Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: "Phantom Instinct" by Meg Gardiner

I've reviewed a handful of Meg Gardiner's mysteries and loved each one of them. Here, with "Phantom Instinct", we have a stand alone mystery with new characters that would certainly make a good series, we'll see if Ms. Gardiner goes down that road.

"Phantom Instinct" opens with a catastrophic event at Xenon, an popular L.A. nightclub. Harper Flynn is bar tending on the night that changes her world. Three gunmen break into the club and start shooting. As the packed club's clientele become hysterical, one gunman throws a molotov cocktail into the liquor display, engulfing the whole place in flames. There are two police officers present, one of them, Detective Aiden Garrison, tries to help Harper rescue her boyfriend Drew from the melee. Unfortunately Drew is shot just before the floor of Xenon collapses into the space below, taking Detective Garrison with it. 

All of the above action happens in the first few pages of the book. The story continues one year later, as we learn of the devastating injuries sustained by Detective Garrison and the death of both Drew and the two shooters. No one except Harper and Garrison seem to know about the third shooter, the man who shot Drew and got away. The fire destroyed everything and only our two main characters know the truth. Harper and Garrison must work together to prove that the third shooter exists, they're the only ones who can implicate the him, thus making themselves targets.

The psychological twists and turns that Meg Gardiner weaves into this mystery/thriller draws the reader in quickly. It's so easy to like Detective Garrison, with his damaged body and mind and Harper is our wily, unpredictable character. Harper Flynn continually makes the reader question who she is and where she's come from. I have to give this book a five out of five. Although there are a very few number of places where I felt the book lagged, I think I felt that because I wanted the answers to come quicker! I wanted to know now, now, NOW what was going to happen in the story. That's always a good thing with a mystery. I highly recommend the book and any Meg Gardiner mystery for that matter.


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