Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Dirty Secrets Club - Meg Gardiner

San Francisco is experiencing an earthquake when the 49ers star receiver, Scott Southern, is sneaking into his attorney's evacuated officer tower with an assistant district attorney, Kallie Harding. He's there to complete a dare and she's there to witness it and provide the proof. It's all part of "The Dirty Secrets Club." But when Kallie drives off a bridge, Scott jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge, and other high-power members of the club also end up dead, Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist, makes it her mission to find out what exactly is going on with this mysterious club.

I listened to this book on audio (please excuse me if I've misspelled names) and it was read by Susan Ericksen. Not only do I find her to be the best female reader I've encountered so far, but she is among the best overall. Her distinctive voices for all the characters coupled with her perfect balance of dramatic effect made the book a joy to listen to.

The characters and plot in this book were rather time-appropriate considering the members of the "Dirty Secrets Club" are all people in position of power who essentially believe they can get away with anything BECAUSE of their positions. Despite its tie-in to current events, it's still a disturbing facet of human...or at least American psyches.

There were a couple elements about the plot that bothered me as far as logic went, but it still made for a great crime fiction story. The ending got a little carried away, I thought. Without exposing too much, it was just a case of every time you thought the end had come, some other disaster struck Jo Beckett. The poor woman couldn't cut a break to save her life. And after awhile I found myself thinking, "oh, come on already!"

While there wasn't a lot of humor in the book, there was Ferd. I LOVED Ferd and his monkey Mr. Peebles. For me they stole the show. The image if Jo carrying a duct taped monkey into a computer supply store, her hair and clothes covered in shampoo was just too funny. Ferd tries so hard, but he's just the ultimate nerd. My heart was going out to him.

The Dirty Secrets Club was my first book by Meg Gardiner. It will not be my last.


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