The Nightmare Thief
By Meg Gardiner
(Dutton Adult, Hardcover, 9780525952213, 368pp.)
Publication Date: July 21, 2011
List Price: $25.95*
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Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett returns in a fourth taut, groundbreaking thriller from Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner.
Autumn Reiniger expects something special for her twenty-first birthday. Daddy's already bought her the sports car, the apartment, and admission to the private college where she parties away her weekends. Now she wants excitement, and she's going to get it.
Her father signs up Autumn and five friends for an "ultimate urban reality" game: a simulated drug deal, manhunt, and jailbreak. It's a high-priced version of cops and robbers, played with fake guns and fast cars on the streets of San Francisco. Edge Adventures alerts the SFPD ahead of time that a "crime situation" is underway, so the authorities can ignore the squealing tires and desperate cries for help.
Which is convenient for the gang of real kidnappers zeroing in on their target and a mammoth payday. Because what Daddy doesn't know is that someone has spotted his hedge fund's bulging profits, and the path to those riches runs right through Daddy's Little Girl.
Working on a case nearby is forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett and her partner Gabe Quintana. When the pair encounters a suspicious group of men carting six sullen college kids to the woods for a supposed wilderness adventure, alarm bells ring. Jo takes a closer look, and winds up with an invite to Autumn Reiniger's twenty-first birthday party-a party they may never leave.
Meg Gardiner previously practiced law and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Originally from Southern California, she now lives with her family in London. The Dirty Secrets Club is her first novel published in the U.S. She will be promoting The Dirty Secrets Club on a national tour this summer.