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Judgment Call: A Brady Novel Of Suspense Hardcover – Jul 24 2012

4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (July 24 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061731161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061731167
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #445,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'Jance beautifully evokes the desert and towns of her beloved southwest as well as the strong individuals who live there' Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance brings back acclaimed sheriff Joanna Brady in an exciting and twisting mystery set against the beauty and isolation of the Arizona desert

Judgment Call

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 beloveddaughter 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.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Aug. 22 2012
Format: Audio CD

I've been following the trials and tribulations of Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County, Arizona for many years. J.A. Jance released the first book in 1993 and the latest installment - Judgment Call - marks the 15th entry in this long running and much loved series.

Joanna's fifteen year old daughter Jenny stumbles upon a body while out for an early morning ride. It turns out to be the body of the local high school principal, who had been reported as missing. And with that discovery, her personal and professional lives collide. It seems that Principal Highsmith had some secrets....

What has kept me coming back to this series over the years? The strength is in the recurring characters. Sitting down to read a Brady book is like listening to an old friend tell a good story. Brady's life has continued to change and evolve over the years, in a believable manner. She's a character I've come to know and like. So, the personal story lines are always a draw. I always enjoy the setting descriptions as well. Jance owns a home in Arizona, so the descriptions are drawn from personal observation.

The mystery is solid in Judgment Call, as is Joanna's investigation of it. Nothing earth shattering, but again, it's all in the telling. This is the first time I've chosen to listen to a Brady book. I was quite concerned what the reader would sound like, as I have developed a mental image for Joanna over the years. The reader was Hilary Huber and she was an excellent choice. I have listened to her narrate other audio books and enjoyed them. She has a slightly gravelly tone to her voice that is quite unique. Her voice is very well modulated and conveys strength, purpose and urgency without being raised. It conveyed the calm confidence of Sheriff Brady easily.
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Format: Hardcover
Wonder if bestselling author Jance had any idea when she wrote her first novel starring Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady that she would some day have written a 15th that readers would be standing in line for. Whatever the case, she's done it - with Judgment Call.

Brady is as fascinating as ever and descriptions Of Bisbee, Arizona as real as a wide-screen video. And, as is her wont, deft author Jance keeps us guessing until the last page. Villains seems to become more vicious with each Brady adventure, and the latest tops them all. He's completely merciless and cares nothing for the innocent lives he takes as he pursues those he feels have wronged him.

Jenny, Brady's 15-year-old daughter, comes across a dead body while out on an early morning horseback ride. Her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, has been savaged. But, why? True, Highsmith was not the most popular high school faculty member, but murder? To complicate Brady's investigation Highsmith was an extremely private person, almost obsessively so and appears to have no next of kin.

While Brady spends 24/24 trying to discover anything about the mysterious Highsmith another murder occurs. Outside of the immediacy of this slaying could there be any connection between the two? Even more perplexing is that what Brady considers police information has been appearing on the internet.

Brady is wife, mother, sheriff, which at times seems more than she can do especially as she makes discoveries about her own family's past and the death of her father. Jance peoples her story with carefully drawn characters, especially a nosy older newspaper woman, Marliss Shackleford, and an arrogant medical examiner.

You can't miss a sentence or you may have trouble keeping up with who's who in relation to the others, but it's well worth the trip!

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although I enjoyed the earlier books in this series I found that this book had little to recommend it. To begin with the plot is very thin. At the midpoint the identity of the killer is clear and not too much later Joanne Brady figures it out. Everything that happens is telegraphed in advance and one would have to look pretty closely to find anything resembling at plot twist. There is little sense of place and aside for some mellowing on her mother's part and growing up by the daughter there is no character development. The thing that bothered me the most is the voice of Joanne Brady which is consistently superior with no vulnerabilityand a complete lack of humor. Since the book is written in the first person with little dialog this quickly becomes annoying.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this story. It was another great mystery in which Joanna has to solve a murder stemming from long buried family secrets. A great mystery!
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