plotting, wrong-footing the reader not once but three or four times. Lara Croft, eat your heart out. This novel is totally filmic, featuring a lead female role an actress might well kill for." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

“Stephen King was right about Meg Gardiner. The Dirty Secrets Club, featuring forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett (she performs “psychological autopsies” to determine if a victim’s death was natural, suicide, or homicide) is a smart and thrilling ride.” -- (

"Riveting ... a book you just can't put down ... Gardiner engineers more turns than a winding road, holding the reader's attention while pitching a steady stream of curve balls that keeps the plot from unraveling down to the last few pages. "The Memory Collector" is a first-class thriller with non-stop action, including an airport car chase that will have you glued to the pages." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"A superb, high-octane, white-knuckle thriller ... Yeah, it's that good." -- Bookgasm

"Gardiner skillfully balances cutting-edge science and gripping suspense in this believable thriller about a technology that is capable of destroying the brain's ability to store short-term memories." -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Gardiner has done an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing right up until the end. Every bit as good as Jo Beckett's debut in The Dirty Secrets Club, this thriller is sure to please." --, five stars

“Bad guys, betrayal, and a beastly technology propel Edgar finalist Gardiner’s heart-stopping plot. Mystery fans are sure to embrace this whip-smart novelist, who gets better with every book.” -- Booklist

“Meg Gardiner captivates with her latest… an exceptional follow up to her first Beckett novel, ‘Dirty Secrets Club.’” -- Huffington Post

USA Today included "The Liar's Lullaby" in its must-read list of 2010 summer books. -- USA Today

“Gardiner, true to form, has delivered an original premise, developed it to a tee and populated it with believable and morally complex characters. Jo Beckett, a well-drawn protagonist in her own right, is aided by a strong supporting cast: wisecracking cop Amy Tang; hunky boyfriend Gabe Quintana; and, for a bit of comic relief, neighbor Ferd the nerd, with his pet monkey, the mischievously riotous Mr. Peebles." -- Booklist

"Meg Gardiner doesn't disappoint. Characters with depth, plot with captivating twists and plenty of action will keep you reading. Another excellent read!" -- FreshFiction [22]

"Gardiner admirably handles never-see-it-coming twists sure to delight. Beckett is wonderful, compassionate yet tough, lightly sarcastic and independent. The ending will leave you breathless." -- RT Book Reviews [23]

Interviews with Meg Gardiner

Interviews with Gardiner can be found at the following links:


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