Desert Heat Mm Mass Market Paperback – Feb 12 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Jance ( Hour of the Hunter ) has created a taut and poignant mystery. Joanna Brady finds her husband, Andy, shot in the Arizona desert on the night of their tenth wedding anniversary. But this, and Andy's subsequent suspicious death in the hospital, is only the beginning of the destruction of the comfortable world of Joanna and her nine-year-old daughter, Jenny. The police decide that Andy, a sheriff's deputy, tried to commit suicide. He is further implicated as the hit man in a mob rub-out and fingered as a crooked cop with drug-cartel connections. Even his personal life is dragged through the mud, as allegations of an extramarital affair surface. Neither mother nor daughter is spared from the brutality of the accusations: the DEA comes after Joanna, while schoolmates taunt Jenny. All the while, Jance cross-cuts to the contract killer who shot Andy. The conclusion features a classic confrontation, but the post-showdown ending seems trite. Until that moment, however, Jance's tale crackles with tension. Joanna's struggle and pain are affecting; Jance writes with an understanding that character is destiny.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Almost before he is transported to the hospital, rumors begin to circulate that Andy is a good cop turned bad and that he tried to commit suicide rather than to risk having his shady dealings with drug smugglers exposed. Of course, Joanna doesn't believe any of the rumors and sets out on a mission to find the true story and to find Andy's attacker.
This series debut manages to successfully combine a cast of very believable and well-developed characters with an intriguing mystery and a unique setting. The "whodunit" is solved early on, but the reader is left trying to understand the "why" until nearly the end. The story unfolds at a steady pace and there is little fever-pitch action or edge-of-your-seat suspense; however, that's actually an advantage as it makes the story quite believable and is consistent with life in a small town like Bisbee. Despite the deliberate pace, plenty of surprises throughout do keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.
Desert Heat is a quick and enjoyable read for those who enjoy a good mystery set in the desert southwest. With such a strong debut, I've definitely become a Joanna Brady (and J.A. Jance) fan and am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Although this is the first in the series, if you've read other Joanna Brady books first, go ahead and read this one too. The pace moves quickly and it's always good to read a character's origins firsthand.
While the bar - to a certain degree - is set low, the novel certainly doesn't disappoint. Because there is room for improvement, the other books in the series keep getting better and better
Most recent customer reviews
I do enjoy reading J A Jance any time..... always a page turnerPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
We have read most of her other Joanna Brady novels but had missed the first book and had trouble finding it so it was nice to find out how it all started.
I Like all her books but particularly the Joanna Brady seriesPublished 22 months ago by H. Wheatley
Desert Heat in a nice introduction to the Joanna Brady series of books. Joanna Brady is a happily married mother of one, when her husband Andy, a local police officer, is shot on... Read morePublished on June 18 2002 by Ladyslott
Reading Desert Heat, the first volume in the JoAnna Brady series, is all it takes to make you a J. A. Jance fan. Read morePublished on July 11 2001 by Lori Rutledge
Joanna's sheriff husband dies and Joanna decides to track down his killer. She is plucky, tough, warm and fallible - motivated largely by the horror that her husband was possibly... Read morePublished on May 26 2000 by Helen
Not as gritty as the J.P. Beaumont mysteries, yet recently widowed Joanna Brady is one tough and determined sleuth who juggles crime solving, the new demands of single parenthood,... Read morePublished on May 20 1999