Meg Gardiner previously practiced law and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Originally from Southern California, she now lives with her family in London. The Dirty Secrets Club is her first novel published in the U.S. She will be promoting The Dirty Secrets Club on a national tour this summer.
Mission Canyon (Evan Delaney Series #2)by Meg Gardiner
While bicycling in the foothills of Santa Barbara, Jesse Blackburn and his friend Isaac are struck down by a hit-and-run driver. Isaac is killed, but Jesse survives. Now he wants revenge, and his fiancée, Evan Delaney, wants justice. Neither is simple. Evan and Jesse underestimate the power of the person with whom they’re dealing, and of the dark places… See more details below
While bicycling in the foothills of Santa Barbara, Jesse Blackburn and his friend Isaac are struck down by a hit-and-run driver. Isaac is killed, but Jesse survives. Now he wants revenge, and his fiancée, Evan Delaney, wants justice. Neither is simple. Evan and Jesse underestimate the power of the person with whom they’re dealing, and of the dark places where retribution will take them. As witnesses to the crime start dying one by one, it is apparent that no one can stop the killer – least of all Evan, who’s next on his list.
“A HARROWING (AND ALL TOO TIMELY) STORY of corporate greed and evildoing in quirky Southern California.” – Jeffery Deaver
“A RATTLING GOOD READ with an unexpected twist.” – The Sunday Telegraph
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Evan Delaney is on his way to a society function to serve a summons on Cal Diamond, who is dressed as Zorro. Her mission fails when she sees there are two Zorro's at the event and she has no way of distinguishing them. Frustrated she returns to the van where her fiance waits for her. Jesse Blackburn is uninterested in Evan¿s summons any longer because he saw Franklin Brand, the man who ran over him and left him a paraplegic while also killing his best friend Isaac Sandoval.------------ Evan gives chase, but loses Franklin. The police are on the case and catch Brand, but he makes bail and is released before vanishing. Evan sees him meeting with Kenny Rudneski, the son of theowner where Brand worked as a VP before being caught embezzling. Evan and Jesse are determined to find Franklin while also believing that Mako technologies, owned by Kenny and his father, is the cause of the blackmail attempts against them and the secret jobs they must undergo as told to them by the cabal if they want to keep their loved ones safe.----------- MISSION CANYON is unfortunately a very believable tale about cybercrime in which businessmen ally with thieves leaving the innocent to bear the costs of their criminal activities. Evan is an admirable courageous woman who does not care that her Jesse is wheelchair bound she even acts at times as if she does not notice the chair. There are many suspects and the exciting plot is filled with twists and revelations (perhaps a few too many of the latter) that shock the audience just when the story line seems to be settling into a pattern. Fans will enjoy this timely tale of the avaricious crooks, cops, businessman and innocents caught in their web.-------------- Harriet Klausner
Mission Canyon is a place of nightmares and regrets for Evan Delaney and her fiance, Jessie. It's been just over three years since Jessie and his best friend, Isaac, where run down while riding their bikes up in Mission Canyon. For Jessie, it's meant piecing his life back together; physical therapy and a wheel chair, with Evan by his side. Isaac wasn't quite as lucky. Meg Gardiner's second offering in her Evan Delaney series is a tightly wound, thrilling story with all the twists, turns, and blind curves that the road through it's namesake possesses. While not quite as intense (to me) as China Lake, her first in the series, I found it very well told and deeply engrossing. In a very different setting than before, Mission Canyon takes place in a world that seems to invade Evan's familiar Santa Barbara based life. She's just a few short weeks from her wedding to Jessie when the reappearance of the man who crippled him and killed Isaac takes them both spinning out of control. Everything she thought she knew comes into question; who are these people she thought were friends, and what really happened up in the hills above the city? When a writer can make me feel loss at the death of a character, that's the sign of truly deep authorship. Gardiner has done that, yet again, and while I didn't feel quite the anger I had towards the antagonists in China Lake, the bad guys are well enough constructed that they do evoke plenty of emotion. Likewise for the characters who are revealed to be not what they were thought to be. Not at all predictable. Mission Canyon is a thoroughly enjoyable book that I would highly recommend. While you don't have to read the first book to understand the second, it does make the characters far more understandable. I look forward to the next books in this series.
It was difficult to finish this painfully stereotypical Southern California first-person 'thriller.' The characters are out of central casting, the plot is hackneyed, and the wise-cracking banal and self-conscious. Refer to Jefferson Parker, Ross Thomas, Michael Connelly, and Jan Burke, to see how this kind of thing ought to be handled.