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Book 2, A Gardiner and Renner Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Maggie Gardiner, a forensic expert who studies the dead, and Jack Renner, a homicide cop who stalks the living, form an uneasy partnership to solve a series of murders in this powerful new thriller by the bestselling author of That Darkness.

It begins with the kind of bizarre death that makes headlines—literally. A copy editor at the Cleveland Herald is found hanging above the grinding wheels of the newspaper assembly line, a wide strap wrapped around his throat. Forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner has her suspicions about this apparent suicide inside the tsunami of tensions that is the news industry today—and when the evidence suggests murder, Maggie has no choice but to place her trust in the one person she doesn’t trust at all . . .

Jack Renner is a killer with a conscience, a vigilante with his own code of honor. In the past, Jack has used his skills and connections as a homicide detective to take the law into his own hands, all in the name of justice. He has only one problem: Maggie knows his secret. She insists he enforce the law, not subvert it. But when more newspaper employees are slain, Jack may be the only person who can help Maggie unmask the killer-- even if Jack is still checking names off his own private murder list.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 12, 2016 – In bestseller Black's solid sequel to 2016's That Darkness, forensic technician Maggie Gardiner and her associate, homicide detective Jack Renner, investigate the suspicious death of Robert Davis, a copy editor at the Cleveland Herald. Davis's body was found late one night hanging by the neck above the printing machinery in the Herald's three-story-high offset room. What first appears to be a suicide turns out to be murder. Talk of the impending death of the daily print newspaper lends color to the case, the details of which police procedural wonks are sure to relish. Black does a good job contrasting the complex characters of her two leads. Given the devil-in-the-details character of her profession, Maggie is naturally drawn to minutiae. Jack's idea of serving justice leans more toward ignoring the nuance and inconvenience of due process to say the least and it's that divergence that both divides and, ironically, binds the two. Savvy mystery fans should be able to predict whodunit, though the fun lies in the process of getting there.

Customer Reviews


UNPUNISHED by Lisa Black the 2nd in the Lisa Black Gardener and Renner Series. This can be read alone, but to understand why Jack and Maggie are standoffish to one another the 1st brings that in. We have Maggie a forensic expert having to call in Jack who is a homicide detective. Who also has the side of a killer, for those who didn't pay for their crime. With a hanging at the newspaper, that seems like murder, they need to work together, and the murder count goes up.
Not having read the first in the series, nor being familiar with Lisa writing this was different. Good plot, good detail on the newspaper angle. She doesn't disappoint in giving you a good murder.
Given ARC by Net Galley for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.

Second book in A Gardiner & Renner Thriller series!

Unpunished by Lisa Black is the second book in A Gardiner and Renner Thriller series. Maggie Gardiner is called out to the death of a copy editor at the Cleveland Herald. Robert Davis was found strung up from the printing tower platform. When the victim is brought down, it is obvious that Davis was murdered. Detective Jack Renner and his partner, Riley are assigned the case. Things are a little awkward between Maggie and Jack since Maggie discovered Jack’s secret (in That Darkness). Maggie collects the forensics while Jack starts questioning newspaper employees. Soon, though, a second victim is found strung up in his living room. Jerry Wilton, Director of Advertising, for the Cleveland Herald was also strangled. Unfortunately, the killer took things one step further with Wilton (it is gruesome). It looks like someone is targeting employees of the Herald. Then Stephanie Davis, Robert’s wife, is found murdered. What did she stumble across in her husband’s belongings? Whatever Stephanie had discovered about her husband, it got her killed. Will Maggie and Jack be able to find the killer before there is another casualty.

I had high hopes for Unpunished after reading That Darkness. I like Jack Renner and Maggie Gardiner. They have such potential as main characters. Unfortunately, Lisa Black did not bring them to life in Unpunished. Maggie did find out more about Jack in this book (which I liked). But, the relationship between Maggie and Jack did not have any spark. I found Unpunished to extremely slow paced. The author put in too many details about the newspaper industry. The book felt more like a monologue about how real newspapers are dying out and are being replaced by digital papers that focus on celebrity gossip (there was more, but I started skipping pages at this point). We also find out how newspapers are run and published (which makes for a very dull mystery novel). I give Unpunished 2 out of 5 stars. The book did not have any suspense, and the killer can be identified early in the story. The author did provide good clues (if you pay very close attention). Unpunished fell short of its potential. If you do read Unpunished, I recommend reading That Darkness first. It gives you necessary background details on the characters and the relationship between Jack and Maggie.

Other Books in This Series

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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Jan 31, 2017
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 2, A Gardiner and Renner Novel
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings