The Liar's Lullaby

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9780007337620: The Liar's Lullaby

Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner returns with a third propulsive, groundbreaking thriller about forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett and the lies that are even more dangerous than fame.

Tasia McFarland is a washed-up country-pop singer desperate for the break that will get her topping the charts again. The tabloids have raked over every part of Tasia's rocky life, following every high and low, her addictions, her breakdowns, her increasingly erratic behavior-and every broken relationship. The highlight of this lowlight reel: her failed marriage to an ambitious Army officer whose political talents earned him a spot in the nation's highest office. Tasia McFarland is the ex-wife of the President of the United States.

So when Tasia writes a song with politically-charged lyrics, people take note and her star begins to rise anew. In the spectacle-driven opener of her comeback tour, she is lowered into a stadium on a zip line and as helicopters fly overhead she fires her prop Colt 45 at the fireworks-filled stage. Tasia is riding high.

Until she's killed by a bullet to the neck, before the shocked crowd of 40,000.

When video can't prove that the shot came from Tasia's own Colt .45 and the ballistics report comes up empty, the authorities call on forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett to do a psychological autopsy and clean up the potential political disaster. But as Jo sifts through the facts, she only finds more questions. Was Tasia's gun loaded? Did she kill herself in one last cry for attention? Were her politically-charged lyrics the rantings of a paranoid woman losing her grip? Or warnings from a woman afraid and in danger? For Jo, pouring over Tasia's past quickly becomes a race to extinguish the conspiracy rumor mill before it incites a level of violence that reaches America's highest corridors of power-and tears apart the very fabric of our nation.

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Product Description:

When you have to take on the White House there's only one woman to call -- Jo Beckett. When a rock singer is killed onstage during a concert, Jo Beckett is called in to perform a psychological autopsy. But Tasia McFarland's death causes Jo all kinds of problems, because Tasia is the ex-wife of the President of the United States. The White House pressures Jo to declare Tasia's death an accident rather than a homicide. The media and conspiracy nuts rant that Tasia was knocked off to silence her, for unknown reasons. Fringe extremists seethe about taking direct action to "save America" from the president and his administration. Jo learns that an obsessed fan was apparently stalking Tasia. The stalker may have killed her and escaped in the panic at the concert. As the media and conspiracy frenzy grows, the White House leans harder on Jo to close the case. When she won't, Gabe Quintana finds his military orders suddenly changed, and he's called up to active duty in Afghanistan! in 72 hours. Jo discovers the identity of the stalker. It's someone who's obsessed with Tasia's new boyfriend, a famous country singer. Jo calls the police but she's too late. The stalker stabs the singer to death. The police kill the stalker. The case seems to have come to a spectacular conclusion. But Jo doesn't think the stalker in fact murdered Tasia; the facts don't add up. She fears that Tasia was killed for other reasons. And she's nervous, because the President is coming to San Francisco to attend Tasia's memorial service!

About the Author:

Meg Gardiner is originally from Southern California, where she practiced law and taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of five Evan Delaney novels as well as the first Jo Beckett thriller, The Dirty Secrets Club, described by Jeffery Deaver as "A winner all the way." She lives with her family near London.

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Meg Gardiner
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Gardiner, Meg
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