Saturday, February 14, 2015

Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner ~ 2014

An injured cop and an ex-thief hunt down a killer no one else believes exists

Author: Meg Gardiner
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication: June 26th, 2014
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780525954316
Edition language: English
Jacket Design by Anthony Ramondo
Jacket Photography © Guillermo Rodriguez Carballa / Trevillion Images
Author Photography by Stuart Boreham

My Word!

Meg Gardiner
From the Edgar Award-Winning (The Shadow Tracer) author Meg Gardiner, Phantom Instinct delivers a stand-alone page-turner putting all cop Thrill Seekers in arresting satisfaction.

Harper Flynn, bad-girl-gone-good has been turning her life around and has pretty much what any young twenty-something lady would want. Job, boyfriend, and a future looking bright.

Then it happened - one night all hell breaks loose in the crowded L.A. club Xenon where she works as a bartender - gun shots ring out and she witnesses her bartender/friend Sanita looking down at her chest, watching the blood ooze out of her. Someone throws a Molotov cocktail - the bar is quickly engulfed in flames.

She sees pandemonium erupt as quickly as the flames and if that's not enough - she watches her boyfriend, Drew Westerman, get gunned down in crossfire.

The gunman took aim at Harper and L.A. Sheriff Deputy Aiden Garrison sees it, but, before he could react a wall collapses seriously injuring him. The floor opens up, swallowing.

A year later, Aiden Garrison is fighting (from the accident) with Fregoli syndrome, a rare type of face blindness that causes the delusion that random people are actually a single person changing disguises. Harper Flynn had quit her job and went back to college. Both of them are convinced they saw three gunman, not two, but a fire destroys the evidence and their eyewitness accounts are dismissed.

Now at a memorial service at Clearview Park for Drew, Harper sees a man's silhouette standing surreptitiously aloof in the tree line. As sure as hell is, it's the same stance she saw that dreadful night. Contrary to the lack of evidence, she knows there were not only two shooters who could not escape their own chaos, but, a third gunman who did. She's positive.

Meg Gardiner has a cop no one in the police department can take his word on and a young lady who has claimed adamantly for over a year there was a third shooter. There's no evidence.

Aiden and Harper team up after a shaky start and soon understand she was purposely tracked down. The chaotic night that killed innocent people - no spoiler here - it was her they were after. 

Phantom Instinct is a fast paced mystery with nonstop cinematic action. I loved the way Meg Gardiner described some events in detail and others she left you to imagine the gruesome scene. You have to turn the pages.

Her description of scenes and events are poignant to the level of actual taste. You know how smells waft from the kitchen and actually touch your taste buds? okay, you got the picture. I caught myself totally immersed at times.

Her characters are authentic and very believable. Maybe they'll even remind you of some folks you already know. My favorite character was Harper Flynn - she had moxie permeating from her pores. A very strong heroine. Gardiner has characters you could love, some you would hope for in the worst way, and there are the ones you will have Zero love for.

Throughout the book I had felt emotions rip in all directions. In alternating third-person points of view, feelings of fear and loathing (and no this was not based in Las Vegas) to dread and suspenseful anxieties to excitement and satisfaction were alive and kicking. As a reader of Thrills & Chills, Meg Gardiner has a style of writing that should not be missed. Especially this ending - Wow, what a great plot-twist!

Here's where you can get your finger's on Phantom Instinct:
  • Amazon  ~  Kindle edition $10.99  Hardcover $18.97