- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult (July 5, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0525952853
- Source: Publisher
Rory Mackenzie has reluctantly returned to her hometown of Ransom River, California, now unemployed. She’s now serving as a juror in a high-profile murder case: two policemen are accused of shooting and killing an intruder in cold blood. Two men charge into the courtroom, taking everyone hostage. Before the long ordeal ends, Rory soon realizes that she was the intended “victim” of the attack on the courtroom, the attackers staging the takeover to kidnap her alone. Unfortunately, the police see a completely different story playing out, assuming that Rory was somehow involved in the attack.
The scene in the courtroom is just the start of a series of violent acts in the seemingly quite town of Ransom River, Rory’s family the center of all of the attention. Grigor Mirkovic, the father of the murder victim at the trial, uses his connections in organized crime to stalk and terrorize Rory and her family. The drama continues inside Rory’s family circle: Boone and Nerissa, Rory’s cousins and the children of her long-missing uncle, Lee, torment Rory with malicious threats and false accusations about her past. The only individual standing behind Rory is Seth, her ex-boyfriend and former cop who disappeared suddenly years ago. Rory isn’t exactly thrilled or comfortable with this, but she’s running out of options. She must get to the root of decades of dark, family secrets and lies if she’s going to be able to clear her name.
Gardiner weaves an intricate yet exhilarating mystery in Ransom River. Like many small towns, Ransom River is full of deep, dark secrets. Rory is shocked to realize that she is the center of many of these, stunned that her family has kept her in the dark all these years. Despite being an extremely flawed character, Rory is an incredibly strong-willed, determined heroine. It seems this is a case of the world vs. Rory and I found myself rooting for her, desperate to see her persevere.
Admittedly, as I watched the numerous story lines and subplots reveal themselves, I questioned the author’s ability to weave them all together. That uncertainty was unfounded, for Gardiner ties all of the weaving and winding story lines together to form a completely surprising conclusion.
Looking for a taut, chilling mystery to fill your weekend? Ransom River is the book for you. Highly recommended.