Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Ransom River
Meg Gardiner

Dutton Adult
July 5, 2012 / ISBN 978-0525952855

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Aurora "Rory" Mackenzie had a rather tumultuous childhood and youth growing up in Ransom River, California, so after a relationship with a childhood friend soured, she left her hometown planning to never return.

Unfortunately, Rory has had to change her plans when her job with a non-profit in Europe is eliminated because of funding problems. She barely gets unpacked when a letter arrives informing Rory that she's been selected for jury duty.

With time on her hands she can't avoid serving on the jury that has a very high profile, local murder case before it. The son of a local millionaire has been killed by two off duty cops during a purported break-in. The trial takes a bizarre turn when masked gunmen break into the courtroom and take everyone hostage. When they are ready to leave, the shotgun wielding men take Rory as one of their four hostages.

The local SWAT team manages to rescue everyone, but then the police focus on Rory because a video tape suggests she was not chosen randomly by the kidnappers. What's going on here? Rory is not sure herself but she soon realizes that her family and own murky past have a lot to do with the present "difficulties" she now experiences.

Rory's childhood buddy and former boyfriend, Seth Colder, also becomes involved in the situation. Besides resolving some of the issues from their own past relationship, the two are caught in a rising tide of violence that touches on something they both witnessed as children.

A tightly constructed plot and riveting cast of characters makes this first standalone novel by Meg Gardiner, the author of the award winning Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett novels, a quick, action-packed read. If you've enjoyed Gardner's two series, you'll love "Ransom River".

Reviews of other titles by this author

China Lake   [Evan Delaney, 1]
Mission Canyon   [Evan Delaney, 2]
Crosscut    [Evan Delaney, 4]
The Memory Collector   [Jo Beckett, 2]

Reviewed 2012