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Kirkus Review: A Desperate Place top 2020 

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Mystery Scene Magazine

"A Desperate Place is a winning combination that will leave readers eager for more."

Jay Roberts


          Medford, Oregon wouldn't strike anybody as a potential hotbed of international concern but in the first of Jennifer Greer's McKenna and Riggs series, that's exactly what readers will find themselves drawn into.

          Whit McKenna was a hotshot reporter for the L.A. Times, but is now licking her wounds (both literal and figurative) by working for the small-town Medford Daily Chronicle.

          Meanwhile, medical examiner detective Katie Riggs is dealing with her own set of scars, visible and otherwise. The two women are best friends though their professional careers leave them on opposite sides of the informational divide.

The JULY edition of ITW's
THE BIG THRILL magazine  / July 2020

The Big Thrill tracked down author Jennifer Greer to find out more about her debut thriller, A DESPERATE PLACE:

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

There are many aspects of the research and storyline that I really didn’t expect when I first started the book. It evolved quite naturally and the characters developed a depth I didn’t expect but very much enjoyed.



JULY 2020


Crime journalist Greer’s fine debut and series launch introduces reporter Whit McKenna and medical examiner detective Katie Riggs. Whit, a former war correspondent for the L.A. Times, was on assignment in Afghanistan with her photojournalist husband when he was killed.


Suffering from PTSD, she left the Times after a much publicized emotional breakdown and is now a general reporter for the Medford, Ore., Daily Chronicle.


Katie, a cancer survivor, has transferred from the violent crime division of the Medford PD to the ME’s office. Whit is on the scene of ...




goodreads Reviews

A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel

by Jennifer Greer (Goodreads Author)


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. 

Wendy Holley's Blog 

Jul 13, 2020

A Desperate Place

by Jennifer Greer


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.


The American Reader:  Blog




Q&A with Jennifer Greer

 author of A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs novel:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story? 

I grappled with lots of different titles, but nothing really seemed to fit my story until I stumbled on A Desperate Place, which is a metaphor. It foreshadows the psychological place from which some of my characters were motivated to make disastrous choices. Those characters, who were for the most part successful people were driven by greed or perhaps fear. They enjoyed a charmed life, but when they looked down to where their footsteps led them in the future, they saw a dark black hole and panic set in… 


21st Century Reviews


Jennifer Greer adds a great twist towards the end of the book that had me gasping and saying "no, no, no". She also does a wonderful job at making it so that it is difficult to guess who the killer is. I am often times able to gather some sort of guess on who the killer is, but I was not able to do that in this book and I liked that. It kept me guessing.


Rating: 5 out of 5. I absolutely loved this book. There was not one thing that I did not like about it. As previously mentioned, it is fast paced, keeps you guessing until the end, not easy to figure out who the killer is. I am hoping that Jennifer Greer turns McKenna and Riggs into a series.



Manzanita author debuts new crime novel

  • By Zoë Buchli

  • Sep 2, 2020

Just north of the Oregon and California border lies Medford.

In author Jennifer Greer’s debut novel, “A Desperate Place,” the town of Medford is home to leading characters Whit McKenna, a journalist, and Katie Riggs, a medical examiner and detective.

The plot follows the murder of three Medford residents, starting with a famous actress whose body is found under suspicious circumstances. Together, McKenna and Riggs work to solve the case by trading information where they see fit.

RED CARPET CRASH - BOOK REVIEW of A Desperate Place by Jennifer Greer


The debut thriller from author Jennifer Greer has everything you want in a book.


Two strong, well-written female characters.


A fast paced thriller of a story with enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged throughout.

Three deaths, three murders and three people that have a lot in common.

For reporter Whit McKenna it’s a new start at the Medford, Oregon local paper as a reporter. She lost her husband in a tragic event months ago and she’s getting back on her feet. A fire has claimed the life of a top lawyer in town. A body is found in the mountains of a woman, who turns out to be a famous actress. And another local celebrity lawyer is found dead in her pool. Whit is on the case and all three seem to be connected.


  • Kris Wiley For The News-Review

  • Aug 23, 2020

Jennifer Greer sets fast pace in debut novel

     Oregon author Jennifer Greer’s debut thriller, “A Desperate Place,” is getting positive reviews from national publications, and bestselling author Jeffery Deaver is quoted on the book cover as saying “a nonstop thrill ride!” That reception gave me high hopes for my reading experience, and I was not disappointed.

     In fact, I became enamored of the main characters, journalist Whit McKenna and medical examiner detective Katie Riggs, and the Southern Oregon setting. The detailed autopsy scenes (there were multiple murders with a truly gruesome aspect) and fast-paced plot ensured I finished the book in two sittings.

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