** What it's about **
San Francisco Forensic Psychiatrist Jo Beckett doesn't dissect the body or the crime scene - she dissects a life and a mind, recreating the victim as a person, piecing together the story of their death to get to the truth. And then she goes after the killer.
Autumn Reiniger wants something special for her twenty-first birthday. Daddy's bought her the car and the apartment, but now she wants excitement.
Her father signs up her and five friends for a "crime spree experience" with Edge Adventures. They warn the police, ensuring that the authorities will ignore any squealing tyres or desperate cries for help.
Then - when working on a case nearby - Jo Beckett encounters a group of men carting six sullen college kids to the woods for a wilderness adventure. Suspicious, she takes a closer look. And winds up with an invite to a birthday party she may never leave...
** What I thought **
I struggled with the first 9-ish chapters of this book, whilst Gardiner sets the scene for all the action that is about to unfold. I couldn’t really remember who was who, and thought I wasn’t ever going to really care. However, once we get into the nitty-gritty kidnapping, it turns into a fast-paced action thriller which is packed full of non-stop action that will keep you turning the pages. However, it’s much more action adventure (about survival) than thriller.
I believe this is the fourth book which follows Jo Beckett, and whilst I hadn’t read the other three, I didn’t feel I needed to in order to read and enjoy The Nightmare Thief. I was a little disappointed that we don’t see much of the forensic psychiatrist side of Jo, but I suppose for that I should read the first three books in this series.
You might need to suspend belief in real life for a while, but it’ll keep you entertained for a few hours. It even has a life lesson, moral-to-the-story type ending thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t predictable and the story intertwines and weaves its way towards the ending, but at the same time, there weren’t any jaw dropping light-bulb moments. It was enjoyable, but perhaps not memorable enough for me to remember in a few weeks’ time.