The Dirty Secrets Club
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The Dirty Secrets Club (Jo Beckett #1)

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,958 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Meet Jo Beckett - a forensic psychiatrist who profiles victims' lives to help solve their deaths. On a San Francisco street, Jo confronts a scene of pure carnage: four dead, five injured after a high speed pursuit. In the mangled remains of a BMW lies prosecutor Callie Harding, dead with the word dirty written in lipstick on her thigh. Why did Harding run from the police?...more
Paperback, 438 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2008)
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Joe Valdez
"If you read Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly or Nelson DeMille, you're going to think Meg Gardiner is a gift from heaven." -- Stephen King

I was in hell's waiting room and by the time I reached page 70, I gave up.

This was the second novel I'd read in a week based on Stephen King's Reading List Part II. I'm trying to hold my inner snob in check here, but I'm learning how little enjoyment I get from airplane novels. If this book is any indication, I can place each of the g...more
Jaime
Where has Meg Gardiner been hiding? This was fabulous! It’s been a while since I’ve been so taken with a new (or new to me) suspense writer. The action in this book starts almost immediately with a crazy dare and the death of a U.S. Attorney. Jo Beckett is a really interesting character with a profession that I haven’t seen explored before (if it actually even exists!) — forensic psychology. Instead of determining how someone died, it’s Jo’s job to determine the why, not only to help with the of...more
Tinav
May 26, 2008 Tinav rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all mystery, suspense, action readers
Recommended to Tinav by: Stephen King
Wow! Just read the ARC of this one from bookstore. US release is next month, June. Jo Beckett is a forensic psychologist who helps police with the "why" in cases of uncertain death. I gather that Gardiner is long since published in UK but we've only just got her in the US, and I don't know what the holdup was!

The book's a tight, well-written roller coaster ride from the opening page to the finish. Fantastic! This woman is one of the most talented I've ever read at edge-of-your-seat suspense. Gr...more
Michael
With an endorsement by best-selling author Stephen King and a vast majority of those writing suspense fiction today, you have to wonder why Meg Gardiner hasn't broken through in a big way here in the United States. From what I understand, she's published several successful novels in the UK, all of which are being published here over the next several months.

After reading "Dirty Secrets Club," I can see why she has the ringing endorsement of Mr. King and others. And I can definitely see her being...more
stephanie
Jun 02, 2010 stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to stephanie by: Mara
if ever there was a book designed specifically to hit my personal reading kinks, this is it. (if it had been in new york and gotten everything as right as she did about the bay area, we might have hit the trifecta.)

jo beckett is a forensic psychiatrist. as in, she "shrinks the dead". jo is called in to determine whether a suicide is a suicide, or if there is foul play.

the concept of "suicide autopsies" has long been something that interests me, ever since i stumbled on Edwin Schneideman's work...more
Jen
San Francisco is experiencing an earthquake when the 49ers star receiver, Scott Southern, is sneaking into his attorney's evacuated officer tower with an assistant district attorney, Kallie Harding. He's there to complete a dare and she's there to witness it and provide the proof. It's all part of "The Dirty Secrets Club." But when Kallie drives off a bridge, Scott jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge, and other high-power members of the club also end up dead, Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist, ma...more
Becky
Awesome read! I enjoyed the audio version of this book and had a hard time pulling the plug. I found myself listening to this book at any and all moments of the day because I couldn't put it down! This was my first Meg Gardiner and I know that I'll be checking out other books by her in the near future.
I never knew about that there was such a position as a forensic psychiatrist, so Jo's job in this book was eye-opening. It was interesting and she was such a great character. While there were many...more
Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't join this club..., June 16, 2009

This review is from: The Dirty Secrets Club (Jo Beckett) (Hardcover)
First in a new series, this book starts out interesting and then sort of devolves into pedestrian suspense thriller fare. Jo Beckett is a forensic psychiatrist called in to examine a spate of high profile deaths that involve the rich and famous and that appear to be spectacular murder/suicides. Jo is paired with SFPD detective Amy Tang as they start interviewing all of th...more
Manda
This book starts out fast and furious-- and manages to keep the pace pretty well throughout. From starting by playing on the ledge of a skyscraper that's about to be closed down for a gas leak, to a high speed chase through the streets of San Fran that ends in a deadly crash, Meg Gardiner keeps the suspense building.

As the main character of the story, Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist is brought in after the crash. Police want her to figure out the victim's state of mind before (and during) th...more
Donna
I struggled with how to rate this book because the first two thirds of it was a real page turner. But the final third of the story ran off the rails and truly ground to a halt trying to tie everything together. The author seemed desperate to make sense of her own story, to explain who did what and why it all happened and how it happened and when, with the characters doing all the explaining to one another. Never a good sign in a book. Another bad sign being that the characters needed to essentia...more
Georgiann Hennelly
A string of high -profile and very public murder suicides has San Francisco rattled even more than a string of recent earthquakes. A fashion designer burns to death , with the body of his murdered lover. A superstar 49er jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. Than the death of a U.S Attorney by launching her BMW off a high way overpass. Jo Beckett is a Forensic Psychiatrist. Her job is to complete the Psychological autopsy , shedding light on the circumstances of any equivocal death. She soon makes a...more
Matt Smith
The Dirty Secrets Club takes off like a bullet. Five people are dead in the span of 48 hours: murder-suicides. Meg Gardiner tosses us right in the middle of a crazy late-night high-speed joyride/car-chase through San Francisco with a fatal ending. This is where forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett comes in: Jo begins working with the SFPD to help unravel what's behind these deaths. More will come and the clock is ticking to stop them. Everyone has a secret. Everyone has something to hide — even Jo.

I...more
Neil Collins
This is my first Meg Gardiner book, and as a result, I have purchased several more… Yes, it was that good!

I thoroughly enjoyed the masterful way that Gardiner constructed both the story and characters. They have history and life beyond the pages; their wounds are deep, real, and color every action and thought, just as they do with each of us.

Equally masterful was the detail and descriptive passages that brought the San Francisco setting to life. This is the sort of thing that adds authority to t...more
Bill
"The Dirty Secrets Club" is the first book in a new series by superstar-in-the-making thriller writer Meg Gardiner. The main character is San Francisco forensic psychologist Jo Beckett, who works for the SFPD to determine if questionable deaths are accidents, suicides or murder. In "The Dirty Secrets Club", Beckett investigates a series of suicides that turn out to be linked to the eponymous club, unknowingly putting herself into the crosshairs of a killer. Good use of San Francisco locales, ple...more
Heather
Aug 04, 2008 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery/Suspense fans
I learned that you can overuse cool new terms like psychological autopsy. I also learned that not all words are in The American Heritage Dictionary, but can usually be found on the internet.

I also learned that just because a famous author (whom I have never read) touts someone as the next suspense superstar, it doesn't mean that I will automatically like the book.

It was not a bad book, but it does not want to make me read her Evan Delaney series. It is not to say that if she develops more Jo Be...more
Noninuna
This book is a page turner. As the first of the Jo series, it's give a lot of insight of who is Johanna, which make it either the reader get attach to her or not. For me, i'll stick with her as long as the story is good.
And it's kinda new to me about the existence of Jo's profession, psychiatry forensic. It is interesting to know more about how the job work & it trigger the curiosity in me whether it's just fictional or that kind of job actually exist in real life...
Sunny
This was the first time I've read Meg Gardiner and I was pleasantly surprised. She pulled me quickly into the storyline and I loved the characters - especially Jo. The twists and developments were plausible and intriguing. I enjoy a book that keeps me guessing as to where it's going to end up. I am definitely going to look for more of her books!
Karen
Nice to read a new author for a change. The main character is a forensic psychiatrist. Interesting. Of course she solves the murders, not the police. But the police are there to help.
this is the first in the series so I will be looking for additional books!
Susan Erhardt
I listened to the audio version of this book and I think the narration really detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The narrator read in a melodramatic, on-the-verge-of-hysteria sort of manner that was very annoying.
Mary Kay
I'm still not sure what a forensic psychiatrist does & if she would have the latitude in a murder investigation like Jo Beckett does in this thriller, but the action is nonstop & the premise is interesting.
Susan
Once I got going with this thriller it was hard to put down. Once again, this one had a few surprises I did not see coming--some connections were left unexplained, but overall this book kept my interest.
Chantel
This fiction book is about an ongoing string of high-profile and very public murder-suicides in San Francisco. Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett is hired by the SFPD to complete a psychological autopsy. Like many crime dramas, we follow the investigator during her investigation. All the suicides belonged to something called the Dirty Secrets Club, a group of A-listers with lots of money and plenty to dirty secrets to hide.

The plot that is there is good, but the author gets "bogged down" in unnece...more
Paula Marlene
Also so wie die Evan Delaney Reihe hat mir der Anfang dieser Serie leider nicht gefallen.
Das Gute: Das Geheimnis war gut, originell wenn auch etwas simpel ausgelegt. Aber das so etwas existiert glaube ich sofort. Menschen sind so. Die Auflösung verlief etwas schleppend, war aber insgesamt gut.
Leider habe ich mich immer wieder dabei ertappt wie ich Seiten überspringen wollte.
Vielleicht weil ich einfach so abgefressen bin von Helden die immer ihre schweren Schicksale mit sich herum schleppen und...more
Toni Osborne
Book 1 in the Jo Beckett series

This suspense-murder-detective story focuses on Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist who profiles the dead to determine the events and cause of their demise. Lt Amy Tang completes the team, a feisty and hard nosed but likable Asian cop.

The story starts off slow but soon you will find yourself plunged into the mystery when Callie Harding, a bigwig prosecutor smashes her car into a bridge. The mystery deepens when messages are discovered scrawled on her body.

Jo and Am...more
Laurie
The Dirty Secrets Club is a fantastic story of power and deception. Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist, is called in to investigate a series of high profile deaths. The cases present as possible murder-suicides however there are deeper questions that need to be answered. By performing a psychological autopsy, Jo begins to discover the secrets in each of the victims lives and slowly uncover the links between them. Each of these individuals belonged to a group named the Dirty Secrets Club and it...more
Katharine Ott
"Fire alarms sang through the skyscraper, piercing and relentless." This book was enjoyed on the shores of Cape Cod and the moniker "beach book" fits it pretty well. Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist, endeavors to solve and thereby end a string of seemingly unconnected murders. The story had a satisfying whodunit feel as it flowed from one outlandish event to another and the pieces started to fall together.

In "The Dirty Secrets Club," Beckett's profession as a "deadshrinker" puts an interestin...more
Lauren
The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner
Book #1 in the Jo Beckett series
4 Stars

Synopsis:
As a forensic psychiatrist or "dead-shrinker", Dr. Jo Beckett works with the police on cases in which the manner of death (accident, homicide, suicide) is unclear. In this debut book, Jo is called in when an up-and-coming DA is killed in what appears to be a murder-suicide. Once Jo begins digging it becomes clear that the young attorney was involved in a sinister organization whose members of being targeted. Ca...more
Beth
I'm not sure that I can accurately mark this as "read" since I didn't finish it, but I read most of it. I had a good feeling about it because on the back cover Stephen King said it compared to Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich, and that it was "the best new new suspense author" or something or the sort. I was very disappointed that it didn't meet my expectations. I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about it. The writing wasn't bad, it just wasn't amazing. The characters seemed somewh...more
James
Dr. Jo Beckett is a forensic psychiatrist. She does not perform medical autopsies on the dead. She performs psychological autopsies. Her job is to determine the mental state of the victims of murder or suicide. She has worked with the San Francisco police on several cases before she is called out for the latest. There has been a string of high profile murders and suicides in San Francisco lately. All of them involved high profile individuals, the latest being a U.S. attorney. Teamed with SFPD Li...more
Patricia
When Callie Harding, a U. S. attorney, drives her BMW off a highway pass, killing herself as well as her passenger, Lieutenant Amy Tang calls in Dr. Jo Beckett to assist her with the investigation. Dr. Beckett is a forensic psychiatrist and her job is to study the victim’s life and try to figure out what events led up to the death.

The death of Callie Harding is just one of a string of deaths classed as murder/suicides. Callie’s autopsy reveals a message that Callie evidently wrote on her body wi...more
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Meg Gardiner was born in Oklahoma and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School.

She practiced law in Los Angeles and taught writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She’s a former collegiate cross-country runner and a three time Jeopardy! champion. She lives in Austin, Texas.

China Lake won the 2009 Edgar award from the Myste...more
More about Meg Gardiner...
The Memory Collector (Jo Beckett #2) China Lake Ransom River The Shadow Tracer The Nightmare Thief (Jo Beckett #4)

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“Was it hard to watch people go?
No. Breathing afterward, every day, was harder.”
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“I've been an investigator longer than you've been playing Vulcan Mind Meld with dead people - Tang” 2 likes
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