Rattlesnake Crossing Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1999
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Rattlesnake Crossing is J.A. Jance's sixth novel in the acclaimed Joanna Brady series (readers may also be familiar with her Seattle-based J.P. Beaumont series). Brady is no tough-talking V.I. Warshawski or Kat Colorado; her appeal lies in her willingness to admit that her Cochise County sheriff's uniform is often an uneasy fit. As the single mother of a young daughter, Brady is prey to the pain and loneliness that have resulted from her husband's brutal murder, and she struggles to prove to herself and others that she is capable of bringing a cold-blooded killer to justice.
When Clyde Philips, a local gun dealer, dies violently, his stock of high-powered assault weapons vanishes, and two sniper slayings follow soon after, suspicion falls upon Alton Hosfield, an embittered rancher at odds with the federal government, the environmentalists, and anyone else he sees as a threat to his isolation. Sheriff Brady, however, suspects that the solution may lie elsewhere, and her investigation takes her into the bizarre practices of a local resort whose appeal is equal parts New Age spiritualism, Native American pantheism, and cold-blooded materialism.
Jance has a talent for weaving prosaic threads into a gripping mystery narrative. As a result, Brady must--in addition to tracking a vicious killer--cope with the impossibly high standards of her insufferable mother; the spiteful comments of Marliss Shackleford, an old high school rival and current gossip columnist for the Bisbee Bee; and some rather unexpected news from Butch Dixon, her would-be ardent suitor. As with earlier Brady mysteries, the domestic context provides a deliciously ironic backdrop for the game of psychological cat-and-mouse being played in the Arizona desert. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"Yes, indeed, folks is droppin' like flies," a crotchety witness says to Sheriff Joanna Brady. "I don't remember us havin' this kind of murder problem back when we had a man for sheriff." A killer is loose in Cochise County, Ariz., and Brady is under pressure to stop the carnage. Her sixth adventure (following Skeleton Canyon, 1997) begins with the discovery of a gun dealer's body. His stock of high-powered weapons has disappeared, and some of the later murder victims appear to have been shot with big guns. They are also scalped, throwing suspicion on visitors at a quasi-dude ranch for Apache wannabes from Europe, who dress in Indian garb and live outdoors. Then an FBI profiler tells Brady that the scalping may provide trophies for a possible serial killer. On the personal front, the widowed sheriff finds her relationship deepening with Phoenix bar owner Butch Dixon, and she suffers with her dear friend, minister Marianne Maculyea, whose faith is tested when her adopted daughter falls gravely ill. Although Joanna's private life is central to this series and is, as usual, movingly portrayed, the sheer number of bodies piling up in this case gives her professional efforts considerably more dramatic impact than her personal considerations. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Jance starts a number of plot lines that go nowhere, as Kirkus explains. She focuses on the .50 caliber rifle, when the shootings could have been done by any rifle. She repeatedly raises the specter of a missing armory, which goes nowhere. There's no explanation of why a killer with several large rifles needs to borrow a deer rifle, or why the killer chooses to flee the area right as Brady discovers his identity.
Hopefully in future books Jance will avoid the cliches the Brady series is falling into, particularly the unnecessary detailing of the killing process.
I wasn't nuts about the serial killer plot in this book -- I identified this person the moment they made an appearance in the book by the "profile" similar to many on TV cop shows and movies. However, I suppose serial killers are everywhere.
Overall, the Joanna Brady series keeps my interest and I've read about nine books so far.
Most recent customer reviews
Every time I read J.A. Jance, I get this comfortable feeling, like I live in Arizona (though it is one of the few states I've never visited). Read morePublished on Dec 29 2001 by Paul Skinner
Ilived in Cochise County for 19 years. J.A.Jance discribes the area to a tee.Her stories blend in with the the way of life you will find in down there.Published on June 12 2000 by Cindy Romero
This was a first class "page turner". It seemed like you were right there with Joanna while she was conducting her investigations. It was exciting to read.Published on Aug. 30 1999