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Jericho Point is the third novel to feature part-time lawyer and full-time novellist, Evan Delaney and once again sees her getting in out of her depth and facing life and death situations that threaten to involve her personally as well as professionally.
This time around, Delaney has become the victim of identity theft with thousands of dollars put on her account. This sees her getting into strife with one of the most influential clients at her boyfriend's law firm and uncovering an ongoing conspiracy when she tries to clear her name. It doesn't help that her future brother-in-law is also caught up in a situation that rapidly spirals out of control. If you have read any of the other novels in this series, then you will rapidly know what to expect and this works both for and against Meg Gardiner. In some respects you know you are getting a cleverly-crafted low budget, lower-end of the market thriller of the kind you can normally pick up cheaper in the supermarkets but on the other hand you are also getting another part of a series that is increasingly getting formulaic!
My issues with this latest attempt begin with the fact that I found the opening scenes ever so slightly confusing even considering I had read two other of her previous novels. It felt more than a little bit messy and incoherent and, though the situation becomes better explained in the big reveal at the book's climax, it seemed like it might be enough to dissuade first-time readers of Gardiner's thrillers from continuing with this novel. Maybe I'm wrong and thats just me....
Also, I have begun to get a little bored with the whole Evan Delaney female-in-trouble storylines that seem to dominate this series. It feels as though you can almost predict or second-guess what is coming before it even happens. China Lake was very good and I throughly enjoyed it but did wonder how it could spawn further books and worried that its premise would not be able to carry a continuing series. With a slight disappointment felt with the last of her novels I read, actually the fourth book in this set, and now with thjis, I feel as though my doubts were justified. I grew tired of the Alex Delaware thrillers because they got, to my mind, too samey after a while and likewise I bored of Linda Fairstein after a couple of novels too. Writers need to continually up their game and raise the stakes, bringing something unexpected to the table, or they threaten to lose their readers!
I would give Meg Gardiner another go but only because I quite like the characters. That said though, this is easiest the less good of the three books of hers I have read and you might be advised to pick up either Cross Cut or the debut Evan Delaney novel, China Lake before approaching this third entry!