Ransom River

★ Curtis Brown Stop Press Frankfurt 2011
by Meg Gardiner Fiction

  • US Dutton (Penguin Group USA) (June 2012)

Juror Rory Mackenzie knows a murder trial is about life and death. But she doesn’t know the death could be hers.

When gunmen seize control of a California courtroom, Rory must fight to save the judge, her fellow jurors and herself. The gunmen scream for revenge against the police officers who are on trial and demand $5 million in gold, threatening to execute their captives to get it. As Rory keeps them from shooting hostages, they choose her as a human shield for their escape. But before the gunmen can flee, the police assault the courtroom and kill them. Rescue, however, is only the beginning of Rory’s nightmare.

Rory thinks the gunmen had outside help. The police think they had inside information—namely from her.

CCTV evidence shows that the gunmen had planned to take Rory with them from the outset. The cops think the courtroom siege was a botched terror attack. Rory thinks it was an attempted kidnap. But why grab her? She’s a penniless lawyer for a flat broke refugee charity. Yet someone instigated the courtroom attack to snatch her—someone who still wants her, and who will stop at nothing to get her.

With the police against her, she reaches back to her past for help from her ex-lover, ex-cop Seth Colder. They learn that the roots of the attack lie in her family’s history. It’s a twenty-year-old mystery involving a brother’s betrayal, a young father on the run, and $25 million stolen in an armored car heist—cash that has never been found.

Rory has become a pawn in a high stakes game of money and revenge. To get out alive she faces a choice between destroying her family and risking the life of the man she still loves. Unless she can stop the people who are behind everything, she, Seth and her family will pay with their lives.
Ransom River
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.


Like all of Gardiner’s heroines, Rory is tough when it counts but never implausibly so.

Publishers Weekly

Gardiner delivers another smashing hit.

Library Journal