Tuesday, July 29, 2008

China Lake - Meg Gardiner

China Lake
An Evan Delaney Novel
Meg Gardiner


Peter Wyoming and his wife, Chenille, are leaders of the Remnant, a group that believes Armageddon is real and it’s coming soon. It’s the kind of church that pickets AIDS funerals and heckles the mourners. Evan Delaney was attending the funeral of her best friend’s mother the first time she encountered the Remnant. She was horrified to see that her former sister-in-law, Tabitha, was one of the picketers.

Evan has been taking care of her nephew, Luke (6) while his dad, Brian, a fighter pilot, was deployed overseas. Tabitha was denied custody of Luke due to issues with her past. But Tabitha wants Luke back with her. She wants him in her apocalyptic church, for reasons unknown. All Evan and Brian know is that it’s not a safe place for a child.

Evan and Brian have a few run-ins with the Remnant, both in Santa Barbara and in China Lake, where Brian is now stationed. When a member of the Remnant is found dead at Brian’s home, he’s arrested for the murder. Evan knows her brother is innocent, and works to prove it while still protecting Luke. The Remnant’s reasons for wanting the boy go far deeper than Evan could have imagined, and they’re more than ready to strike the first match to light the fires of Armageddon.

This is one of those wonderful finds: a book that you can’t put down; that very nearly defies description without including massive spoilers. The story begins with what looks like a custody fight between a fighter pilot and a religious nut. The plot evolves into so much more than that. Each chapter brings some new twist to the tale, a new revelation that sets what you thought you knew on its ear. The fast pace begins on the first page and never slows down until the conclusion. You’ll lose sleep to finish this one, but you won’t regret it.

Rating: 8 ½
June 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22455-2 (paperback)


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