The Liar's Lullaby (Jo Beckett Series #3)

The Liar's Lullaby (Jo Beckett Series #3)

3.6 15
by Meg Gardiner
     
 

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Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner returns with a third propulsive, groundbreaking thriller about forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett and the lies that are even more dangerous than fame.

Tasia McFarland is a washed-up country-pop singer desperate for the break that will get her topping the charts again. The tabloids have raked over every part of Tasia's rocky

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Overview

Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner returns with a third propulsive, groundbreaking thriller about forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett and the lies that are even more dangerous than fame.

Tasia McFarland is a washed-up country-pop singer desperate for the break that will get her topping the charts again. The tabloids have raked over every part of Tasia's rocky life, following every high and low, her addictions, her breakdowns, her increasingly erratic behavior-and every broken relationship. The highlight of this lowlight reel: her failed marriage to an ambitious Army officer whose political talents earned him a spot in the nation's highest office. Tasia McFarland is the ex-wife of the President of the United States.

So when Tasia writes a song with politically-charged lyrics, people take note and her star begins to rise anew. In the spectacle-driven opener of her comeback tour, she is lowered into a stadium on a zip line and as helicopters fly overhead she fires her prop Colt 45 at the fireworks-filled stage. Tasia is riding high.

Until she's killed by a bullet to the neck, before the shocked crowd of 40,000.

When video can't prove that the shot came from Tasia's own Colt .45 and the ballistics report comes up empty, the authorities call on forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett to do a psychological autopsy and clean up the potential political disaster. But as Jo sifts through the facts, she only finds more questions. Was Tasia's gun loaded? Did she kill herself in one last cry for attention? Were her politically-charged lyrics the rantings of a paranoid woman losing her grip? Or warnings from a woman afraid and in danger? For Jo, pouring over Tasia's past quickly becomes a race to extinguish the conspiracy rumor mill before it incites a level of violence that reaches America's highest corridors of power-and tears apart the very fabric of our nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jo Beckett investigates a national security threat in Edgar-winner Gardiner’s absorbing third thriller to feature the San Francisco forensic psychiatrist (after The Memory Collector). When troubled country singer Tasia McFarland—who happens to be the U.S. president’s ex-wife—dies of a gunshot wound to the neck during a stunt that goes awry at a huge outdoor concert, Jo’s SFPD friend, Lt. Amy Tang, asks Jo to help determine whether Tasia, who fired a Colt .45 automatic as part of the stunt, shot herself or was shot by an assassin. The ballistics are inconclusive. As Jo looks into the sordid details of Tasia’s life, an antigovernment extremist, Tom Paine, who runs a conspiracy-fueled Web site called Tree of Liberty, accuses people in the government—in particular, President Robert McFarland—of orchestrating Tasia’s death and demands punishment for those responsible. Despite the broad scope of Jo’s inquiry, Gardiner mostly manages to keep the far-reaching plot on course. (June)
From the Publisher
"Breathless suspense, slick plotting and a cast of compelling characters make this a solid addition to Edgar-winner Gardiner's dossier of superlative thrillers."
Booklist, Starred Review

"If you read Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, or Nelson DeMille, you're going to think Meg Gardiner is a gift from heaven."
Stephen King

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

"Stephen King was right. . . . Steeped in nonstop action, psychological terror and an evocative use of the San Francisco background, The Dirty Secrets Club brims with surprises and unpredictable twists."
Orlando Sun-Sentinel

"Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett."
Jeffery Deaver

"A book you just can't put down. The Memory Collector is a first-class thriller with nonstop action."
Chicago Sun-Times

"Gardiner has created a tough, intelligent heroine who is as comfortable kicking butt and bad guys in the alleys of San Francisco as she is in a medical lab examining carbon nanotechnology and its effects on the brain."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett."
Jeffery Deaver

"[Meg Gardiner is] the next suspense superstar."
Stephen King

Kirkus Reviews
The SFPD once more calls on forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett, this time to help explain the shooting death of a singer/songwriter whose showy comeback entrance to a concert stage was cut short when she was shot halfway down her zipline. Tasia McFarland has always been a wild woman, so it's no surprise when she plans to zip down a wire to join her lover, rocker Searle Lacroix, onstage at the Giants' ballpark, amid billows of manufactured smoke. The surprise is that when she emerges from the smoke, Tasia's been shot in the neck, evidently with the .45 she was holding herself only seconds before-a weapon that's legally registered to her long-ago husband, Robert McFarland, who in the meantime has been elected President of the United States. Clearly there are some tricky angles here. Lt. Amy Tang, the homicide detective who's on the scene along with Jo and her sister Tina, wants to know whether Tasia shot herself or had help. At first the case for suicide seems overwhelming. After bipolar Tasia went off her meds, a timely Xanax put her into a mixed state in which she was both excited and depressed. On the other hand, she told anyone who'd listen that she feared an assassination attempt that was only the beginning of a bigger plot (against the president?) and left behind two new songs she claimed would hold the clues to her murder. Though she sheds curiously little light on Tasia's state of mind, Jo does some smart detective work linking the volatile performer to both a determined stalker and a right-wing conspiracy whose home base is the Tree of Liberty website published by one Tom Paine. The ambitious, preposterous plot is filled with interoffice power plays, suspect political operatives, double-crosses by media types and action sequences, which Gardiner (The Memory Collector, 2009, etc.) pumps up brilliantly. Catnip for Jeffery Deaver fans who can't wait for their next fix and like-minded souls who value constant stimulation over plausibility.
Anna Mundow
The secrets of Tasia's life lead Jo to the truth of the singer's death, and Gardiner charts that course skillfully. With the eye and ear of a keen reporter, she can capture the speech and manner of a self-important political staffer or a cynical cop, the pretentious ranting of a cyber-patriot or the e-mail venom of a deluded stalker.
—The Washington Post
Stephen King
If you read Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, or Nelson DeMille, you're going to think Meg Gardiner is a gift from heaven.
Jeffery Deaver
Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett.
USA Today
Hitchcockian scenes of suspense will rock even the most jaded thriller reader.
Chicago Sun-Times
A book you just can't put down. The Memory Collector is a first-class thriller with nonstop action."
Booklist
Breathless suspense, slick plotting and a cast of compelling characters make this a solid addition to Edgar-winner Gardiner's dossier of superlative thrillers.
Orlando Sun-Sentinel
Stephen King was right. . . . Steeped in nonstop action, psychological terror and an evocative use of the San Francisco background, The Dirty Secrets Club brims with surprises and unpredictable twists.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Gardiner has created a tough, intelligent heroine who is as comfortable kicking butt and bad guys in the alleys of San Francisco as she is in a medical lab examining carbon nanotechnology and its effects on the brain.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525951728
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/24/2010
Series:
Jo Beckett Series, #3
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.27(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Stephen King
[Meg Gardiner is] the next suspense superstar.
From the Publisher
"Breathless suspense, slick plotting and a cast of compelling characters make this a solid addition to Edgar-winner Gardiner's dossier of superlative thrillers."
-Booklist, Starred Review

"If you read Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, or Nelson DeMille, you're going to think Meg Gardiner is a gift from heaven."
-Stephen King

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

"Stephen King was right. . . . Steeped in nonstop action, psychological terror and an evocative use of the San Francisco background, The Dirty Secrets Club brims with surprises and unpredictable twists."
-Orlando Sun-Sentinel

"Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett."
-Jeffery Deaver

"A book you just can't put down. The Memory Collector is a first-class thriller with nonstop action."
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Gardiner has created a tough, intelligent heroine who is as comfortable kicking butt and bad guys in the alleys of San Francisco as she is in a medical lab examining carbon nanotechnology and its effects on the brain."
-Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett."
-Jeffery Deaver

"[Meg Gardiner is] the next suspense superstar."
-Stephen King

Jeffery Deaver
Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett.

Read More

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