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.
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 ZvirinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved