Sunday, September 18, 2011


Pages: 461
Date: 18/09/2011
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 3 Jo Beckett

When Tasia McFarland, a country singer, dies from a gunshot wound during a concert, it is unclear how or by whom she was shot. Tasia was holding the gun herself at the time, but did she commit suicide, did somebody pull the trigger for her and was the bullet that killed her even from that gun?
Because the cause of Tasia’s death is unclear, Jo Beckett, Forensic psychiatrist, is asked to look into the case.
But the more Jo looks, the more questions she ends up with.
Tasia was bi-polar so was this a suicide during a depressed episode? Tasia was heard saying she thought she was in danger just before she died, was she right? Tasia was also the former wife of the American President, so was this a murder trying to undermine him?
The only clue Tasia left behind where two songs she wrote the night before she died. But what exactly is the message in those songs?
As Jo and the police investigate it becomes clear that someone in a position of power wants them to stop. But who is this person, and what is their interest?

This was a fascinating mystery. It is filled with conspiracy theories, multiple points of view and a few surprises.
I like Jo Beckett as the main protagonist as well as the other regular characters. Gardiner has managed to create realistic characters who are likeable without being too perfect, who have faults without being annoying and who react to situations in ways I can recognise.
This mystery is well plotted, multi-facetted and finishes in a credible way. And as always there is Jo’s neighbour with his monkey to provide comical relief from the tension in this thriller.
I think I will be trying to get my hands on the next book in this series very soon.

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