Allison Block reviews Ransom River for Booklist:
“Think your relatives are odd? They’re nothing compared to the criminal kin of Rory Mackenzie, the smart, troubled protagonist of Edgar-winner Gardiner’s new stand-alone thriller. As the novel opens, a jury summons for a high-profile murder case brings Rory back to the small Southern California town she left years before, vowing never to return. Days into the trial, a bloody attack on the courthouse takes the focus off the case, and Rory begins to suspect a connection between the tragic incident and chilling happenings from her childhood. (Why did her uncle Lee drop out of sight, leaving his wife and children behind?) Further igniting Rory’s already emotional state is the reappearance of undercover cop and former lover Seth Colder, who helps her shed light on dark truths about her family. In Gardiner’s world, the bad guys are really bad, and even the best of them have a skeleton or two. Crisp writing and a breathless plot make this a must-read for both newcomers and fans of the author’s Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney series.”
What a way to kick off my weekend.