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Devils Claw [Mass Market Paperback]

J A Jance
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback CDN $11.69  
Mass Market Paperback, July 12 2001 --  

Book Description

July 12 2001 A Joanna Brady mystery

In the night-still canyons of the Arizona desert, a girl is on the run. Alone but for her beloved red-tailed hawk, she flees from the dark shadows of her young life, the horror she has witnessed…and the terror that now stalks her.

New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance returns with her eighth novel in the highly acclaimed Joanna Brady mystery series. Set against the backdrop of the modern west, this gripping tale finds Sheriff Brady juggling a precarious overload in both her personal and professional lives. About to be married, Joanna's facing a daughter turning twelve and going on twenty, a meddlesome mother micro-managing her wedding, and new in-laws arriving any day. The sudden death of her much-loved neighbor and handyman, Clayton Rhodes, creates further turmoil, leaving Joanna shocked, saddened, and the target of Clayton's irate and irrational daughter, who accuses the Sheriff's Department of covering up a possible murder.

But amidst the uproar, the report of a homicide at Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains quickly captures Joanna's full attention. An Indian woman has been found shot to death--a woman recently released from prision after serving time for the manslaughter killing of her husband. She is the mother of a missing fifteen-year-old, Lucy Ridder.

The death at first appears to be a case of domestic rage finally exploding'and a troubled teen runaway may be a victim, or a cold-blooded killer. Yet as Joanna deals with the long-standing troubles of Clayton Rhodes' family and digs deeper into the mysterious life of Lucy and her family, she discovers that investigating family hostilities is leading her down a twisted trail of hatred, greed, and far-reaching consequences--and into a dangerous world where violence is the first response and long buried secrets are a reason to kill…or die.

Once again, J.A. Jance delivers a gritty, deftly written thriller that unfolds on a vivid landscape of raw beauty and unrelenting danger. And, as always, Sheriff Joanna Brady brings the setting to life with the sensitivity, spirit, and intense passion for justice that makes Jance novels ring with authenticity.


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From Amazon

A missing teenager and an octogenarian found dead of apparently natural causes are pretty run-of-the-mill cases in Bisbee, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is focusing on the last-minute details of her upcoming wedding. In this latest outing in Judith Jance's Brady series, the connection between the two events is a thin one. In the author's capable hands, however, it's enough to drive this well-plotted mystery to a credible conclusion.

Fifteen-year-old Lucy Ridder dreads her mother's release from prison, eight years after she was convicted of killing Lucy's beloved father. Lucy is aware that her mother's priority is not a family reunion but the retrieval of a mysterious diskette entrusted to Lucy by her dad shortly before his death. After inadvertently witnessing her mother's brutal slaying by a stranger who's also hot after the diskette, Lucy vanishes. It takes most of the novel for Joanna to figure out that Lucy's disappearance is tied to her mother's murder, and for good reasons. Besides the distraction of her pending nuptials, the sheriff has been accused of killing her elderly, beloved neighbor for financial gain. Because the reader knows the truth of both situations very early in the game, Joanna's delayed awareness doesn't pack as much wallop as it might. The greater mystery is whether she'll strangle her wedding-obsessed mother before she and her too-good-to-be-true fiancé make it to the altar. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Southwestern mysteries continue to grow in popularity, with Jance's series, set in southern Arizona, one of the strongest entries in the subgenre. The new novel to feature Sheriff Joanna Brady opens at the entrance to a desert canyon called the Cochise Stronghold, where Sandra Ridder, who is part Apache, is trying to retrieve an item she buried eight years ago, before going to prison for killing her husband. The next day hikers find her corpse, while Sandra's 15-year-old daughter, Lucinda, and the girl's pet red-tailed hawk go missing. Could Lucinda, who seems to be a troubled loner, have killed her mother as revenge for her father's murder? Joanna starts to investigate shortly before she's to be married. Then Clayton Rhodes, the neighbor who helps feed Joanna's animals, dies suddenly, and unexpectedly bequeaths his ranch to her. Clayton's estranged daughter feels she should have inherited the property. Unreasonably and viciously, she blames Joanna for exerting undue influence over her father. The tangled threads of Joanna's personal life come close to overwhelming her professional one, and she has to exercise all of her time management skills to keep the murder inquiry on track. Her fianc?, Butch Dixon, comes off as way too perfect to be human, but his parents, in an amusing touch, are seriously dysfunctional. Sometimes the dialogue is stiff, but generally this is a solid installment in a worthy series. The Arizona desert, as usual in Jance's mysteries, plays an unforgettable part in this atmospheric tale. Mystery Guild dual main selection. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Lucy waited until she knew her grandmother was asleep before she left the house and quietly wheeled her bike out of the shed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Jan. 8 2003
By apoem
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This whole series is really a joy to read. The author can take Joanna from introspection to inspection of a crime scene in a few pages with very little problem in the transition. Although each book can be read on it's own as a stand alone novel, I have had much satisfication of reading them in order and watching the characters grow and change in each book.
This book lives up to the reputation of the author.
Joanna is planning her wedding, Butch is really, and chasing the bad guys at the same time. A young girl is missing, her mother, recently out of jail is murdered and the story begins.
The characters are believable and the story is tightly woven and thrilling. Well worth reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My first J.A. Jance experience June 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I read from J.A. Jance, so I'm not very familiar with her work , so I'll try to read more of her later.
This book tell us the story of a Joanna Brady, a sheriff from a samll town in Arizona.
It tell us the story of a murder , a missing teenager and the fight for a will , everything happens just a week before her wedding takes place.
This is an ok book , it has an interesting begining with a good plot , and it is really interesting to read .
It would deserve 4 stars , but I didn't like the ending , it was a very good plot and I didn't like the way it finished , but that's just my opinion.
Read it , it's a good book , it's just not that great , after reading this , I'm more interested in reading more books of J.A. Jance and more about the Story of Joanna Brady.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Saint" Joanna Brady? Jan. 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think I've read all of the Joanna Brady series published to date, and Devil's Claw is the last one I will read. The locations are great and the plotting is excellent, as far as the police procedural and mystery aspect of the story goes, but in her personal life, the central character is becoming just too saccharin to be believed. I find the personality differences between "Sheriff" Brady and "Mother" Brady unrealistic. Also, why is it that so many writers who make women their central characters have to make them single mothers? How about a tough, honest, dedicated sheriff who doesn't want any kids? That would be nice for a change.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great way to start this series Jan. 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having just returned from two weeks in Tucson, this mystery hit the spot (and wrecked other weekend plans). The place names added a greater touch of credibility for me. I also just read a Fairstein and a Paretsky book, and much as I enjoy their characters and writing, the coincidences in their storylines become a bit absurd. Jance, on the other hand, weaves a well-connected plot in which everything is well meshed (like the Devil's Claw in basketweaving) without stepping over the line into fantasyland. The only thing a bit hard to fathom is how Sheriff Brady gathered what seems to be the country's best law enforcement staff in her somewhat remote area of Arizona (and one with pervasive budget problems, as documented many times throughout the book). If those characters are based on real life officers, that does it -- I'm moving to Cochise County when I retire!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Likeable Characters Sept. 11 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't particularly interested in reading another story about a missing computer disc, but I stayed with this story because I liked the characters. There were plenty of side stories to keep interest alive while the main plot evolved. When the facts surrounding the missing disc finally are revealed, the pace picks up quite a bit. This is a fairly lightweight mystery, but the character of Sheriff Joanna Brady carries the day.
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2.0 out of 5 stars SORRY JUDITH, YOU DON'T GET MY VOTE! Aug. 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The bottom line: I really didn't like this book. I found the plot and action to be very slow moving and uninteresting. One thing I did like was Sheriff Brady. I thought she was a good solidly created character, but the plot just didn't have that exciting pace that a Hoag, Hooper, Johansen, or Cornwell novel does. Another thing that I didn't particulary care for was the whole eagle thing with the young girl. It kind of a gave off a somewhat ridiculous indian spirit kind of feeling. I also found it kind of unnecessary to have the part about Joanna's neighbor's death and his daughter. Of course if you are a fan of J.A. Jance, then I'm sure you'll like "The Devil's Claw" and these kind of "small town" mysteries. If you enjoy more hard-core suspense and don't like the "country down south" novels, then you won't like "The Devil's Claw.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Minus, but an A none the less Aug. 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
J.A. Jance writes with such a fluid style that I glide right thru her novels. Her books are easy to read and comprehend. I particularly enjoy the Joanna Brady series.
In "Devil's Claw" there are plenty of suspects to go around, a couple of running subplots and an ever growing cast of regulars.
J.A. Jance does a great job of filling in the background of the continuing characters...enough info to set their place and position for first time readers of the series; but not so much that familiar readers are bored or insulted with the data.
It's a pleasure to observe how the characters develop and grow as the series progresses. The scenic setting of Southern Arizona is always well done...you can almost see those great sunsets.
Plotting, character evolvement, red herrings all give the reader plenty of times to solve things along with Sheriff Brady.
J.A. Jance does a great job balancing the whodunit aspect with Sheriff Brady's personal life without detracting from the main plot. The reader also gets a good view of the "unglamorous" aspect of the sheriff's job...meetings, personel problems, budgets, civic speaking engagements and the like.
This is just a wonderful series, and "Devil's Claw" is a welcome addition to the Joanna brady legacy.
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