Meg Gardiner is a gifted writer, and every page of Phantom Instinct shows it. It’s fast-paced, sharp, and unforgettable.

-Don Winslow


Meg Gardiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels. Her thrillers have won the Edgar Award and been summer reading picks by The Today Show and O, the Oprah magazine. Called “Hitchcockian” (USA Today) and “nailbiting and moving” (Guardian), her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Her latest title is Heat 2, co-authored with Michael Mann. The novel is both prequel and sequel to Mann’s 1995 film Heat, with a new story that unfolds before and after the iconic movie. Rolling Stone calls it “A genuinely exhilarating expansion of the movie’s world, complete with . . . some truly jaw-dropping, bullet-filled set pieces.” The Associated Press says, “Slick as a Neil McCauley heist and as intense as a Vincent Hanna chase, ‘Heat 2’ is just dynamite.”

Heat 2 debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list.

Gardiner’s UNSUB series features FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix. UNSUB won the 2018 Barry Award for Best Thriller. The Dark Corners of the Night was bought by Amazon Studios for development as a television series.

The Evan Delaney novels feature a California journalist. Stephen King calls them “simply put, the finest crime-suspense series I’ve come across in the last twenty years.”

China Lake won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. Later it was a finalist for NPR’s 100 Best Thrillers Ever.

The Jo Beckett series features a San Francisco forensic psychiatrist. The Dirty Secrets Club was chosen one of the Top Ten thrillers of 2008 by Amazon. The Nightmare Thief, featuring both Jo Beckett and Evan Delaney, won the 2012 Audie Award for Thriller/Suspense audiobook of the year.

Meg’s stand-alone novel The Shadow Tracer was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of the Year. Phantom Instinct was chosen one of “The Best Books of Summer” by O, the Oprah magazine.

Meg was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School.

She practiced law in Los Angeles and taught in the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara.

She served as the 2019 and 2020 president of Mystery Writers of America.

Beyond writing, Meg is a three-time Jeopardy! champion and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas.