Introducing the writer Stephen King trumpets as "the next suspense superstar"
Recently Stephen King devoted an entire Entertainment Weekly column to Meg Gardiner, proclaiming her "as good as Michael Connelly and far better than Janet Evanovich." How is it possible, he wondered, that this Californian was published only in Britain? Starting now, suspense fans on this side of the pond can get their fix right here: Dutton is proud to introduce Gardiner's brand-new series heroine, Jo Beckett, in The Dirty Secrets Club.
An ongoing string of high-profile and very public murder-suicides has San Francisco even more rattled than a string of recent earthquakes: A flamboyant fashion designer burns to death, clutching the body of his murdered lover. A superstar 49er jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. And most shocking of all, a U.S. attorney launches her BMW off a highway overpass, killing herself and three others.
Enter forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett, hired by the SFPD to cut open not the victim's body but the victim's life. Jo's job is to complete the psychological autopsy, shedding light on the circumstances of any equivocal death. Soon she makes a shocking discovery: All the suicides belonged to something called the Dirty Secrets Club, a group of A-listers with nothing but money and plenty to hide. As the deaths continue, Jo delves into the disturbing motives behind this shadowy group--until she receives a letter containing a dark secret Jo thought she'd left deep in her past, and ending with the most chilling words of all: "Welcome to the Dirty Secrets Club."
An intelligent and stubborn heroine who's just emotionally vulnerable enough to be empathetic lifts this novel from Gardiner (China Lake), a Californian now living in London making her U.S. debut. Dr. Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist (or "deadshrinker"), performs psychological autopsies to uncover the truths behind grisly crimes. Recruited to consult on the possible suicide of prosecutor Callie Harding, who drove her BMW off a San Francisco bridge and struck an airport minivan on the road below, Jo discovers this accident is the latest in a string of high profile murder-suicides. As Jo and the SFPD's Lt. Amy Tang dig deeper, they uncover the Dirty Secrets Club, a shadowy group of citizens whose members include a noted fashion designer and a football star, both of whom committed very public suicides. Still coming to terms with her doctor husband's recent death, Jo struggles to pinpoint the club's origins, realizing that a former member may be systematically driving the remaining members to their deaths. Gardiner should win new fans on this side of the Atlantic with this adrenaline-filled thriller. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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June 11, 2008
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