Synopses & Reviews
Juggling a family and a career is never easy and it's becoming a real challenge for Sheriff Joanna Brady. Coping with the impending delivery of her second child as well as a staff shortage, the last things Joanna needs are two serious crimes.
First, the body of an unidentified man is found in the desert, all of his fingers savagely severed. Following the scant clues, Joanna learns that the victim was an ex-con who had served twenty years in prison after confessing to the murder of his pregnant wife. During his last days he was seen following and photographing a young woman.
Then one of Joanna's officers is brutally attacked and left for dead while on an unauthorized stakeout. Because the officer is one of its own, the department throws its resources into finding her attacker. But the murder haunts Joanna. Being a sheriff is no longer an empty position she wants to hold somehow it has become what she is. Her job is to avenge man's inhumanity toward man, and finding out who the victim was and why he is dead is what she has been summoned to do with her life. Strapping on a bulletproof vest, she'll risk everything to see that justice is done.
"The solid 12th entry in bestseller Jance's lively crime series (Exit Wounds, etc.) to feature Joanna Brady, sheriff of Cochise County, Ariz., finds Joanna newly reelected and about to have her second child. When the cops learn that a murdered man with a sordid personal history has links to one of Arizona's most prominent judges, Joanna's investigation turns up a connection to an early case of her late father's, an honored sheriff. Next, the brutal beating of Jeannine Phillips, an Animal Control officer, leads the sheriff's department, its staff already stretched thin, to a confrontation with a notorious ranching family and suspected illegal immigrants. Then Joanna's obnoxious in-laws arrive for the imminent birth. In a heart-stopping climax, Joanna shoots a suspect as he tries to kidnap two children. Subplots dealing with social issues such as alcoholism and dysfunctional family relationships lend moral weight. As usual, Jance deftly brings the desert, people and towns of southeastern Arizona to life. Author tour. (One-day laydown July 25)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] top-notch story, drawing readers into the world of an Arizona law enforcement officer who must juggle her job and her personal life while awaiting the birth of her second child." Library Journal
"Typical Jance fare: lots of plotting, not all of it well-thought-out, and a generous helping of schmaltz. Congrats are in order, however, on the birth of Joanna and Butch's son Dennis." Kirkus Reviews
Coping with the impending delivery of her second child as well as a staff shortage, the last thing Sheriff Joanna Brady needs are two murders with roots deep in the past.
About the Author
Jance (also Judith A.) is the American Mystery Award-Winning author of the J.P. Beaumont series, as well as six mysteries featuring Sheriff Joanna Brady. She goes by only J.A. Jance.