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Exit Wounds [Hardcover]

J.A. Jance
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 10 2003 Jance, Ja

The incomparable J. A. Jance returns with a powerful tale that explores the darkest corners of human nature, revealing the grievous injuries inflicted behind locked doors, the unseen wounds that bleed and destroy and never heal ...

The heat is a killer in Cochise County, Arizona, with temperatures over 100 degrees. In the suffocating stillness of an airless trailer, a woman is lying dead, a bullet hole in her chest. Why someone would murder a harmless loner with a soft spot for stray dogs is only one of the questionsnagging at the local police; another is why the killer used an eighty-five-year-old bullet, fired from the same weapon that slaughtered two other women who were discovered bound, naked, and gruesomely posed on the remote edge of a rancher's land.

The slayings are as oppressive as the blistering heat for Sheriff Joanna Brady, who must shoulder the added double burden of a brutal reelection campaign and major developments on the home front. With suddenly more on her plate than many big-city law officers have to contend with, Joanna must put marital distractions and an opponent's dirty tricks in the background and deal with the terrifying reality that now threatens everyone in her jurisdiction: a serial killer in their midst.

A twisted and lethal drama is unfolding in this small corner of the southwestern desert as fear, hatred, and the evil at the core of one family's history come to a rapid boil beneath a merciless Arizona sun. Pressure mounts for Sheriff Brady personally and professionally while she pursues a sadistic murderer into the shadows of the past to get to the roots of a monstrous obsession ... and expose the permanent wounds of a crime far worse than homicide.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates the murder of Carol Mossman, who lived alone in the desert and was shot with an antique gun. Her 17 dogs died, too, due to an intense buildup of heat in the trailer. The investigation leads to the deceased woman's siblings, grandmother, and father, and two murdered female reporters. As the facts come together, it becomes apparent that the victim's father raped his daughters, impregnating at least two. While working on the case, Brady deals with the local animal activist group and illegal immigrants, all while running for reelection. While none of the scenes depict details of the incestuous relationships, the lasting effect of abuse becomes a major point of the story. The human abuse in turn leads back to the topic of animal abuse, painting a sad picture of the horrors of both. But Jance manages to keep the atmosphere positive, with lots of action, energy, and realism along the way, and Brady's personal thoughts and beliefs give a perspective to the events. This 10th in the series offers topics for thought and a rousing plot.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

No need to have read previous books to enjoy this Joanna Brady mystery. Jance slips in enough background to bring readers quickly up to speed. Before that, however, comes a whopper of a setup. Loner Carol Mossman is found brutally murdered, her 17 dogs dead beside her in her blistering hot trailer. Soon after, two more women turn up dead--all three shot with bullets more than a quarter-century old. That single clue eventually leads Sheriff Brady to a horrifying secret that nearly destroys an entire family. The dramatic opening will suck readers in, and the pacing is a satisfying balance between Joanna's struggles to be a good sheriff, wife, and mother and her dealing with her reelection and newly discovered pregnancy. Joanna's compassion and insecurity--and her sometimes cranky determination--make her a particularly realistic and appealing protagonist. As in Partner in Crime (2002), Jance builds her story around a real-life contemporary social concern, in this case the psychological disorder known as hoarding. Brady fans won't want to put this one down, which may itself be a form of hoarding. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Late on Tuesday afternoon,Sheriff Joanna Brady sat at her desk, stared at the pages of her calendar, and knew that Butch Dixon, her husband, was absolutely right. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough message and a good read Aug. 30 2003
Other reviewers have discussed the plot. Sheriff Brady is called to the scene of a woman's murder. Detectives discover seventeen dogs in the woman's house, all of whom suffocated to death. The dead woman turns out to be Carol Mossman, who has held a series of low-paying inconsequential jobs before ending up in this trailer owned by her grandmother.
Jance, a seasoned best-selling author, plays fair with the readers while delivering a page-turner. We look over Sheriff Brady's shoulder as she investigates. Two newswomen were murdered in the same style: is a serial killer loose? What was Mossman trying to keep quiet? And what is the role of her definitely
dysfunctional family?
Although the mystery holds attention, the real action takes place in Sheriff Brady's personal life. By marrying her off to a novelist who does the housework, author Jance has avoided the fate of most married detective heroines: losing their edge. Husband Butch cooks great meals and raises teenage daugher Jenny, while her mother continues to disapprove of whatever Sheriff Brady does, on or off the job.
And early in the book, Joanna Brady gets a surprise that will create interesting subplots in volumes to come.
Jance's novel goes down as smooth as a good scotch. She's a real pro even when she delivers a searing message. As a dog-lover, she must have had a hard time writing about the way dogs suffer, and it's not surprising that the Brady household acquires more dogs during hte course of the action. I think the author's heart was touched as much as her heroine's.
I'm not surprised by the number of women who appear here: a female sheriff, a minister, and more. It's not uncommon to experience women in those roles.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment in the Joanna Brady mystery series. The story literally starts out with a bang when an eccentric loner, Carol Mossman, is murdered by someone who shoots her right through the locked door of her mobile home. Carol Mossman's murder is discovered by one of Joanna Brady's deputies, sent out to check on Ms. Mossman's 17 dogs which she is "hoarding". Tragically, the dogs have been trapped in the un-air-conditioned mobile home and all are found dead from the heat, along with their mistress. The story develops rapidly from there.
Along with solving the Mossman murder, Joanna is kept busy juggling many other personal and professional responsibilities. Shortly after the murder is discovered, Joanna realizes a happy surprise--she is pregnant! Joanna is also swamped with campaign obligations in her quest for re-election as sheriff of Cochise County. Then another incident happens in Cochise County where a car loaded with 20 illegal immigrants overturns and many are killed in the accident. And did I mention that all this happens over the Fourth of July holiday weekend? Ms. Jance continues to develop all the characters introduced in the series so far. However, even if you are new to this series, you should have no trouble picking up the story and the characters.
It seemed ironic to me that the general public of Cochise County cared more about the dogs who died in Carol Mossman's overheated trailer than the score of immigrants hurt or killed in a car accident. Not only was this novel a very enjoyable mystery, but the author's comments on "hoarding" and smuggling immigrants across the border illegally were good points.
With all that is going on in Joanna Brady's life, the next story in this series is bound to be another great read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Aug. 16 2003
Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates the murder of a woman found in her trailer with her seventeen dead dogs.
Another murder occurs on the same day involving the same gun and suddenly the investigation gets a lot more complicated than just the question of who would want to kill a down-on-her- luck animal lover. In the course of her investigation we learn about "hoarding", a compulsion to take in stray dogs and cats in order to "save" them usually brought on by childhood abuse. In addition to this crime, Joanna must deal with her re-election and the dirty dealings of her running mate, another crime involving a illegal immigrants, her pregnancy, and her on-going strained relationship with her mother. There is a lot of Joanna's plate, but she handles it with fortitude
J.A. Jance's books are always rich in characterization. Joanna has been a long journey since the beginning of the series and each of the characters continues to grow. Each book is a stand-alone novel and Jance takes quite a bit of time in the beginning of the novel explaining earlier events. This part of the book dragged a bit for me. After the first 100 pages the pace picked up considerably. Jance can always be counted on the write a compelling story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best yet in the series Aug. 12 2003
Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full with an election campaign, unexpected pregnancy, and her house-husband Butch's frustrating career as a novelist. But when a woman is killed and her seventeen dogs die in the woman's non-air-conditioned trailer, Brady is plunged into mystery. The first murder is followed by two more--with the same weapon signature. But the deeper Brady digs, the uglier she things look. The dead woman was already a victim--of child abuse so severe it made her incapable of holding a steady job and turned her into a hoarder for dogs. Brady swears she'll find the killer, but can any punishment be enough for what has happened?
Author J. A. Jance writes a compelling and exciting mystery shot-through with authentic visions of the desert mountains of Arizona. Brady is well developed as a character--with a rich but complicated family life and the drive to serve as sheriff. A subplot involving a SUV crash that killed a number of undocumented aliens being smuggled across the border from Mexico deepens the story and adds emotional depth.
J. A. Jance has written a series of novels featuring Sheriff Joanna Brady and EXIT WOUNDS may be the best I've read so far. I couldn't put the book down and was practicaly out of breath when I finished it. EXIT WOUNDS may be read independently of the other books in the series.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable Story
This is the second Joanna Brady mystery I've read buy MS Jance and I really enjoyed it. I will not go into details about the story since others have done that but I will say that... Read more
Published on March 15 2004 by Fred Rayworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it in any format
This is yet another unusual J.A. Jance mystery. I can agree with other reviewers that the preaching about taking care of animals does run a bit thin. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004 by Dale L. Jennings
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Finish
I listened to the abridged audio CD version of this novel and it was so bad that I hardly wanted to finish it. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by "xaria111"
5.0 out of 5 stars J.A. Does It Again!
I have read every book by J.A. Jance. She is one of my favorite authors. This book is an excellent addition to her collection. I recommend any book she writes!
Published on Dec 30 2003 by Lish71
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 pounds of ideas in a 2 pound book!
I enjoyed the way in which Jance wove social issues (animal hoarding, immigrant smuggling, etc.) into an entertaining story. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Book Brain
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS FOR WAYNE HARDY
I saw your customer review, and I am writing to tell you that you have the read the JOANNA BRADY series starting with DESERT HEAT to understand what Joanna's life is about. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by Mara
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the series!
I really enjoyed Exit Wounds, and thought the ending was a great twist. I do hope that Joanna's reelection is completed in the next book, it has stretched on too long. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars exit wounds
This was my first Joanna Brady novel and I am just disapointed. After about 150 pages I gave up and decided not to finish it. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by WAYNE HARDY
3.0 out of 5 stars Good procedural, dialogue still wooden
I always read J.A. Jance's novels, both the J.P. Beaumont series, and the Joanna Brady series, of which "Exit Wounds" is the latest entry. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2003 by Kristi
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