China Lake (Evan Delaney Series #1)

China Lake (Evan Delaney Series #1)

by Meg Gardiner

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451224552
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Series: Evan Delaney Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 373,660
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

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China Lake (Evan Delaney Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
DallasReader More than 1 year ago
Fun, exciting, quick read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic read! If you haven't heard of Meg Gardiner, get ready to. This is one of those books that you can't put down once you start it. And if you think you've read it all before and can figure out the ending of any book after the first couple of chapters, be prepared to be blown out of the water with all the plot twists and turns right up until the last page. Buy this book and all the other ones in the series-you will not be sorry that you did!
DianeS on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This reads like the first of a new series, featuring (female) amateur detective Evan Delaney. Evan is a lawyer, doing legal research and journalism, which evidently allows her to take a lot of time off to detect.One way of allowing an amateur to get involved in an investigation is to involve her family members, and this book does that very well. It is completely believable that Evan would want to protect her young nephew, who she's had custody of while his father (her brother) is on sea duty in the Navy, as well as her brother and his wife (or ex-wife).At first I was a bit annoyed at the flag-waving, duty-first, military-is-wonderful attitude, but it is a valid cultural choice as a setting and I think the author worked herself past it.Don't let blurb from Stephen King fool you; this is not that kind of thriller. There are no rabid dogs, ghosts, demon cars, or teenaged witchery. Other than a few possibly shaky scientific details which can be overlooked, there is nothing here but ordinary human evil, manipulation, and greed. Much of the evil is on the surface, obvious from the first paragraph, but there is also underlying evil in several forms and a few plot-twists I hadn't imagined. I was very happy with the denouement.I would recommend this book for cozy readers who don't mind a bit of "heroine in peril" and for those who don't mind their thrillers being a bit soft-boiled. I'll be watching out for more from this author and this detective.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A new protagonist for me. Evan Delaney, attorney turned writer, has been given temporary custody of her nephew Luke. Luke's father (Evan's brother) is a Naval Aviator who is deployed to keep the world safe for democracy. His mother abandoned him because she could not abide the 'Navy way' of life. Mom subsequently joins a cult, which cult subsequently tries to kidnap Luke.Evan and her paraplegic boyfriend Jessie- another attorney become caught up in a series of rather 'suspend your belief' adventures as they try to return Luke to his father, now back from sea and stationed at China Lake Naval Base in the desert of California.The book becomes a combination of good cop/bad cop, Rapture meets Hollywood, biological warfare meets Top Gun. I enjoyed the story but found Evan's character really stretched my ability to believe any of this could really have gone down the way it is portrayed.
miyurose on LibraryThing 8 months ago
If you love suspense, you need to go out immediately and find a book by Meg Gardiner. Meg, you¿ve been hidden in the UK for too long! I really enjoyed The Dirty Secrets Club, but this one was even better. At one point, Evan¿s sister-in-law tries to illegally take back custody of her son while Evan is locked in the back of a police car, and I thought I was going to literally jump out of my seat! And that was just the beginning! This story of a cult gone crazy really makes you think about what we as a society can control, and what we can¿t, especially as Evan tries to get help from the police, who don¿t know whom to believe. And I never expected the final twist. I think I especially liked the quiet times in the story, where you got a real sense of Evan, Jesse, and Luke¿s normal lives. So often you only see the characters in a suspense novel in the midst of chaos. I will definitely be reading (or listening to) more of these, likely sooner rather than later.
RyanPaine on LibraryThing 8 months ago
China Lake is Meg Gardiner¿s first novel and you can tell. Her writing style was what I¿ll call conversational; she¿s trying to relate to the reader. Unfortunately, it seems that she thinks everyone else except her is a simpleton and her tone was, as a result, patronising at times. Strangely, one of the main characters complains about the `dumbing down¿ of the American people, which I think Gardiner is contributing to. What was worse was that although she was trying to write something that was easy to read, she uses the most absurd words at times. A really absurd one was 'stupefaction' when 'astonishment' would have been more conversational. Nobody wants to read words that you expect to come out of the mouth of a stuck up, 1920s American high-roller¿s wife. With her patronising tone, and these absurd words, it seems like she¿s got something to prove to the literary world, which is extremely annoying.Evan Delaney, the heroine, and Jesse, her lawyer boyfriend are too smart-arsed and pretentious to be likeable and I was hoping throughout the book that somebody would give Jesse a swift kickbox to the head. Delaney is clearly based on the author, which suggests that Gardiner has written this book as a way of making her fantasies of leading an exciting life come true. The rest of the characters lack any true inspiration and I knew that Delaney¿s fighter-pilot brother, Brian, would be wearing a white shirt and dog tags under his standard issue khakis before Gardiner told me exactly that. The plot is quite twisted and while at first the twists are predictable, towards the end, things pick up. In fact, the plot picks up so much that I got over my grievance with her writing style and was completely absorbed in the complex plot. Briefly, a fanatical church group called The Remnant has announced the end of the world and Delaney must save it. This theme is forgotten in the middle of the book however, when Delaney thinks that her nephew has been selected as the chosen one for their sinister plot. Gardiner remembers that the world is under threat about three quarters of the way through the book and the plot resumes.If you¿re not too particular about the way something is written and you enjoy an intriguing plot and stereotypical characters, you¿ll enjoy this book. However, if American grammar gives you the runs, this book is full of it. This review was originally published in On Dit, the student newspaper of Adelaide University.
youthfulzombie on LibraryThing 11 months ago
So I was trolling around Mr. King¿s site a few weeks ago and found an entry where he raves about an American author, Meg Gardiner, whose books are awesome but are published in the UK only, not the US. King laments this loss to the US readers, who can only get her books if they order them in. King compared her to Lee Child and Michael Connelly. As soon as you compare someone to Child, you intrigue me and you better be prepared for a fight. Luckily I am Canadian, and our bookstores carry a lot of UK books in stock. I was able to get 3 of her books in store, ordered the first one in and then - horror of horrors, the second book seemed unavailable (within a reasonable amount of time). I am a purist, and if there is a series of books I absolutely must read them in order or I feel I am doing the author and characters a disservice. I found a slightly used copy of the second book on eBay, and voilà, I was now armed and ready to read.While for me, Gardiner is certainly no Lee Child/Jack Reacher, her first Evan Delaney book, China Lake, is quite good and the main characters are certainly ones to enjoy another adventure with. I think King¿s impassioned review of this book in this week¿s Entertainment Weekly, is a bit hyperbolic though. I mean, the book did not change my life or stop my world from turning. However, I am now a little more than halfway through the second book, Mission Canyon, and am enjoying it even more than the first. I think the story is more controlled and closer to the main characters.Aside from his note on his website, King has now used his back-page column in this week¿s Entertainment Weekly as a plea to readers to go out and demand access to Gardiner¿s books. King is a smart one, his pleas have worked before, getting an audio book published for a much turned down author, and getting a CD made for a much turned down band. Let¿s hope his plea works, and soon the American people can walk into one of their mega bookstores and pick Gardiner¿s books off the shelf (well, the literate ones anyway).
SimonW11 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
At last an author who knows when something isn't a rodent. "Outlaw vigilantes of the genus Mustela" have a small but heroic role in this book. After the ultra violence that I was reading at the start of the year. the slow build in this one made a pleasent change as did the inteligent lawyer heroine. At last someone who responds to threats and dangers by going to the police and persuing legal action.The heroine is trying to prevent her nephew from being snatched by his mother The mother has fallen under the influence of a church that believes the end of the world is most definately nigh.But how nutty are they? The first person narrative means we take a while to find out. Instead with no early cutaways to evily cackling baddies we get some likable portraits of people in the enemies camp. It is carefully plotted and while there are the odd occasions when that first person narrative is strained and a third person adopted and characters might distort beneath the plot demands. I can give this one a thumbs up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Booker13 More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book.  I ended up reading evyering of hers I could get my hands on.  Keeps you going.  Great from start to finish.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND  doesn't disappoint
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Neil_Collins More than 1 year ago
I happened upon Meg Gardiner through a suggestion on Barnes and Noble for her more recent work, The Dirty Secrets Club. I liked that one so much, I had to look up Ms. Gardiner and see what else she might have done. As it turned out, she has been very well received in England, but is only just recently becoming known in her native land. China Lake is her first novel in the Evan Delaney series, and is an excellent piece of work, never mind a habit forming start for series junkies like me! From the first chapter I was drawn into the tumultuous and pulse quickening story. Gardner masterfully drew me into a world that I found rich, detailed, and disquietingly uncomfortable; exactly as the characters did. The heroine, Evan Delany, is endearing, smart, tenacious; I liked her right from the start. That her antagonists were an apocalyptic, anti-government, bible cult were likewise drawing, working on my own personal emotions regarding groups of this sort; both those in the news and those I've personally known. The supporting characters were equally well written and either beloved or hated, depending upon their role. The story pits Evan, an attorney turned Sci-Fi writer, along with her paraplegic lawyer boyfriend Jessie and her Navy fighter pilot brother against a "church" that takes to picketing funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims while plotting to do "battle" with the anti-Christ (Read= anyone who disagrees with them). The pivotal center piece is Luke, Evan's six year old nephew who she is caring for while his father, Brian, is on deployment. Toss in some high school rivalries, Brian's new assignment to China Lake, where they were stationed with their own father, years ago, a rabid dog, and top it off with a store room full of Reddi-Wip and stolen weapons. I found the telling highly energetic and the bad guys appropriately unsettling. Far from a formulaic pattern, throughout the lengthy climax I was never quite sure who would live and who would die. Several times I found myself feverishly reading on, uncertain of what I might see next. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite my utter distain for the antagonists, and found myself very pleased with the wrap up. I'm eagerly looking forward to my next Meg Gardiner novel!
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edofarrell More than 1 year ago
This book is contived, predictable and boring. The characters are poorly developed and the dialog is strained and nearly painful to read. The premise of the plot is that a religious cult has nefarious plans for a child. But the writer is so uncomfortable with the premise that she spends a good portion of the book apologizing for having 'bad' christians as the bad guys. Do not waste your money on this book.
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