Monday Book Review: Canyon Mission by Meg Gardiner

Mission Canyon: An Evan Delaney Novel by Meg Gardiner



The main character, Evan, is a plucky, sarcastic jill-of-all-trades who is engaged to a handsome lawyer in a wheelchair, Jesse. The plot of this particular book has the man who ran over Jesse back in town after trying to run from manslaughter charges (Jesse’s friend was killed in the crash). Confusing motives and big corporations with shady dealings soon get involved and Evan plays detective with her many skills and interests.

The Good:

I’m a big fan of suspense/thriller books. I like that the love story, while there, doesn’t take the main stage. As I’ve said before, books where the conflict comes from something other than the man and woman bickering with each other make me happy!

This one even has an endorsement from Stephen King! Yikes. I’m a fan of his too.

I will definitely be reading this whole series.

One thing I really appreciate is that Jesse’s disability isn’t there in order to raise the stakes in the plot. I’ve complained about that before in some horror books and movies. Here it doesn’t feel as though the disability is around purely for a plot point or to make an extra challenge. It’s just part of their lives, part of the lives of the characters.

The sexual side of spinal cord injury is not delved into deeply in this book, but it isn’t glossed over either. It’s realistic, believable, and nicely done.

The Bad:

The plot has some moments straining¬†believability, but I found myself swept up in the suspense enough that it didn’t bother me much. There were a couple of places where I reached the conclusion before Evan did and that’s always frustrating because they’ll be a big build up to a reveal that you figured out five minutes ago and were waiting for the character to catch up with you. It also felt a little weird that everyone was so sure that this guy was the one who did it when the only thing telling them that was an anonymous phone call.

The point of view is a little odd. Almost the whole book is told from Evan’s point of view, but there are small sections scattered throughout that are from the point of view of Jesse or some of the bad guys. This is not uncommon in thrillers, but because the sections were so small and infrequent, as well as switching from first person to third person, it felt a bit like a cop out because the writing wasn’t strong enough to convey that information from a single point of view. That said, the writing is very good and it’s not too jarring, since the sections are used to build suspense rather than ease it.

Yummy Hero Factor:

Jesse is definitely a heart throb: gorgeous, young, smart, and witty. His wheelchair is given, I think, just the right amount of attention. It is not harped on, but not ignored either. He is a very strong man, definitely an alpha type, and Evan makes a point of saying that he does not allow anyone to push him. Ever. There’s a moment where a bad guy grabs hold of him by the wheelchair and pulls him and it’s a powerful moment because it really drives home Jesse’s inherent vulnerability despite his tremendous strength.

And how sexy is this? He defends Evan against a bad guy coming into her home and threatening her by using the end of a forearm crutch.

Great Line:

“Hon, I’m talking about marital realtions.”
I lost it. “You mean, can he do it?”
“You don’t need to put it that crudely.”
“But that’s waht you mean.”
“Why are you so touchy? It’s a perfectly¬†understandable¬†question.”
“Everybody naturally wonders–”
My blood pressure shot up so fast, I’m surpried my eyeballs didn’t burst out and smack her in the cheeks.
“Tell everybody that we do it ten times a day. I have to guzzle power drinks to keep my weight up. We keep a fire extinguisher beside the bed so the freakin’ sheets don’t catch fire.”


I thought this would be the first in the series, but it turned out I was wrong. China Lake¬†seems to come first. I think it’s awesome that she has a number of books in this series and the issue of the main character’s boyfriend/fiancee¬†being paralyzed isn’t a plot point in the others. This is the book about how he was hurt and that’s it. The author does a great job of just making it part of his character.

Buy Now (eBook or Paper):

If you’ve written a book or know of a book that features a character with a physical disability, send me an email with “review” in the subject line:



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