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A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles and Kathy Reichs, comes an explosive debut thriller about a team of two strong women and a crime that will shake you to your core.

Three separate homicides. Three unrelated victims. One grisly secret.

When the body of famous actress Niki Francis is unearthed from its shallow grave, the small town of Medford, Oregon is alar
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  156 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Right in the middle of a smothering heatwave, the Medford police has three suspicious deaths to deal with. Spurred on by the local newspaper where one journalist dares to dive deeper, the mystery soon turns into a fast paced medical thriller. Both parties bounce off each other which gives the reader an indepth view of the situation.
A Desperate Place is a well written intriguing story, filled with interesting characters set in an attractive environment.

Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books
Samantha Gonsalves
A Desperate Place is a good thriller & a good start for the McKenna and Riggs series. I loved the suspenseful atmosphere set in the book & the nail-biting tension as the plot unfurled. Its been a long time since I read a good thriller & this book certainly made the cut - for the most bit; the ending felt a bit rushed but overall, I enjoyed this book. The book contains scenes from a ME's table that seems too realistic & is not for the squeamish.

When the body of Niki Francis is discovered in a sha
Kirsty Noah-whitlock
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review for 'A Desperate Place' by Jennifer Greer

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Crooked Lane Books

This is the first book that I have read by this author and it is actually her first and only book at the moment. It is the first book in the 'McKenna and Riggs' series.

You can preorder this book on Amazon now ready for release on 11th August 2020.

I was originally drawn to this book by its intriguing blurb. I am also a massive Tess Gerritsen fan and when I read that is is "Perfect for fans of Te
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
3 and 1 / 2 stars

Two very different women are very good friends in this book. News reporter Whit McKenna teams up with her friend medical examiner detective Katie Riggs to investigate the death of a well known actress. Both women are recovering from life threatening and harrowing experiences.

Niki Francis' body is found in a shallow grave near Medford, Oregon partially eaten by a bear. Who would want to kill the popular actress? Was it a case of a celebrity stalker? The surfacing of more bodies
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Our two main characters are Whit McKenna who was a journalist for the LA Times but left after her husband died (her husband died while both on a assignment together) and now works for the local paper Medford. Katie Riggs who is a medical examiner who was a police officer and has just recently had cancer.

The case starts off with a famous actress Niki who is found dead in the woods after being reported missing. Then a couple of other deaths come after the death of Niki which appear to be under th
Kathy Martin
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story introduces a new detective duo.

Whit McKenna has come to Medford, Oregon with her two teenage daughters after the death of her husband. She was a reporter and he was her photographer in Kabul when they were kidnapped by Taliban terrorists. Taken into the mountains, they got a chance to run but her husband John was shot and killed by the terrorists. Whit escaped with the help of a Special Forces team training in the area but she was left with PTSD and a terror of forests.

Katie Riggs i
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Southern Oregon, Whit McKenna works for the local newspaper, the Medford Daily Chronicle. She has 20 years of reporting experience, most as a prized reporter with the LA Times. However, she's spent eight months recovering from post traumatic stress of seeing her husband killed right in front of her in Afghanistan. She's moved her two daughters to a quieter environment.

Whit's best friend in Medford is Katie Riggs, medical examiner detective. Katie underwent chemotherapy a year ago for stage 2
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles and Kathy Reic
Roxanne Spencer
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first in what I hope is a continuing series about a crime reporter (Whit McKenna) and a ME detective (Katie Riggs). An unlikely pair--Whit is widowed, and has retreated to Oregon with her daughters to recover after losing her husband after a joint assignment in Afghanistan, Katie is recovering from cancer--the two trade small favors as they independently investigate a series of murders that occur among the area's elite. The premise that underlies the murders is unique and I can't say ...more
Tonstant Weader
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A Desperate Place is a mystery that takes place in Medford, Oregon. I had to read it for that reason. And then to make it better, it features a crime-solving duo. McKenna and Riggs are a reporter and a pathologist who collaborate and share information in order to advance their separate investigations. This is not exactly a Rizzoli & Isles kind of collaboration because they’re working under ethical guidelines that preclude complete sharing of information.

McKenna is covering a fire where a man die
Donna Hines
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cloud-library
Desperate people do desperate things when driven by motive!
As a criminal justice major in by grad level I absolutely enjoyed this new novel by Jennifer Greer for many reasons.
She gets right to the heart of these three mysterious cases with a similar medical connection and it's like a cancer is festering both literally and figuratively.
I can't disclose too much but suffice to say it's an edge of your seat ride in which you're hanging on to every word, every medical examiner's diagnosis, and every
D.K. Hundt
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5/5.0 Stars

’Three separate homicides. Three unrelated victims. One grisly secret.’

A DESPERATE PLACE is Jennifer Greer’s debut thriller novel, and I Loved It! If you’re a huge fan, like me, of Tess Gerritsen books, specifically her RIZZOLI & ISLES series, then I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

The pacing is perfect; the tension palpable; and that ending—My Heart! I can't wait for more books by Greer!

Thank You, NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books, for loaning me an eGalley of A DE
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Three murders and a journalist investigating it - this was a fast paced investigative thriller where the subplots were complex enough to keep me interested in most of the book. Some parts felt a bit abrupt. Nonetheless, being a medical thriller, the writing kept me interested in the plot.
overall, a fun read
Excellent! It The story was well done and kept me guessing until the end. I really liked the characters and would like to see them develop hopefully in more books in the series. The narration by one of my favorite narrators, Kristen Potter was the icing on the cake!
Deirdre Barber
Feb 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
Not for smart readers. A plot straight out of Scooby Doo, with an evil genius monologue near the denouement, I literally laughed out loud during much of the book. The only reason I picked it up was because it was set near where I live. I listened to the audiobook, and whoever the narrator was managed to make it even worse, using some kind of Texas drawl for the Medford sheriff. Awful.
Kathryn Garner
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
A fast paced thriller with a futuristic story line. A good partnership looks to be shaping up between the reporter and the medical detective.
Amanda McHugh
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
My TBR has been stacked lately, and A Desperate Place came at an excellent time. I was in the mood for both a medical and a legal thriller, and Jennifer Greer's work hit all the points.

Whit, a former war correspondent and current local news reporter, is still recovering from the death of her husband in Afghanistan where they were working an unfortunately captured. She finds herself in the midst of a series of murders that are seemingly unrelated--or definitely murders, for that matter--until Ri
Althea Mason (21st Century Reviews)
This is Jennifer Greer's first and only book and at first I wasn't quite sure what I was going to think about it but it turned out to be really great. I am hoping for more McKenna and Riggs.

The book takes place in Medford, Oregon, which I have actually visited once. I didn't go into the woods, which is where the first body is found though. Even though the book takes place in Medford, the story itself doesn't focus too much on it's location and is not that descriptive as far as location goes.

It i
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

A Desperate Place is the first book in a new modern mystery series by Jennifer Greer. Released 11th Aug 2020 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 311 pages (print version) and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. t's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a modern murder mystery set in the Pacifi
Addie BookCrazyBlogger
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
Whitney McKenna has just lost her husband, her prestigious job at the LA Times and has recently moved to Medford, Oregon with her daughters, to peruse the local’s life. Despite dealing with PTSD and grief, Whit is the only provider for her family, causing her to take a job with the local newspaper, covering crime. She’s recently become best friends with Katie Riggs, the local medical examiner and between her job as the crime reporter, along with what information Katie is willing to give, Whitt i ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
Thank you to the author, Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Normally, I would be raving about this book - a friendship between two strong women, approaching a crime from two different perspectives (law enforcement and journalism), and said two characters treading a fine line between friendship and overstepping their professional boundaries using their friendship. The story was interesting, the crime certainly had a timely hook, and working through the pl
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
The book had a promising start and it was pretty decent up to half way when things started to slide sideways and fast.

** Spoilers ahead! **
I am not a big fan of reporters in general and this lady was a journalist for a smaller newspaper. She is reporting on the death of a celebrity and she is acting as if she is on a mission, like a dog with a bone, nothing can stop her and everything goes in her favour.

So we figure out pretty fast that we have a series of a murders (made to look like accidenta
Wendy Holley
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Desperate Place is a compelling page turner that from the first scene will hook the reader and not let them go. Set in Southern Oregon, the author captures the sense of place in a small city surrounded by beauty but plagued by secrets.

I commend Ms. Greer for the time and dedication she obviously invested in criminal procedure and medical diagnosis. She tackles what can be a controversial issue with honesty and grit. Never preaching or taking a stand, but making the reader stop and consider.

Kathleen Gray
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice start to a new series featuring two women from different paths who come together to cope with their back stories and solve crimes. That's a headline. This is the tale of Whit, whose husband was killed by the Taliban while they were working there as a team. She's got PTSD and two teenage daughters and she's been out of the journalism business for a while. Then, by chance, she meets Katie, a former police officer turned medical examine who has had cancer. Katie persuades Whit to start repor ...more
Jeremy Stewart
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
📚𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬📚
𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: 𝐴 𝐷𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑒
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: 𝐽𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑖𝑓𝑒𝑟 𝐺𝑟𝑒𝑒𝑟
𝐍𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐎𝐟 𝐏𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬: 311
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: 𝑃𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑇ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑟
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 08/11/2020
𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 📕📕📕📕 (4 stars)

This is the author's debut novel. Thank you Crooked Lane books for sending me a copy to read and review. This book has a stunning cover.

𝐌𝐲 𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬: In this book we follow a famous actress whose body was unearthed from a shallow grave. Walt Mckenna and medical examiner Katie Riggs think they know what's happening when two more victims tur
Sharon Grow
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
When Whit McKenna, investigative reporter, realizes that a man was in the house that caught fire, she had no idea that his death would be a murder and would lead her to the case of her life. When the body of a local celebrity and actress is found in a shallow grave, her autopsy will have chilling similarities to the man’s autopsy. As Whit digs deeper in to the first man’s death, for his wife, she realizes that she is putting her life on the line. She gets closer to finding the killer, with help ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What I loved most about this story was that it’s centered around the lives of two boss babes who are killing it at their professions. *no pun intended*

Murder is the name of the game here though. Bodies turn up left and right in this suspenseful page-turner and they all have one thing in common: a monster tumor. The teratoma concept was a fascinating addition to this whodunit.

Our first leading lady is Katie Riggs, the medical examiner.

Next, we have Whit McKenna, a reporter for the local paper.

This debut book has a fast paced story with deep and engaging characters that appears to be setting the scene for a series focusing on McKenna and Riggs. I am totally here for this series, and I hope there is a next one.

Whit McKenna is a journalist still reeling from the death of her husband, for which she feels responsible. Katie Riggs is the police officer assigned to the medical examiner's office and is recovering from cancer. Whit and Katie are slowly becoming friends while navigating the b
Tara Stapledon
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Whit is a crime reporter whose husband recently died while they were on assignment in Afghanistan. Her best friend Katie is an ME detective and cancer survivor. They are separately investigating several homicides among Medford's elite, trading information at times without crossing that cop vs reporter line. The commonality among the victims is unique and somewhat gruesome.
I enjoyed having the perspective of the police investigation as well as a reporter's chase for a headlining story. The medic
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was certainly an intriguing book with suspenseful scenes and a plot unlike any I have every read before. The character development was strong, and I did like the main character, Whit who appeared very vulnerable and perhaps so desirous of being the reporter who gets the story first, that she puts herself in harm’s way. Whit’s friends and co-workers are great additions to the book, and add a lot to the story.

Another thing I really liked, and I’m sure many other readers will appreciate too, i
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Jennifer began her writing career as a journalist. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a degree in journalism and worked as a crime reporter for the Fresno Bee.
Interested in foreign affairs she traveled to Russia in the late 80’s and lived in London studying art and literature.
After touring much of Europe the hard way, on foot with a back

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