Friday, October 7, 2011


My next in a line of reviews I covered for Shelf Awareness. This one did not appear in the newsletter and is appearing here with their permission.

First line: "The young trader stumbled from the trees like a scarecrow running on legs of straw."

Jo Beckett and Gabe Quintana are investigating a possible murder scene when they find themselves caught in the middle of an elaborate kidnapping scheme. The twenty-one-year-old daughter of a wealthy hedge fund manager and five of her friends are abducted in the midst of an “urban reality game.” A car accident allows the group to escape from their captors in the midst of the Sierras. But the kidnappers are still out there hunting them down. Jo and Gabe have to use their know-how to evade these psychopaths, travel the terrain and bear the elements, so hopefully they can bring their charges to safety.

Meg Gardiner brings her entire crew together in The Nightmare Thief. Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett team up to investigate the suspicious death of a lawyer. Amy Tang, Ferd and Mr. Peebles all join in the hunt when Jo and Gabe fail to return from the crime scene. Gardiner stays true to her regular crew, but the real stars come in the form of the twenty-something set. Their dialogue, behaviors, attitudes elicit strong emotion from the reader.

The action is constant from beginning to end. Sudden twists keep the novel from an entirely straight, forward momentum. Some twists are possibly predictable, while others will catch the reader off guard. All contribute to a strong, cohesive plot.

For those who love the exhilaration of high speed action and suspense, The Nightmare Thief is sure to get your heart pumping.

I also had a chance to listen to this book on audio, narrated by Susan Ericksen who really does a great job with this series. She's able to elicit the depth of relationship between the characters without over-dramatizing. And likewise, she illustrations the action elements of the novel without going over the top and making them unbelievable. But above all else, she makes me love Ferd. Her characterization of Ferd uses stereotype expertly to bring the eccentric character to life.

The Nightmare Thief is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-052595221) from Dutton and on audiobook (ISBN:  978-1441820099) from Brilliance Audio.


Evelyn October 7, 2011 at 1:15 PM  

I just love Meg Gardiner, too! Her books just keep getting better and better. Once you start one, it's hard to put it down!

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