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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 Thoroughly Enjoyable Story March 15 2004
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 until I read Exit Wounds, I was unaware of the polygamy cults that inhabit the "strip" on the Arizona/Utah border. It was weird that I read the book and then heard a story on the news about that same subject!
The story held my interest all the way through and I liked the way she drew the characters. The pacing was also top notch. I am now adding her to my must read list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it in any format Feb. 14 2004
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. However, this is a great book. It is more adult than any earlier work, and some Mormons may object to the cult in this book. However, this book is so different than so many others and is a great mystery. I'd recommend this one to anyone over 16.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Finish Feb. 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
I listened to the abridged audio CD version of this novel and it was so bad that I hardly wanted to finish it. The story might have been ok, but the performance by Debra Monk made the sheriff, Joanna Brady sound tired and weak and her husband a total wimp. Yuck!
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5.0 out of 5 stars J.A. Does It Again! Dec 31 2003
By Lish71
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!
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4.0 out of 5 stars 10 pounds of ideas in a 2 pound book! Nov. 15 2003
I enjoyed the way in which Jance wove social issues (animal hoarding, immigrant smuggling, etc.) into an entertaining story. Joanna Brady is an interesting and likable protagonist but in this book she almost has a little too much on her plate. She's newly pregnant, has adopted two new pets into her home, her husband is starting to become despondent over his stalled career as an aspiring novelist, her older daughter is starting to compete in rodeo barrel racing, a woman is shot dead in her mobile home with her dogs trapped inside in 100+ degree heat, an SUV overloaded with illegal immigrants rolls over killing many....how much more can we pack in here?!
I still enjoyed the book but just felt that this time Jance was trying too hard. Poor Joanna Brady is only human, not a superwoman, but Jance (and Brady!) seems determined to prove otherwise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS FOR WAYNE HARDY Sept. 19 2003
By Mara
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. I just got the book from the library and haven't had the chance to read it.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the series! Aug. 29 2003
By A Customer
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.
As far as the female minister in the book, I'm United Methodist, and my minister is female. Very common.
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