Exit Wounds Hardcover – Aug 2003
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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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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
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.Read more ›
Along with solving the Mossman murder, Joanna is kept busy juggling many other personal and professional responsibilities. Shortly after the murder is discovered, Joanna realizes a happy surprise--she is pregnant! Joanna is also swamped with campaign obligations in her quest for re-election as sheriff of Cochise County. Then another incident happens in Cochise County where a car loaded with 20 illegal immigrants overturns and many are killed in the accident. And did I mention that all this happens over the Fourth of July holiday weekend? Ms. Jance continues to develop all the characters introduced in the series so far. However, even if you are new to this series, you should have no trouble picking up the story and the characters.
It seemed ironic to me that the general public of Cochise County cared more about the dogs who died in Carol Mossman's overheated trailer than the score of immigrants hurt or killed in a car accident. Not only was this novel a very enjoyable mystery, but the author's comments on "hoarding" and smuggling immigrants across the border illegally were good points.
With all that is going on in Joanna Brady's life, the next story in this series is bound to be another great read!
Another murder occurs on the same day involving the same gun and suddenly the investigation gets a lot more complicated than just the question of who would want to kill a down-on-her- luck animal lover. In the course of her investigation we learn about "hoarding", a compulsion to take in stray dogs and cats in order to "save" them usually brought on by childhood abuse. In addition to this crime, Joanna must deal with her re-election and the dirty dealings of her running mate, another crime involving a illegal immigrants, her pregnancy, and her on-going strained relationship with her mother. There is a lot of Joanna's plate, but she handles it with fortitude
J.A. Jance's books are always rich in characterization. Joanna has been a long journey since the beginning of the series and each of the characters continues to grow. Each book is a stand-alone novel and Jance takes quite a bit of time in the beginning of the novel explaining earlier events. This part of the book dragged a bit for me. After the first 100 pages the pace picked up considerably. Jance can always be counted on the write a compelling story.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by Fred Rayworth
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004 by Dale L. Jennings
I listened to the abridged audio CD version of this novel and it was so bad that I hardly wanted to finish it. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004
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!Published on Dec 30 2003 by Lish71
I enjoyed the way in which Jance wove social issues (animal hoarding, immigrant smuggling, etc.) into an entertaining story. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003 by Book Brain
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2003 by Mara
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2003
This was my first Joanna Brady novel and I am just disapointed. After about 150 pages I gave up and decided not to finish it. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by KAH