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More Perfect Union [Mass Market Paperback]

J A Jance
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 1988 J. P. Beaumont Mysteries

A shocking photo screamed from the front pages of the tabloids -- the last moments of a life captured for all the world to see. The look of sheer terror eternally frozen on the face of the doomed woman indicated that her fatal fall from an upper story of an unfinished Seattle skyscraper was no desperate suicide -- and that look will forever haunt Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont. But his hunt for answers and justice is leading to more death, and to dark and terrible secrets scrupulously guarded by men of steel behind the locked doors of a powerful union that extracts its dues payments in blood.


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About the Author

J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series, the J.P. Beaumont series, and the interrelated novels Day of the Dead, Hour of the Hunter, and Kiss of the Bees. She was born in South Dakota, brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, and now lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competent but routine crime novel Oct. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"J P Beaumont"-known as "Beau"-is a Seattle homicide cop with a private income ,a man whose job fills a need in him more emotional and psychological than monetary.While acting as technical adviser on a movie being shot near Lake Union,he stumbles across a body floating on the lake.Tha case is officially the provenance of the ultra ambitious cop "Paul Kramer"who insisits it is an accidental death;Beau is unpersuaded and continues to delve into the case.
The body is that of an ironworker-one of the people who put up iron girders on skyscrapers-and soon another ironworker is killed,by a fall on the job.
Beau's delving into the vase earns him official displeasure but he is vindicated when the deaths turn out to be murder and related one to the other.The bulk of the book concerns his unravelling of the case and it winds its way to a smooth but predictable climax.
These words sum up my view of the book0it is neat and tidy in execution but ,for me ,it never really took flight and transcended the functional level of being an agreeable time passer.
Beau is a character I have problems with mainly because in many respects he resembles the gifted amateur sleuth beloved of the "golden age "writers,and who just happens to be a cop.I could not swallow porsch driving cop with an apartment in Seattle's more upmarket area.
Polished and professional this will most likely be enjoyed by lovers of the "medium boiled "crime story
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3.0 out of 5 stars BEAU NOT UP TO FORM Feb. 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This J.P. Beaumont novel was not up to the same standards as the others I have read. There was no emotion. I also am seeing the same M.O. Beau tries to do some sleuthing on his own time, gets accused of murder and then goes to jail where the officers are hateful to him. Beau then makes a few phone calls and the officers apologize for their behavior and all is well.
In this novel Beau is investigating the Iron Workers Local after several workers die under mysterious circumstances. In order to work on the case he has to beg Kramer to let him on. How thoroughly sad.
The highlight of this book is that even when J.A. Jance isn't at her best, she is still better than most.
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2.0 out of 5 stars JUST OK March 14 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If JA Jance is Seattle's Dashiell Hammett, I am moving to San Francisco. This is pretty OK. But keep in mind I read Louis LaMour sometimes too. I am just not proud of it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BEAU NOT UP TO FORM Feb. 10 2001
By Kenri A. Mugleston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This J.P. Beaumont novel was not up to the same standards as the others I have read. There was no emotion. I also am seeing the same M.O. Beau tries to do some sleuthing on his own time, gets accused of murder and then goes to jail where the officers are hateful to him. Beau then makes a few phone calls and the officers apologize for their behavior and all is well.
In this novel Beau is investigating the Iron Workers Local after several workers die under mysterious circumstances. In order to work on the case he has to beg Kramer to let him on. How thoroughly sad.
The highlight of this book is that even when J.A. Jance isn't at her best, she is still better than most.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corruption in an iron-worker's union July 15 2012
By Larry David Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
J. A. Jance creates interesting titles for the entries in her J. P. Beaumont mystery series, but A More Perfect Union is probably one of her more interesting titles, since it describes what cannot exist. Although I am sure the author is aware of this situation, other people might not be. One of the more persistent errors made by native users of the English language is to attempt to describe stages of perfection. There is no such thing. Perfection is absolute. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon to hear or read a phrase describing something as "very perfect." Sorry...does not exist. Even perfection itself is illusory. Be that as it may, Jance has created a very interesting story involving murder and corruption within an iron-worker's union operating in the Seattle area, the members of which are involved in erecting the skeletons of buildings. J. P. Beaumont and his new partner Al Lindstrom solve the puzzle but not before Beau ends up down to his skivvies locked in the basement of a house out in the sticks. When he is bailed out by the local sheriff, he is promptly arrested for murder. Needless to say, Beau ferrets out the criminal perpetrators, but I think the more interesting aspect of this story is the mounting evidence that Beau is becoming overwhelmed by his dedication to emptying bottles of MacNaughton's, an inexpensive Canadian blended whisky. In this novel, he is frequently blitzed by the end of the day and suffering serious hangovers upon awakening. Jance is writing about Beau's increasing problem from the experience of having had a first husband who died in his early 40s of alcoholism. The character of J. P. Beaumont is drawn by Jance in a very compelling fashion, making the reading of her mystery series consistently entertaining. I highly recommend the entire series to date for mystery lovers and I have already moved to the next entry Dismissed with Prejudice.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Of course, the sensible thing would have been to drop the whole program, to stay away, to leave it alone" Oct. 22 2007
By Sebastian Fernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a novel that deviates from the norm for this author. Jance usually delivers compelling mysteries with good accompanying personal developments in the life of the main characters. In this case, there is a lot more focus on what is going on in the life of J.P. Beaumont and on the political games within the police department. In turn, the mystery is not nearly as interesting and the conclusion feels rushed and does not include all the necessary details.

Beau is working babysitting a movie crew when a body turns up in the water by the location where filming is taking place, which means that he is not part of the case, but his interest is piqued. Since one of the lead detectives on the murder case is obnoxious and pedantic, Beau gets involved, in an effort to bring justice to the victim and show his newly found nemesis how to perform good police work. This in turn will generate tension within the department and pose challenges for carrying out the investigation. For the reader, this implies that we do not get a full picture of the facts, and therefore, find it harder to make sense of who the culprit is and why the events unfolded in the way they did.

Even though this is a subpar effort for J.A. Jance, I think that it is a slightly above average novel for this genre. I found myself reading almost nonstop and finishing the book quickly, but the most interesting part was Beau's interactions with other characters, not the murder case. I think that this means that for those people that are not familiar with the series, it is going to be a lot more interesting to look elsewhere. Those that have been reading this series in order though, will probably find that they like the story, and that it represents a change of pace from the previous installments. However, now it is time for this author to come back strong with another exciting and fast-paced mystery!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous series July 9 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i love this series!!! i am already on the next book. i highly recommend.
4.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't disappoint July 8 2014
By Mary-Theresa Dameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
J.A. Jance's books are easy to read, and as a caregiver, relaxing. You never really know the ending until she writes it.
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