Dead Wrong Audio CD – Aug 1 2006
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|Audio CD, Aug 1 2006||
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From Publishers Weekly
The solid 12th entry in bestseller Jance's lively crime series (Exit Wounds, etc.) to feature Joanna Brady, sheriff of Cochise County, Ariz., finds Joanna newly reelected and about to have her second child. When the cops learn that a murdered man with a sordid personal history has links to one of Arizona's most prominent judges, Joanna's investigation turns up a connection to an early case of her late father's, an honored sheriff. Next, the brutal beating of Jeannine Phillips, an Animal Control officer, leads the sheriff's department, its staff already stretched thin, to a confrontation with a notorious ranching family and suspected illegal immigrants. Then Joanna's obnoxious in-laws arrive for the imminent birth. In a heart-stopping climax, Joanna shoots a suspect as he tries to kidnap two children. Subplots dealing with social issues such as alcoholism and dysfunctional family relationships lend moral weight. As usual, Jance deftly brings the desert, people and towns of southeastern Arizona to life. Author tour. (One-day laydown July 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sheriff Joanna Brady has a full plate. Not only is she investigating the murder of an ex-con and trying to find out who beat one of her animal-control officers nearly to death, she is also spectacularly pregnant. The question isn't whether she will solve these two crimes, but whether she will do it before or after she gives birth to her second child. While most of the police force is focused on the case of the animal-control officer, it's the ex-con's death that occupies Joanna's mind because--in addition to the tantalizingly bizarre fact that all of the victim's fingers are missing--the murder provides a link to one of her father's old cases. Jance deftly combines personal and professional stories in this twelfth Brady mystery. Readers familiar with the movie Fargo (which also features a very pregnant, very likable small-town sheriff and combines on-the-job with at-home elements) may note some similarities to this novel, but rather than seeming derivative, Jance's story offers an entertaining embellishment on a still-fresh theme. A solid entry in this popular series. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
With Dead Wrong Joanna Brady takes the spotlight. She has just been re-elected Sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona and is about to have her second child. Impending motherhood has to be set aside when a man is found murdered in the desert. He's one of those nameless unfortunate souls with no identification. The only thing that differentiates him from other unidentified bodies is that all of his fingers have been cut off.
As it turns out, he was a pretty despicable character - served prison time for the killing of his pregnant wife. And once released from jail he apparently stalked a young woman. Joanna's persistent digging turns up a connection between this man and one of her late father's cases.
However, before she has a chance to pursue that any further Animal Control Officer Jeannine Phillips is beaten near death during a stakeout. Obviously, all hands and energy are poured into discovering who did this to one of their own.
Leave it to Jance to craft another can't-put-down mystery and leave it to voice performer Susan Ericksen to deliver a five star narration. She's a stage and television actress whom many may remember for her readings of the J. D. Robb stories. Mysteries seem to be her bailiwick and she narrates them with sureness and an articulation that emphasizes suspense.
- Gail Cooke
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Authors who marry off their heros take a risk: our edgy favorites tend to get tamer and we lose the twists and turns of romance. Jance has avoided this trap by giving Joanna a husband, Butch, who in turn gives her space while introducing his own set of obnoxious parents.
Joanna investigates two crimes: the killing of Bradley Evans, an ex-con found in a gruesome state, and a violent attack on an over-eager female animal control officer.
From the prologue, many readers will be way ahead of Joanna and her staff as she investigates the first murder. Although Joanna gets clues from her father's newly-found diaries, she rightly uses her own detective skills to elicit the truth from present-day witnesses. The second crime gets treated more like a police procedural than a detective story, allowing a very pregnant Joanna to combine her commonsense, human empathy and professional police skills.
Two odd notes in the book: Why does this family have to be so nice to the in-laws? OK, perhaps a good daughter is expected to tolerate an occasional snide reference to her looks or appearance, maybe even her child-rearing. But no family should allow any visitor to insult disabled people or dogs. Visitors who snoop should be directed to their trailer (or the nearest motel) with access to the home only when the family is present. Teenaged Jenny has the right idea.
Joanna also seems surprised to find a lesbian couple right under her nose in Bisbee. I spent four years in Silver City, New Mexico, just over the border, where gay couples lived openly and, for most of the town, it was no big deal. Everybody socialized together most of the time. I've heard Bisbee is more conservative, and police officers in most locations tend to traditional views.
So while these minor twists seemed odd to be, it's possible that Jance has captured the values and belief systems of the folks she portrays, who are indeed different from many of her readers.
The reason is simple: she consistently writes wonderful stories! I particularly like the ones featuring Joanna Brady. It's been fun to watch Joanna's character develop throughout the series. She started out a housewife and mom who worked in an insurance office. When her husband is killed in the line of duty she sets out to find the killer. In the second book she is elected sheriff (sort of a sympathy vote, but still it gets her into position) and from then on, we see her develop into a seasoned police officer and confident administrator, but always struggling with the demands of motherhood and her place in the community. She seems REAL and she's the kind of person we'd all like to know and call our friend. At the end of every book I'm left anticipating the next!
The cases move forward, and the murder investigation leads to some surprises. Turning over rocks can reveal a lot about the past. When some parties involved are killed, it is necessary to speculate about what actually happened. The novel is set in the present and deals with various contemporary issues.