Texas finds Phantom Instinct: KUT Radio, Austin Chronicle

Here are a couple of links to media-type stuff about Phantom Instinct.


KUT Radio, the Austin NPR affiliate, interviewed me about my new novel. The interview will be broadcast next week, but you can listen to it online right now, and read a summary at KUT.org:

Austin Author Meg Gardiner Thrills with ‘Phantom Instinct’:

“Gardiner’s protagonists are usually women.  And these women generally don’t have special training. They don’t have secret weapons. They’re just determined.  ‘I’m an ordinary person. I try to think what would happen if I were faced with the collapse of my world and chaos breaking and bad guys coming after the people I love. I think readers like to see  how ordinary people find the resources to rise to the challenge and that’s what a lot of the heroines in my novels do.’”

And as part of its “July is Crime Month” series, the Austin Chronicle reviews Phantom Instinct:

Austin resident Meg Gardiner is climbing the literary ranks of some pretty impressive company, and die-hard thriller fans aren’t the only readers likely to enjoy her latest crime fiction starring the razor-sharp wit of main character Harper Flynn. Peppered with gruesome henchmen, brutal betrayals, friendships forged in scar tissue, and, naturally, a love triangle, Phantom Instinct leaves the reader questioning her own gut and glancing sideways at strangers…

Gardiner reignites our love for suspense novels with plenty of plot twists and pacing that propels. But it’s Flynn’s tightrope walk between a hard-knock life and her healing heart (plus a notably intricate backstory) that drives through extended scenes of tension and some staccato lines of drama reminiscent of Law and Order: SVU. Fast-paced and fun, we’ll catch our breath and hope Harper Flynn makes a return.

I’m definitely starting to like this town.

Phantom Instinct: Associated Press review & The Big Thrill


Yes, I know that this week I’m talking a lot about Phantom Instinct. The novel has only been published a few days. So if I don’t talk about it, Penguin will release the dogs or the bees or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.*

Where was I? Right. The Associated Press has given Phantom Instinct a glowing review:

Meg Gardiner’s latest thriller is her best yet.

“Phantom Instinct” is simply a fantastic story, told at breakneck speed. Gardiner is one of the best thriller writers around, and this is arguably her best work yet.

“Phantom Instinct” is full of action and surprises and a few new twists and quirks. For example, the cop, Aiden, has Fregoli syndrome as a result of his injuries. It’s a brain disorder that causes the sufferer to believe that different people are actually the same person in disguise. You can imagine how this might affect his police work. Harper herself has a complicated past, and it appears to not be a coincidence that she was working on the night of the attack. But to say more would ruin the first of many reveals…

Gardiner’s latest stand-alone is one of this summer’s best reads.

To say I’m happy would be an understatement. The entire review is online at ABC News, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Times.

And The Big Thrill, the online magazine of the International Thriller Writers, interviews me about the book.

According to Gardiner, PHANTOM INSTINCT was inspired by the following idea: “What if two people know that a killer escaped from a shootout, and that he will kill again, but nobody else believes them? To catch him they must work together, but they don’t trust each other.” In the story, she said, “the more Harper Flynn and Aiden Garrison learn about the shootout, the more dangerous things get. The more they’re drawn to each other. And the more each of them fears that the other might betray them.”

Hop on over there to read the rest.

The Gardiner Library Big Book Giveaway: The Winner

Thank you to everybody who entered my big book giveaway. I was delighted by your enthusiasm and by the wide array of places you said you’ll be reading Phantom Instinct this summer. If I could, I would give books to all of you.

Alas, that’s not possible. But I have four Advance Reading Copies of Phantom Instinct, and as a consolation prize I want to offer them to these commenters: Mia, Eddie, Victor, and Donna Gilbert.

Now, the winner of the Gardiner Library Big Book Giveaway, who will receive a Penguin USA edition of all twelve of my novels: Siobhan.


Today: Book People! Tomorrow: KAZI FM Radio!

This weekend I have a couple of events in Austin to launch Phantom Instinct:

Mystery People Presents: Meg Gardiner — Phantom Instinct
Book People
6th and Lamar
Austin, TX
4 p.m. Saturday June 28th

KAZI FM 88.7 Book Review
12:30 p.m. CDT Sunday June 29th
I’ll be live in the studio with host Hopeton Hay. You can hear the show on 88.7 FM in Austin or online via Kazifm.org.

Say hi if you can.

Phantom Instinct: Santa Barbara News-Press review


It was a nice surprise this morning to get a text from my mom: “Look what headlined the book section — News-Press this AM!”

I’m going to adopt a kicked-back Santa Barbara attitude and say: Cool.

Actually, I’m thrilled. The last time I got a review in my hometown paper may have been when I played a klutz in the high school play.

The paper’s verdict: “An exciting action-packed thriller with a truly unexpected twist ending.”

I’ll take that any day.

Phantom Instinct: out now in the USA


My new novel, Phantom Instinct, is published today in the United States. And Canada!

My thanks go to the crew at Dutton, who put together the fine looking book pictured above — especially Jessica Renheim, Ben Sevier, and Jamie McDonald Knapp.

More thanks go to the wonderful authors who provided quotes for the cover:

“Meg Gardiner is a gifted writer, and every page of Phantom Instinct shows it. It’s fast-paced, sharp, and unforgettable.” –Don Winslow

“Meg Gardiner is one of my favorite authors. She always delivers a terrific read. Phantom Instinct should go to the top of your ‘to-be-read’ pile.” –Karin Slaughter

“Characters as real as your friends, and a plot as real as your nightmares.” –Lee Child

My deepest gratitude goes to all of you who read my novels. You make my dream come true.

DON’T FORGET: I’m celebrating the publication of Phantom Instinct by giving away my entire library. You have until Friday night to enter the giveaway. Go on, go on, go on. The Gardiner Library Big Book Giveaway.

DON’T FORGET, THE NEXT PART: You can now find Phantom Instinct at your library and a bunch of great booksellers:

Book People / Barnes & Noble / Indiebound / Powell’s / Amazon / Apple iBooks

Roundup: Ouija Boards, Haggis, Books

I find the weird links, so you don’t have to.

First up:

Three American friends hospitalised after becoming ‘possessed’ following Ouija board game in Mexican village

My mom would never let us kids play with a ouija board, and now I know why.

Alexandra Huerta, 22, was playing the game with her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas at a house in the village of San Juan Tlacotenco in south-west Mexico. But minutes into it, she apparently started ‘growling’ and thrashing around in a ‘trance-like’ state.

Meanwhile, Sergio and Fernando also reportedly started showing signs of ‘possession’, including feelings of blindness, deafness and hallucinations.

Paramedics “restrained Alexandra to prevent her from hurting herself, before treating the three with painkillers, anti-stress medication and eye drops, which seemingly worked.”

Good to know that the next time I and my friends get demon-possessed, eye drops will save us. So if you see somebody chasing me down the street with an eye dropper, relax.

Next, we go to Scotland:

Car-sized haggis smashes World Record

A haggis weighing over a tonne has stormed into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Is this thing sentient? Did it kick down the door and deliver a list of its demands?

The monster dish, which came in at 1.01 tonne (2,227lbs), was unveiled at Scotland’s Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.

Be on the lookout, people.

And finally, if you want to know which books have been keeping me up at night, head over to Writers Read.

I’m also reading Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. It’s a history of America’s nuclear weapons program, and it’s riveting.

More at the link.