At a Glance
Last Updated -Reading the Meg Gardiner books in order means picking up the author’s popular Jo Beckett forensic psychiatrist thriller series, the Evan Delaney freelance journalist series, and the new Caitlin Hendrix / UNSUB detective series, which currently includes two books, with the latest published in 2018.
Here are the Meg Gardiner books in order of reading and publication order. The list will be updated with any new novels published in the future.
Evan Delaney Series
- China Lake (Evan Delaney #1), 2002
- Mission Canyon (Evan Delaney #2), 2003
- Jericho Point (Evan Delaney #3), 2004
- Crosscut (Evan Delaney #4), 2005
- Kill Chain (Evan Delaney #5), 2006
Jo Beckett Series
- The Dirty Secrets Club (Jo Beckett #1), 2008
- The Memory Collector (Jo Beckett #2), 2009
- The Liar’s Lullaby (Jo Beckett #3), 2010
- The Nightmare Thief (Jo Beckett #4), 2011
Caitlin Hendrix/UNSUB Series
- UNSUB (UNSUB #1), 2017
- Into the Black Nowhere (UNSUB #2), 2018
- The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB #3), 2019
Other Meg Gardiner Books
- Ransom River, 2012
- The Shadow Tracer, 2013
- Phantom Instinct, 2014
Evan Delaney Books Synopsis
Evan Delaney is a sci-fi author and a lawyer. In China Lake, she learns that her ex-sister in law, Tabitha, has joined a religious cult called the Remnant, which is set on destroying the world and bringing forth the apocalypse as soon as possible.
When Tabitha wants to get back custody of her child, whom she dumped at her ex back in the day, things really speed up when the cult leader is found dead in Tabitha’s ex’s backyard. Now Evan has to solve the case, prove the innocence of her brother, and try to get Tabitha out of the cult unscathed.
Several years ago, Evan’s lawyer boyfriend, Jesse Blackburn, was hit by a car in a hit-and-run case, one that left him sitting in a wheelchair for life and his friend dead. Now that Evan learned that the Franklin Brand, the evil driver, went back to Santa Barbara, she can’t help but need some much-deserved justice for her boyfriend.
And so starts the hunt for Brand, where Evan tries to ensure that he culprit doesn’t leave town before justice is finally served. But the more she investigates, the deeper the water seems to run, and the crazier and more dangerous the secrets that surround the entire case seems to be. So much that Evan’s own life might be jeopardized by the entire affair.
In Jericho Point, Meg Gardiner explores the topic if stolen identity when Evan herself becomes a victim of it. The big problem is that the girl who apparently stole her identity was found dead at the local beach. And then the loan sharks rough Evan up for owed money, things get even more complica
ted – by the minute. Especially since the drug baron was not the only one who wanted his stolen money back – from Evan nonetheless.
When Evan Delaney returns to China Lake for her highschool reunion, she learns that several of her classmates died although, which is quite unusual in number for people so young. It seems that their deaths are not of natural causes and someone is trying to kill them all off. There is something in Evan’s past that might put her in grave danger as well, and when she discovers that he is prenant, the problem because even more serious since now her own baby is in jeopardy from a twisted killer.
Evan’s father, Phil Delaney, is being prosecuted for some alleged espionage crimes from his time with the Naval Intelligence. But then he is kidnapped and the kidnappers tell Evan to find a file they need unless she wants her father to die. She only has 72 hours before her dad dies of thirst without water. But ending the kill chain might take something more than Evan herself actually has.
Jo Beckett Books Synopsis
The Dirty Secrets Club
Jo Beckett is a forensic psychiatrist in San Francisco.
The Dirty Secrets Club is an exclusive club of people with things to hide from their past, things that only the other club members know. When every three days one member starts to die, including the very last victim who worked for the district attorney’s office, Jo Beckett is called in to work on the case. She has to find out not only why the woman died but also what was the woman’s frame of mind when she died. But Jo Beckett has her own secrets from the past that she doesn’t want revealed…
The Memory Collector
Jo calls herself the dead-shrinker. She usually deals with the reasons for why a person died. But when she is called to work with someone still alive, Jo rushes to try to help the person – one who can’t form new memories and who might hold the secret to something horrible happening soon in San Francisco. And only Jo is the only one who can unlock the patient’s memories before it’s too late.
The Liar’s Lullaby
When Tasia McFarland, a pop singer who has found new success when she infused her songs with a political tirade, is shot during her own concert, Jo has to find out whether Tasha killer herself with her own gun or she was the victim of a shooting. And if she was, was she murdered or was it merely an accident?
The Nightmare Thief
Autumn Reiniger is a spoilt rich kid who wants something very special for her 21st birthday. She already got an expensive car and her apartment, but now her daddy must do something really out there for her. A party that nobody will ever forget. A role-playing cops and robbers game with fake guns, lots of shouting and crying, but none of them real.
The police are warned to stay away, so when real kidnappers get their chance of k
idnapping daddy’s rich girl for money, nobody is there to help them. Except for Jo, of course. But this time, it might be too late for Jo as well, especially since she might not get out of this affair alive either.
UNSUB Books Synopsis
Back in the 1990s, Mack Hendrix tried in vain to catch the Prophet, a serial killer so cunning that almost drove the policeman to the brink of madness. Now, 20 years later, Mack’s daughter, Caitlin Hendrix, catches a case that smells very much like the work of the Prophet. Is he really back? And if he is, can she catch the killer before she becomes a victim as well? The book is inspired by the real case of The Zodiac Killer.
Into the Black Nowhere
Caitlin Hendrix is now working with the FBI in their Behavioral Analysis Unit as a rookie agent. Women are disappearing every Saturday night in Solace, a small town in Texas. When she and her unit discover the body of a victim in the forest, and then another one not far away, they know they have a serial killer in at work. Especially when the MO is very similar in both cases. Now Caitlin mus
t enter the mind of the serial killer to learn how he picks them before it’s too late before he grabs his next innocent victim. The book is inspired by the real case of Ted Bundy.
The Dark Corners of the Night
In The Dark Corners of the Night, Caitlin Hendrix, the FBI profiler, is after a serial killer, a home invader who roams L.A.’s freeways and randomly, silently kills mothers and fathers as they sleep.
About Meg Gardiner
Meg Gardiner (website) was born in 1957 in Oklahoma, but her family soon moved to Santa Barbara, California, where she grew up. She attended Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, where she wrote for the school newspaper. She graduated from high school in 1975.
From then on she went to Stanford University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. During this time she wrote several short stories in her spare time.
Next, she attended and graduated from Stanford Law School.
After finishing her studies, Meg Gardiner practiced law in Los Angeles for a while, before moving back to Santa Barbara, where she began teaching legal research and writing at the Santa Barbara University of California.
In the early 1990s due to her husband’s job, she moved with him and their three young kids to the UK. Having time on her hands since she was out of a day job and was not interested in getting qualified to work as a barrister in the UK, Meg began writing thriller novels. She finished her debut novel, China Lake, which was published in 2002 UK and several years later in the US.
During her stay in the UK, the author Meg Gardiner lived in Surrey near London until 2013 when she moved back to the US to Austin, Texas, where she is still living with her husband.
An interesting trivia about the author: She is not only an accomplished writer but also a three-time Jeopardy! champion.
Reading the Meg Gardiner books in order for each series is recommended, not the least because there is a slight overlap between the Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney series.
My first contact with Meg Gardiner’s books was when I bought China Lake at a thrift store over 10 years ago. It turned out that it was the first Evan Delaney novel, so I hurried to buy the second one as well, Mission Canyon since it was already out.
The author’s first book in the UNSUB series is titled UNSUB, published in 2017, which will be made into a TV series by CBS, focusing on a female detective’s chase of an infamous serial killer which might be the not-yet-caught Zodiac killer. It is a series that currently includes three books.
Meg Gardiner is currently the president of the Mystery Writers of America for 2019.