JUDGE, JURY—AND EXECUTION.
You can’t go home again—and survive—in this mesmerizing crime novel by Meg Gardiner, “a top-tier mystery writer at the top of her game” (BookPage).
Rory Mackenzie vowed to never return to her hometown of Ransom River, California. But she comes back and does her civic duty. Now she’s juror number seven on a high-profile murder case.
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. And in the wake of a desperate attack on the courthouse, Rory realizes exposing these dark skeletons has connected her to an old case that was never solved, and that bringing the truth to light just might destroy her.
Near the start of this solid stand-alone thriller from Edgar-winner Gardiner (The Nightmare Thief), Aurora "Rory" Mackenzie, an attorney who was working for Asylum Action, which monitored "refugees seeking political asylum" until it lost its funding, returns home to Ransom River, Calif., in answer to a jury summons. As a juror, Rory gets thrust into a hostage situation when two armed gunmen storm the courtroom where the trial of two cops accused of shooting a burglar is taking place. Even though a SWAT team comes to the rescue with minimal bloodshed, the police single out Rory as a potential accomplice because of undue attention one gunman paid to her. When ex-undercover cop Seth Colder, her childhood love, warns her of dirty cops in the Ransom River PD, it's clear the problem is bigger than Rory. Sparks still fly between the pair as they try to piece together the motive behind the courtroom siege. Like all of Gardiner's heroines, Rory is tough when it counts but never implausibly so.