Category Archives: UNSUB

UNSUB reviews: LitHub, Boston Globe, Journal-Sentinel, and more

LitHub headline

UNSUB will be published June 27th. Reviews are coming in, so I want to round some of them up. (YES, read the book!)

In LitHub, Lisa Levy has a wonderful essay about UNSUB and Karen Dionne’s new novel, The Marsh King’s Daughter: The Daughters of Crime Fiction Are Getting Tough on Bad Dads.

“Unsub is a really frightening book, in large part because of Gardiner’s deft use of close third-person narration. It put me in mind—though the subjects could not be further apart—of the work of Henry James.”

I will take that. All day, every day.

More reviews:

“An adrenaline-fueled rush… Shades of “Silence of the Lambs’’ and the Zodiac Killer.” — Boston Globe (Hot for a Summer Read?)

“I love a good serial killer novel, and Gardiner has written one of the most accomplished ones I’ve read in a while. Gardiner has created the perfect balance of vulnerability and violence in her main characters, all of whom are damaged in their own ways. When the killer becomes a “hot knife through the center of (Caitlin’s) head,” “Unsub” will already have a cold grip on your heart.” — Carole Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Paging Through Mysteries: 5 thrilling choices for summer reading)

“Scary-good… Meg Gardiner knows how to get readers’ hearts pumping, and she brings plenty of thrills with this one. UNSUB is a first-rate crime thriller that’s well-written and carefully plotted. Just when readers think they’ve zeroed in on the killer, Gardiner delivers one devilish twist after another.” — The Real Book Spy

“Bring on the nightmares.” — PureWow (7 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in June)

And the Vallejo Times Herald talked to me about writing the novel: Author of new Zodiac-inspired novel and planned TV series, holds Bay Area events.

And a reminder: You can preorder the novel today!

Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Amazon | iBooks

Book People | Murder by the Book

Writing writing writing… and UNSUB is coming

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My new thriller, UNSUB, will be published June 27th. This week I’m getting ready — planning my travel for the book tour, writing articles, doing interviews, and honing my ninja skills to a high level. As you do.

I’m also working on the sequel to this novel. So I’ve been editing a fight scene. Which means I asked the Husband to teach me how to take down a knife-wielding home invader, using only a leather belt and some momentum. As you do. Unlike a few years ago, this time I managed to act out the fictional fight without scaring the neighbors or my children. That’s a win.

And after going for my husband with a wrench (standing in for the knife), I feel confident that in real life he would have disarmed me and laid me out flat in less than a second. I’m glad I have him in the house. And I re-confirmed my decision never to take up home burglary.

The fight scene I wrote today will be published in 2018. In the meanwhile, you can preorder UNSUB.

Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Amazon | iBooks

Book People | Murder by the Book

Book Page picks UNSUB as one of its books of the summer

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Book Page has named its 13 most anticipated books of the summer, and I’m delighted that my upcoming thriller UNSUB is on the list.

Book Page 2017 Summer Reading Preview

“Gardiner shines, as usual, with character development, building her grisly psychological thriller around detective Caitlin Hendrix, whose father failed to catch the killer decades earlier. Suspense fans should grab the opportunity to meet Caitlin on her first outing, since she’ll likely make many return appearances in print and on the small screen (CBS has announced plans to adapt Unsub as a TV series).”

I’m thrilled that my novel joins books by Stephen King, John Grisham, Dean Koontz, David Sedaris, and other amazing writers on the list.

So, yeah. Check it out. Preorder. ‘Scuse me while I run around whooping for a few minutes.

Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Amazon | iBooks

Guest Post on Mystery Fanfare — UNSUB: When Cold Cases Kill

I have a guest post today on Mystery Fanfare, about the writing of my upcoming novel.

(Mystery Fanfare is an online adjunct to Mystery Readers International, whose members vote for the Macavity Awards.)

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UNSUB: When Cold Cases Kill

UNSUB is about a legendary killer and the young cop who hunts him. In my thriller, the UNSUB—an unknown subject in a criminal investigation—starts killing again after twenty years, and Caitlin Hendrix must decipher his coded plan before he drags more innocents to the abyss.

The novel was sparked by the unsolved case that has haunted California for decades, and me since childhood: the Zodiac. That infamous UNSUB shot and stabbed seven people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Zodiac sent dozens of messages to the police and media, including cryptograms that have never been broken. The terror wrought by the killings still lingers today.

Head on over to read the rest.

And don’t forget — UNSUB is published in June, but you can preorder it now.

Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Amazon

Read an excerpt from UNSUB

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Over on Medium, my publisher has posted an excerpt from my upcoming novel, UNSUB. The excerpt includes portions of three scenes from the first chapters of the novel. Here’s the opening:

April 1998

The yelling woke her, the rough voice of her father, shouting into the phone.

“Listen to me. We don’t have days. We have hours.”

The black sky poured through the bedroom window. Shadows crawled the ceiling.

“Don’t you understand? It’s in his message — Mercury rises with the sun.”

Caitlin curled into a ball, hugging her bear. She knew what Mercury meant. It meant flashing lights and BREAKING NEWS and everybody so scared. A body bag sliding into the coroner’s black van. KILLER CLAIMS EIGHTH VICTIM. It meant you could never close your eyes or turn your back. Because he could get you anytime, anywhere.

Click to check out the rest. UNSUB: excerpts.

And remember: The book’s out June 27, but you can pre-order today.

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Book People | Murder by the Book

UNSUB: the first reviews are in

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The first advance reviews have come in for UNSUB, and I’m jumping up and down that they’re great.

“Outstanding series launch… Taut pacing and sympathetic characters play against a terrifying villain, who will crawl beneath your skin and trouble your sleep. Thriller fans will eagerly await the sequel.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This skillfully plotted story… ratchets up suspense to its cliff-hanging epilog that begs for a sequel… Edgar Award–winning author Gardiner, long praised for developing full-bodied characters while spinning intense psychological thrillers, does herself proud here. Think Thomas Harris at his most frightening, and hope to see more of Caitlin Hendrix.” — Library Journal, starred review

“Move over, Zodiac. The latest of the countless fictional serial killers you’ve inspired gives you a blistering run for your money… readers sucked into this vortex… will be counting down the hours to the appearance of the promised sequel.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Scary-good… Meg Gardiner knows how to get readers’ hearts pumping, and she brings plenty of thrills with this one. UNSUB is a first-rate crime thriller that’s well-written and carefully plotted. Just when readers think they’ve zeroed in on the killer, Gardiner delivers one devilish twist after another.” — The Real Book Spy

So, yeah. It’s not just me telling you you’ll enjoy the novel. Go ahead and pre-order:

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Book People | Murder by the Book

UNSUB sold to CBS

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So here’s some news: my upcoming novel UNSUB has been optioned for development as a television series by CBS. Here’s the story from Deadline Hollywood:

CBS Television Studios to adapt UNSUB as TV series.

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Television Studios has pre-emptively bought the rights to Edgar-winning author Meg Gardiner’s forthcoming novel UNSUB, ahead of an auction, to adapt for television. The novel, the first in a series, will be published June 27 by Dutton/Penguin Random House. It will be developed as a TV series by Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman, who’ll be executive producers through their studio-based Timberman-Beverly Productions banner, along with The Story Factor’s Shane Salerno. The author, who who has spent years researching celebrated unsub cases, will also serve as a producer. They will begin talking to writers and showrunners quickly.

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Yes, I am pumped. Yes, Deadline Hollywood posted the news alongside pictures of Baywatch and the new Fast and Furious movie. I’m digging it.

The thriller follows a female detective on the trail of an infamous serial killer – inspired by the still-unsolved Zodiac case – when he breaks his silence and begins killing again. The detective, who grew up watching her father destroy himself and his family chasing the killer, now finds herself facing the same monster. Her work brings her to the attention of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, where she goes to work hunting other UNSUBs (UNknown SUBjects, a term used for suspects in a criminal investigation) while being tormented by the killer her father never caught.

Timberman and Beverly are executive producers of CBS’ Elementary and previously exec produced Justified, Masters of Sex and Unforgettable. The duo is post on the CBS/CBS Studios Navy SEALs drama pilot with David Boreanaz.

I couldn’t be more excited.