Tag Archives: J.A. Jance

My Musing ~ Random Acts by J.A. Jance

Random Acts by J.A. Jance is the third novella in the “Joanna Brady” suspense series. Publisher: Witness Impulse, August 2016

Random ActsFrom New York Times bestselling author J. A. JANCE comes an all- new novella, in which Sheriff Joanna Brady and investigator Ali Reynolds join forces to solve a crime thathas hit dangerously close to home.

Sheriff Joanna Brady has a lot on her plate—she is up for re-election as sheriff, pregnant with her third child, and her eldest is packing up to leave for college. Then Joanna is woken in the middle of the night by a call reporting a motor vehicle accident. Her mother and stepfather’s RV ran off the road at high speed and hit the pillar of an overpass.

Something about the accident seems suspicious, though, and when Joanna gets a call from Ali Reynolds, a journalist turned investigator, she accepts her offer to help. They come up with a plan to find out who was responsible…even if that person is not the villain they’d expected.

This fast-paced thriller is a prelude to DownFall, the next book in the Joanna Brady series. Joanna gets disturbing news about her parents and in a single moment, thanks to her mother, it goes from an accident to murder. The author did a great job in delivering a nicely packed and tightly woven tale of suspense with an intriguing twist with how this short story ends. This riveting page turner has me geared up for more exploits with Joanna and the gang.

Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance

Remains of InnocenceRemains of Innocence by J.A. Jance is the 16th book in the “Joanna Brady” suspense series. Publisher: William Morrow, July 2014

Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.

When a beloved friend is found dead, suspicions abound and it will take careful police work to uncover the truth behind his death. Meanwhile another death befalls Cochise County and again, Joanna and her team will pull out everything necessary to close this case before another body turns up…dead.

This book was great and I love the fast-paced and action filled drama that kept me riveted to the pages as I had to know what happens next. The mystery was well done and I liked the style in which each chapter was presented taking us closer to the finale. The author did a great job in keeping the suspense fresh with some surprising twists that I did not see coming. Joanna is one of my favorite characters and is surrounded by a great ensemble cast of characters. This series continues to get better and better like fine wine and I’m looking forward to my next visit to Bisbee, Arizona.

Judgment Call by J.A. Jance

Judgment Call by J.A. Jance is the 15th book in the “Joanna Brady” suspense series. Publisher: William Morrow, July 2012

When Joanna Brady’s daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff’s personal and professional worlds collide, forcing her to tread the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders has always meant discovering unpleasant facts and disquieting truths, the experienced Joanna isn’t prepared for the knowledge she’s about to uncover. Though she’s tried to protect her children from the dangers of the grown-up world, the search for justice leads straight to her own door and forces her to face the possibility that her beloved daughter may be less perfect than she seems—especially when a photo from the crime scene ends up on Facebook. A photo only one person close to the crime scene could have taken.

The gruesome picture is just the tip of the iceberg. Even a small, close-knit town like Bisbee has its secrets. Navigating her way through the unfamiliar world of social media, Joanna discovers shocking—and incriminating—information. The details build, from a hushed-up suspension, to a group of teenagers with a grudge against the late Ms. Highsmith, to a hateful video calling for the principal’s death. The video evidence points to one particular privileged boy, who’s already lawyered up thanks to his father, a well-to-do doctor determined to protect his son’s reputation. Yet the deeper Joanna digs, the more complications she uncovers. It seems the quiet, upstanding principal had a hidden past, full of mysterious secrets she’d successfully kept buried for years.

As the seasoned sheriff juggles professional constraints and personal demands—budget cuts, new team members, an arrogant coroner, a confused teenager, a precocious toddler, and a high-maintenance mother—she finds herself walking a fine line between justice and family that has never been so blurred.

Oh man, what a great ride that I was on that suddenly became more than solving the recent murder of a high school principal. As the story moved forward, this quickly became a page-turner that I could not put down. Joanna is very good at her job and I enjoyed watching her put all the pieces together, especially when the matter became more personal. This was the best book yet in this riveting suspenseful series and I look forward to more adventures in Bisbee, Arizona with Joanna and her team.

Left for Dead by J.A. Jance

Left for Dead by J.A. Jance is the 7th book in the “Ali Reynolds suspense series. Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), February 2012

When Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, Ali’s classmate from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, both fall under suspicion of wrongdoing.

Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier when she was dealing with a troubled friend. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Physicians Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for her to turn away. And knowing Reyes as well as she does, Ali finds it hard to believe that he’s become mixed up in the drug trade, despite evidence to the contrary. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds that her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there, too—working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified young woman presumed to be an illegal border crosser, who was raped and savagely beaten.

Ali becomes determined to seek justice in both cases and secure safety for both victims. Together with Sister Anselm and a conscientious officer who won’t let the case drop despite pressure from above, Ali digs for clues to find the true culprits. Fast-paced, tension-filled, and intriguingly complex, Left for Dead is J.A. Jance at her riveting best.

Wow, what a ride. Two people are left for dead and it is up to Ali to seek justice for them. Working the case, Ali searches for clues to find the person behind her friend’s shooting, especially when he’s accused of being a drug dealer. Trying to figure out what’s going on and how it relates to one another ante the book up a notch. This was a good read that my attention from the first page to the end in this fast-moving suspenseful tale.

Fatal Error by J.A. Jance

Fatal Error by J.A. Jance is the 6th book in the “Ali Reynolds” suspense series. Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), February 2011

Ali Reynolds begins the summer thinking her most difficult challenge will be surviving a six-week- long course as the lone forty-something female at the Arizona Police Academy—not to mention taking over the 6:00 AM shift at her family’s restaurant while her parents enjoy a long overdue Caribbean cruise. However, when Brenda Riley, a colleague from Ali’s old news broadcasting days in California, shows up in town with an alcohol problem and an unlikely story about a missing fiancé, Ali reluctantly agrees to help.

The man posing as Brenda’s fiancé is revealed to be Richard Lowensdale, a cyber-sociopath who has left a trail of broken hearts in his virtual wake. When he is viciously murdered, the women he once victimized are considered suspects. The police soon focus their investigation on Brenda, who is already known to have broken into Richard’s home and computer before vanishing without a trace. Attempting to clear her friend’s name, Ali is quickly drawn into a web of online intrigue that may lead to a real-world fatal error.

This was a thrilling ride that I didn’t want to get off. When Brenda arrive in town looking for a favor, Ali against her better judgment decides to help her. Little did they both know, they would become involved in a scheme with dangerous implications and it will take the resources that Ali has to stop it. This was a fast-paced, action-filled page turner that I could not put down. This book kept my attention from the first line to the last sentence with all the intrigue. This was a great read and I look forward to the next Ali Reynolds book.

Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance

Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance is the fifth book in the “Ali Reynolds” suspense series. Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), December 2009

In the heat of the Arizona desert, a raging fire pushes temperatures to a deadly degree, and one woman is left to burn. Pulled naked and barely breathing from the fire, the victim has no idea who she is, let alone who would do this to her—or why. In her hospital bed she drifts in and out of consciousness, her only means of communicating a blink of the eye. And then an angel appears. Misguidedly known around town as the “Angel of Death,” Sister Anselm has devoted her life to working as an advocate for unidentified patients. To her burn patient, she is a savior. But to this Jane Doe’s would-be killer, Sister Anselm’s efforts pose a serious threat.

Ali Reynolds is on the scene as the new media relations consultant for the Yavapai County Police Department, keeping reporters at bay and circumventing questions about arson and a link to a domestic terrorist group called Earth Liberation Front. But her job quickly becomes much more. As Ali struggles to help Sister Anselm uncover the helpless woman’s identity, they realize that by locating the missing relatives they may be exposing the victim once more to a remorseless killer determined to finish the job. Faced with the possibility of putting all three of their lives in jeopardy, Ali fearlessly pursues justice—and what she discovers is a secret even darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined.

With unerring skill, Jance delivers relentless suspense in what is surely her finest novel yet in this riveting and addictive series.

Ali takes on another role in this story as a police media consultant where her first case is to prevent the media from a burn victim. Working with Sister Anselm, they try to piece information so that they can identify her and then discover who this this heinous crime to her. When Sister Anselm life is threatened and Ali’s, when she comes to her aid, nothing will stop Ali from bringing this killer to justice. This was a good suspense that kept my attention from the first page to the end. My rating: 4 stars

Fire and Ice by J.A. Jance

Fire and Ice by J.A. Jance is the second book featuring characters from the “Joanna Brady” and “J P. Beaumont” mystery series.  This is the 14th book in the “Brady”  and 19th book in the “Beaumont” series.  Publisher: William Morrow, July 2009

Seattle investigator J. P. Beaumont is working a series of murders in which six young women have been wrapped in tarps, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. Their charred remains have been scattered around various dump sites, creating a grisly pattern of death across western Washington.

At the same time, thousands of miles away in the Arizona desert, Cochise County sheriff Joanna Brady is looking into a homicide in which the elderly caretaker of an ATV park was run over and left to die. All the man has left behind is his dog, who is the improbable witness to some kind of turf warfare—or possibly something more sinister.

Then a breakthrough in Beaumont’s case leads him directly to the Southwest and into Brady’s jurisdiction. When the two met on a joint investigation years earlier, sparks flew. Under different circumstances, both of them admit, even more could have happened.

But here, as the threads of their two seemingly separate cases wind together, Beaumont and Brady must put aside echoes of their shared past as they are once again drawn into an orbit of deception. Except this time it’s not just their own lives that are in danger but those of the people closest to them as well.

It was good to see how lives and careers of Joanna and J.P. has changed since the last time they worked together.  Trying to solve a crime in their jurisdiction will bring them together again with resolution to both cases.  It was enjoyable.  My rating: 3.5 stars

Cruel Intent by J.A. Jance

Cruel Intent by J.A. Jance is the fourth book in the “Ali Reynolds” suspense series.  Publisher: Simon & Schuster, December 2008

From New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance comes a chilling tale of suspense, where romance turns deadly at the hands of a man whose heart is filled with…CRUEL INTENT

On a dating site, singleatheart.com, bored housewives can find romance with married men looking for sex without strings. But these “married singles” are flirting with more than just their vows. At the heart of this seemingly innocent service, a vengeful computer hacker is playing games with people’s lives…and deaths.

Ex-television journalist Ali Reynolds just wants a break from excitement. In the midst of a remodel, the last thing she expects is a murder investigation that will stop the construction on her home. But when the savagely murdered body of stay-at-home mom Morgan Forester is found, Ali’s contractor Bryan is the prime suspect. Bryan swears he has nothing to do with his wife’s murder — but as the investigation progresses Ali seems to be the only resident of Sedona who believes him.

Determined to prove Bryan’s innocence, Ali unknowingly lands herself directly in the path of a calculating killer. In a world filled with encrypted computer traps and life-threatening lies, will Ali be able to decode the actions of a ruthless man determined to destroy women — before he uses his wicked website to find her?

Ali’s contractor, Bryan Forester, is accused of murdering his wife who unbeknownst to him was secretly having affairs.  While the townspeople think he really killed his wife, Ali is the only one to defend him and investigates on his behalf, having been recently accused of killing her own husband.  This case involves serial killing and identity theft and with the help of a computer expert and her mother’s new taser, Ali escapes the clutches of the killer.  This was another good mystery that I couldn’t put down.

Damage Control by J.A. Jance

Damage Control by J.A. Jance is the 13th book in the “Joanna Brady” mystery series. Publisher: William Morrow, July 2008

On a beautiful sunny day in the Coronado National Monument, an elderly couple’s car goes off the side of a mountain and into oblivion. The terrain is so rocky that a helicopter must be flown in to retrieve the bodies, and to make matters worse, a thunder-storm is looming on the horizon. Hours later and miles away, the subsiding rain reveals gruesome evidence: two trash bags containing human remains.

It’s just another day in the life of Cochise County sheriff Joanna Brady.

Back at home, Joanna has a newborn baby, a teenage daughter, a writer husband, and a difficult mother to deal with. But in the field, it turns out that she has much more on her hands. The remains are those of a handicapped woman who had wandered away from a care facility with a suspicious track record. Another resident, with whom the woman may have been involved, has also been reported missing.

Meanwhile, a note is found in the glove compartment of the car lying twisted down the mountainside, stating that its occupants intended to take their own lives. Yet a contradictory autopsy report surfaces, and when the deceased’s two daughters show up to feud over their inheritance, Joanna knows there is more to this case than just a suicide pact.

And she will go all out to find the truth—no matter where it leads.

I enjoyed this story. This time our heroine becomes involved in several unexplained deaths and murders while trying to care for an infant baby, a teenage daughter and the goings on surrounding her mother.