Ransom River: read the first chapter

My new novel, Ransom River, will be published on July 5th. It’s about a juror on a murder trial who finds herself fighting for her life when gunmen storm the courthouse and take the courtroom hostage.

Then she discovers the attack is connected to an old case that was never solved. It’s connected to her, and dark skeletons in her family’s history.

But the story doesn’t open in the courtroom. It opens when Rory Mackenzie is nine years old:

The night was meant for shooting stars. Before the shadow rose, or the sirens moaned, the sky was cut by a meteor shower: ice on fire, streaks of light that tore the air. Maybe meteors would crash into the mountains, Rory thought. Or into Ransom River Elementary School. Or into the Chevron gas station downtown. That, she thought, would cause a supermassive fireball. That made sneaking out at one in the morning worth the risk.

Or it should have.

In her bedroom, in the dark, she tied her Converse All Stars. Outside the window, the sky boomed at her, looming and endless and pounded white with stars.

The house was school-night quiet. She turned her ear to the closed door but heard nothing—no TV, no talk or laughter from her mom and dad’s room. Pepper was in his dog bed in the kitchen. Everybody was asleep.

Beyond the window a voice whispered. “Rory.”

Seth pressed his hands to the screen. His eyes swam with starlight.

“Getting my stuff,” she whispered back.

She shoved binoculars into her backpack and slung it across her shoulders. The Power Rangers felt like a shield, even though the bright plastic might shine under the streaking light of a meteor. As if a falling star could read R. Mackenzie written in black marker across the pack and aim for her. But maybe. Like her dad said sometimes, Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.

In Rory’s case, it is. Is it ever.

I’ve posted all of Chapter One on my website. Go on and read the excerpt.

And to remind you that this blog is called Lying for a Living: after you read the first chapter, you can pre-order the book. There are plenty of links at my site, or you can skip that step and buy it right now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Powell’s, Amazon.co.uk, or of course your local independent bookstore.

7 responses to “Ransom River: read the first chapter

  1. Stephen Jones

    Meg, once again I am headed off to vacation on the same day as your latest book is released – and the chances of purchasing it in Cancun are very slim. I am not a fan of the eReaders out there, but each time that I miss your release dates my reluctance shrinks. I have called several of my local booksellers and even the Big Box ones and asked if perhaps they could sell me a copy prior to the 7/5 release date….. oh, the agony!
    Steve in Auburn, GA

    • Thanks for making the effort, Steve. Of course, you could go ahead and order the book, so it will be waiting on your return (she whispers in a sneaky voice).

      • Stephen Jones

        I was thinking what a nice addition it would be to the “Meg Gardiner” library I’ve started in the condo there :o) And, yes, I have a standing order @ my local Barnes & Noble for when I return. Anticipation! Steve

  2. Looking forward to seeing this book on my e-reader Thursday morning.

  3. I am so loaded with books I want to read, and I have my money all ready and waiting to get this one too. Not enough books, so little time.

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