Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: China Lake by Meg Gardiner

China Lake - Meg Gardiner

Evan Delaney is a science fiction writer, legal researcher and guardian to her six-year-old nephew Luke, who remains in her care while his father- her brother, Brian- flies F/A-18 jets for the US Navy.
As far as good lives go, Evan is on top of the world- her new novel is a bestseller, her career is going from strength to strength and she has a fantastic relationship with her boyfriend Jesse. To make things even better, Brian has just relocated back to the China Lake naval base, which means that Luke will be able to move back in with the father he adores, and have a more stable childhood.
But then Luke’s mother, Tabitha, who abandoned Brian and Luke eight months earlier, arrives back on the scene, and she’s not alone. Having joined the cult religious group, The Remnant, Tabitha is determined to get her son back, and will stop at nothing to make that happen. The Remnant, who believe that the apocalypse is eminent, seek perverse pleasure in heckling people at the funerals of AIDS victims, as well as other ‘weaker’ people, and Evan knows that she has to keep them as far away from Luke as possible.
But when two deaths occur within a short period of time, and Brian is arrested as the murderer of one of the victims, Evan realises that The Remnant will not rest until they get what they want. Evan, along with Jesse and her friends have to protect Luke from the evil cult, who believe that the scriptures of the bible foretell judgement day, and who believe that Luke holds the key to their redemption.
With kidnap attempts, weapons dealing and biological warfare on the cards, Evan has to be as strong as possible to fight against The Remnant, protect her young nephew and keep him from danger.

What I gained from reading this book:
This book is mainly about family, and the lengths that some people will go to, to make sure that their loved ones remain safe and out of harm’s way. Evan is determined to make Luke’s life as pleasant as possible, considering the tough circumstances that surround his parent’s break-up, and when she learns that The Remnant is threatening his safety, she goes all out to ensure that no harm befalls him.
In a similar vein, Evan is just as determined to protect her brother Brian, who is jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, and help her boyfriend Jesse when the situation with The Remnant starts to get out of hand. She always appears to put her family and friends first, and this is something that all readers could aspire to.

While the concept of fanatic cults isn’t new, Gardiner has brought a new element to the idea, with the surprising demise of one of the main characters of the plot. This not only creates a sense of mystery, but it means that the storyline is also difficult to predict.

Some of the events of this novel can be a little hard to believe, simply because the characters seem to face few repercussions for their actions. In a more realistic world, there would be far more consequences involved, but this shouldn’t deter you from reading this otherwise absorbing story.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Crime/ Thriller

Recommended for: Anyone who wants to read a crime/thriller where the heroine has to fight against a religious cult to save her family.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

China Lake

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