Summoned to your fate…

The gunman leveled the barrel of the shotgun and advanced at the bailiff. “Drop your weapon. Drop it now. Get on the floor.”

The bailiff held poised, hand near the holster.

The gunman charged him. And with one jarring motion he created the scariest sound known to modern America. He pumped the shotgun.

Rory felt it like a shock behind her eyes. People screamed.

The gunman descended on the bailiff, voice booming. “Throw your weapon on the floor. Now.”

The bailiff tossed the gun to the floor, raised his hands, and dropped to his knees.

Rory’s heart thundered. In the public gallery people stood and pushed toward the aisles, clambering over others who sat stunned.

At the back of the courtroom, the second gunman swept the barrel of his shotgun across the room. “Hands in the air. Everybody. Do not touch your phones.”

Rory Mackenzie is juror number seven on a high-profile murder case in her hometown of Ransom River, California. It’s a place she vowed never to visit again, after leaving behind its surfeit of regret and misfortune and the specter of a troubled past that threatened to disturb the town’s peaceful façade.

Brilliant yet guarded, Rory has always felt like an outsider. She retreated into herself when both her career aspirations and her love affair with a childhood friend, undercover cop Seth Colder, were destroyed in a tragic accident.

While most of the town is focused on the tense and shocking circumstances of the trial, Rory’s return to Ransom River dredges up troubling memories from her childhood that she can no longer ignore. But in the wake of a desperate attack on the courthouse, Rory realizes that exposing these dark skeletons has connected her to an old case that was never solved, and bringing the truth to light just might destroy her.

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Praise for Ransom River

“Rory is a fantastic protagonist. She’s smart, quick-thinking, fiercely loyal and resilient. She’s the sort of action hero you want to see in movies: She can take multiple hits, and they just make her stronger. Furthermore, ‘Ransom River’ is everything you want in a blockbuster thriller: multiple plot twists, thoroughly creepy psychotic villains, danger at every turn. Gardiner has an enviable talent for pushing characters and plot elements to the point of straining credibility, but she never breaks the limits of plausibility. And the manner in which Rory pieces things together is satisfyingly unexpected. Gardiner’s conclusion to ‘Ransom River’ leaves open the possibility for a sequel, and to that may I just say: yes, please.” Associated Press

“Edgar Award winner Gardiner delivers another smashing hit. Like her Jo Beckett books, this stand-alone serves up surprising plot twists and leaves room at the end for a possible sequel. Fans of the crime thriller genre will appreciate the well-drawn characters who plumb the depths of humanity and will connect with the especially strong female lead who perseveres to get back up more times than she falls.”
Library Journal

“Gardiner continues to move from strength to strength; with a tightly crafted story and charismatic (albeit admirably flawed) new characters, Ransom River displays the talents of a top tier mystery writer at the top of her game.”

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