So I was trolling around Mr. King’s site a few weeks ago and found an entry where he raves about an American author, Meg Gardiner, whose books are awesome but are published in the UK only, not the US. King laments this loss to the US readers, who can only get her books if they order them in. King compared her to Lee Child and Michael Connelly. As soon as you compare someone to Child, you intrigue me and you better be prepared for a fight.
Luckily I am Canadian, and our bookstores carry a lot of UK books in stock. I was able to get 3 of her books in store, ordered the first one in and then - horror of horrors, the second book seemed unavailable (within a reasonable amount of time). I am a purist, and if there is a series of books I absolutely must read them in order or I feel I am doing the author and characters a disservice. I found a slightly used copy of the second book on eBay, and voilà, I was now armed and ready to read.
While for me, Gardiner is certainly no Lee Child/Jack Reacher, her first Evan Delaney book, China Lake, is quite good and the main characters are certainly ones to enjoy another adventure with. I think King’s impassioned review of this book in this week’s Entertainment Weekly, is a bit hyperbolic though. I mean, the book did not change my life or stop my world from turning. However, I am now a little more than halfway through the second book, Mission Canyon, and am enjoying it even more than the first. I think the story is more controlled and closer to the main characters.
Aside from his note on his website, King has now used his back-page column in this week’s Entertainment Weekly as a plea to readers to go out and demand access to Gardiner’s books. King is a smart one, his pleas have worked before, getting an audio book published for a much turned down author, and getting a CD made for a much turned down band. Let’s hope his plea works, and soon the American people can walk into one of their mega bookstores and pick Gardiner’s books off the shelf (well, the literate ones anyway).