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The Nightmare Thief: A Novel (Jo Beckett #4)

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  991 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Autumn Reiniger expects something special for her twenty-first birthday. Daddy’s already bought her the sports car, the apartment, and admission to the private college where she parties away her weekends. Now she wants excitement, and she’s going to get it.

Her father signs up Autumn and five friends for an “ultimate urban reality” game: a simulated drug deal, manhunt, and
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published July 21st 2011 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sep 26, 2015 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read, thriller
Extremely spoilt Autumn Reiniger was surprised and excited to receive an extreme urban reality game with Edge Adventures as her twenty first birthday gift from her indulgent and wealthy father. Lasting the whole weekend with the SFPD being notified in advance that any crime situation in the area was the doing of Edge Adventures and that it was a game – they were to ignore all cries for help. When Autumn and her five friends were picked up by limo on the morning of the big adventure, the mixture ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Mia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books
Glad to see Evan Delaney back in a novel... now she just needs to be the main character. Decent thriller.
Aug 06, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
In the California wilderness no one can hear you scream.

San Francisco Forensic Psychiatrist Jo Beckett doesn’t dissect the body or the crime scene – she dissects a life and a mind, recreating the victim as a person, piecing together the story of their death to get to the truth. And then she goes after the killer.

Autumn Reiniger wants something special for her twenty-first birthday. Daddy’s bought her the car and the apartment, but now she wants excitement. And what Autumn desires, she gets.

Her f
Kirsty (Book - Love - Bug)
I struggled with the first 9-ish chapters of this book, whilst Gardiner sets the scene for all the action that is about to unfold. I couldn’t really remember who was who, and thought I wasn’t ever going to really care. However, once we get into the nitty-gritty kidnapping, it turns into a fast-paced action thriller which is packed full of non-stop action that will keep you turning the pages. However, it’s much more action adventure (about survival) than thriller.

I believe this is the fourth book
Feb 26, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Jo Beckett novel. Jo is a forsenic psychiatrist, whose specialty is as a consultant to the local police station. She is often asked to help determine the psychological status and mind set of individuals who have died. She has been consulting on the recent death of a local lawyer, whose body was found in an abandoned mine in the Sierra Mt. range. Jo contacts a newspaper reporter, Evan who is also trying to determine how he died. Between the two of them, they find new leads. Jo decides to ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the Edge

I am even starting to like that monkey, Mr. Peebles. I think Ferd is a great, if entertaining, neighbor to Jo Beckett, M. D., forensic psychiatrist. He has all those great, nerdy, computer skills. All the characters are just themselves whether they be friend or foe, brave or cruel, wise or foolish. And the action is fast, bloody, and realistically gritty. Jo and her lover, Gabe Quintana, prove themselves equal to the task of dealing with a kidnapping gone awry. Their ability to priori
Aug 15, 2011 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: meg gardinder, Jo Beckett series, mystery/thriller
This is the second book in this series that I've tried and I don't know what it is about this series. I just can't get into. I found this book to be extremely boring and predictable. The concept of the book was pretty orginal and seemed promising. But when I began to read it was a real downer.
Steve Isenhower
This was a good book, but not as good as the previous Beckett novels. It was great that the author brought Beckett and Evan Delaney together on a case. I liked the Delaney novels and it was good to have her back but there wasn't much substance to the return. More of an action book than anything.
Kyla Zerbes
This series is ok as something to listen to in the car but I doubt I'd read them. Pretty good intensity for a thriller but a bit repetitious and way too many metaphors so the story slows down in spots.
My only real complaint and maybe it was because I was in the car and zoned out but *spoiler* how do you chimney up a shaft when you have a backup full of snakes....I don't recall her putting the bag down or moving it to her chest. It jarred. I might check the print copy even though this is sup
Sep 17, 2011 Shelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nightmare Thief is like a Hunger Games for grown-ups. This being my first novel from Meg Gardiner, I didn't know the characters, though she has three other novels for Jo Beckett, the forensic psychologist that while investigating a murder, gets caught up in an "ultimate urban" reality game. And Evan Delaney, an investigative journalist, who tries to help solve the case on the other end of the danger, has five novels of her own.

The urban reality game sets up a simulated drug deal, manhunt and
Sara Townsend
Jul 18, 2011 Sara Townsend rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Spoiled rich kid Autumn Reiniger wants something special for her twenty-first birthday. Her millionaire father obliges by arranging the ultimate urban reality game for Autumn and her friends.

Edge Adventures take care of all the game preparations, including tracking Autumn and her friends to get a handle on their personalities, and alerting the police that the game is in progress so they won’t intervene. But someone else has also been tracking Autumn, and decides that the start of the game, with
Once Upon a Twilight
Fate plays a big part on this suspense thriller by intertwining two separate events that end up being parts needed to complete the final puzzle.

Jo Beckett, a forensic psychiatrist and her partner Gabe Quintana went to investigate the death of an attorney that was ruled as accidental in an abandon mine in the mountains in California. At the same time, Autumn Reiniger the daughter of a millionaire financial investor, received her 21st birthday gift. A reality adventure provided to her and a group
Oct 21, 2012 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book felt like a gimmick. Fans of the Evan Delaney books have been waiting YEARS to find some resolution to the cliffhanger of Kill Chain, but Meg Gardiner has moved on to Jo Beckett. Enter: The Nightmare Thief, which promised to include Evan Delaney (and Jesse Blackburn) in the fourth Jo Beckett book. Sounds promising enough, right? Both Evan and Jesse appear in the first chapter, and though things haven't changed between them, Jesse is in town (SF) arguing before the 9th circuit, so we th ...more
This is another installment of the Jo Beckett series. Jo is a forensic psychologist and consultant to the SFPD and is called in when the cause of death cannot be determined. She examines the background of the victim to see what was going on in his/her life to see if there are any missing pieces that can help the police determine what has happened. In this novel, Jo and her boyfriend and pararescueman boyfriend, Gabe Quintana, are looking into the suspicious death of lawyer Phelps Wylie who was f ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Mia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm catching up on my Meg Gardiner reading. I've read all of her books published before this one. Like all of Gardiner's books, The Nightmare Thief certainly did not disappoint.

While the book remains primarily a Jo Beckett thriller, The Nightmare Thief brings together Gardiner's two heroines -- Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney -- to collaborate on a case. While the collaboration is brief, it is memorable and hopefully a precursor for the future where they will fully collaborate on a case.

Jo's invest
Jun 07, 2013 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a Woman!!

Jo Bennett, the heroine, is investigating a suspicious death in the wild, mountainous terrain of the Sierras, when she and her boyfriend Gabe stumble across a group of teenagers being abducted and held to ransom by a group of assorted villains. Autumn Reiniger, spoilt little rich kid, thinks she and her friends are on an adventure weekend arranged by her not terribly nice father, but in fact the baddies have taken advantage of this scenario to carry out their nefarious scheme.

Dec 26, 2014 JayeL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was the best of the series yet. Tang doesn't show up much, but she is placed in a critical position. I like the pop culture references, though I worry they will date the books. I also liked it that Evan Delaney, from Gardiner's other series, shows up and helps solve the case.

June 2014: I read this again. I decided to read the Evan Delaney novels and wanted to end up with the all the stories fresh in my mind when I got to this book as it contains both characters. In terms of Evan,
Jan 09, 2013 Red rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why this book sucked:
1. I didn't realize it was a series. So there was backstory I didn't have and it was confusing when the author was talking about people like I was supposed to know them.

2. $20 words in $2 prose. Totally out of place words in a cheap novel.

3. From the little research I did, I don't think Hummer limos usually have a luggage compartment. But this was kind of important, since a dead guy got stuffed in there.

4. [spoiler] What happened to the snakes?? She was carrying them, then
I was looking forward to finishing this book for some time. I've been a fan of both the Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney series, and when I discovered back in 2014 that it was a crossover title that featured both of them, I decided to get caught up on the Evan Delaney series first since it was obvious I was missing back story. So this book was started and stopped twice actually, a second time when I had forgotten why I stopped reading it in the first place.

It was a good one. It's been a few weeks sin
Sep 26, 2013 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Jo Beckett Thriller that also features Gardiner's other adventure heroine, Evan Delaney in a tale that centers on 'An Extreme Reality Experience'. A very wealthy hedge fund manager arranges a birthday party for his daughter and five of her friends in which they will be featured players in a 'role-playing urban-reality game', but Edge Adventures, the company that hosts the event has been usurped by a band of criminals who are using the game to mask a multi-million dollar kidnapping. The ...more
Feb 17, 2012 Jodie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was...okay. The story wasn't as thrilling as espoused on the cover (surprise!), the characters took too long to develop to where I might like them a bit, the secondary story with the alternate investigators took too much time away from the action and I was pretty disappointed. Maybe if I had read the Jo Beckett books before this one but given all the time we spent on Jo Beckett I kinda don't get the impression that she's developed as a character a lot in the previous ones. It also suffered fr ...more
E Wilson

When Autumn's super rich father plans a fantasy reality game for her 21st birthday, it all goes terribly wrong when a gang of ruthless
kidnappers hijack their limo. After the limo crashes the young people find themselves at the bottom of a canyon, some with injuries , no easy way out, and the kidnappers at the top of the canyon wall waiting for reinforcements. Luckily, Jo Bennett and her boyfriend Gabe were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got swept up into the birthday
party. Jo and Ga
Oct 23, 2013 Martha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredibly fast-paced and would be an awesome way to blow through a few hours if you were stuck with an airport layover or something like that--the time will fly by before you realize it. So why only two stars? Because after I finished it, nothing about it stuck in my brain. The characters were generic, the villains were garden-variety psychos, and none of the plot twists really felt unexpected. The whole thing was just very...meh. Very action-packed, but not much substance. Also, ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Mbojar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one really had me going as to how it would all tie together. Love these characters and hate it when I catch up to the author and have to wait for the next book. MOre Jo Beckett and boyfriend Gabe - very little Amy Tang. Reality birthday party for a rich young lady turns into a real kidnapping.
Jun 25, 2015 Gill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't too sure about this at the beginning. I haven't read any others in the series and the set-up chapters seemed a bit clunky. When it got going however I couldn't put it down. The action rolled on like a juggernaut but it was always counterbalanced by careful plotting and character building.
Sep 08, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Autumn and her friends are in for one hell of an adventure. Or so they thought; on her 21st birthday, her father books an fantasy adventure for her and her friends (hoping it will help her grow up). He had experienced one and thought it would be just what she needed. Except things go wrong and the fantasy becomes reality when the kids are kidnapped for real! The cops were notice din advance that it was a game. But forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett stumbles across the kidnapped kids while investig ...more
A pretty average book in my opinion. Average plot and formulaic writing. It was actioned packed and full of cliff hangers but was just over done. No character development except for Autumn which was pretty obvious - that was the point.
This starts out with your typical daddy's girl backed with a lot of money from daddy. For Autumn's 21st birthday party, her father decides that he is going to give her a scenario in which she will be able to face and defeat her childhood fears. However within a matter of hours the party scenario turns into a kidnapping into a survival situation. Autumn and her friends along with Jo and Gabe have to fight for survival on a mountain.

It was pretty interesting and fast paced though Autumn's father
Jan 05, 2014 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. I read about 100 pages, and then I gave up. I really enjoyed the Evan Delaney series, so I had read the Jo Beckett series, hoping that they would be as good. They weren't, but they were still good enough to be entertaining. This book, however, was not entertaining. It felt like the author was trying to drum up interest by including Evan Delaney even though this was supposed to be a Beckett novel. Then, the author mentioned in one way or another that the characters ne ...more
Pr Latta
I liked the combination of the Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett series. I'm in the minority in that I'd prefer a different narrator - just personal preference. I find Ericksen sounds grating, rushed, and a bit hysterical.
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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 about Meg Gardiner...

Other Books in the Series

Jo Beckett (4 books)
  • The Dirty Secrets Club (Jo Beckett #1)
  • The Memory Collector (Jo Beckett #2)
  • The Liar's Lullaby (Jo Beckett #3)

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