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A prisoner languishes in a Phoenix jail cell, accused of brutally slaying his estranged wife. No one believes the man is innocent, except the new female sheriff of Cochise County, in town for a crash course in police training. Joanna Brady is out of her jurisdiction—and possibly in over her head. For a human monster is on the prowl, hiding the grisly evidence of his horrific crimes in the vast emptiness of the Arizona desert. And an impromptu investigation, with no official sanction and no back up, is drawing a cold, ingenious serial killer much too close to Brady for comfort—and, worse still, closer to her little girl.

Topics: Serial Killers, Kidnapping, Sheriffs, Police, Women Detectives, Stalkers, Arizona, Suspenseful, and Series

Published: HarperCollins on Jan 1, 1995
ISBN: 9780061751790
List price: $6.99
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This was pretty good. Here we have a woman acting with sense. Her husband is a cop killed in the line of duty. So she runs for the office of county Sheriff and wins. She then goes off to a 6-week training course in Phoenix. She has to leave her kid, but will see her over Thanksgiving. Here she meets another woman cop and they become tentative friends. Through this new friend and a plea from a man’s mother, Joanna gets involved in the murder of Sheila Grehalva. It’s obvious that her husband killed her. Too obvious. And the same has been happening to a lot of women around the state and in other states. The women killed have all sworn out complaints against abusive husbands. So of course those men are looked at as suspects and no one looks very hard for anyone else who might have killed them. Enter Carol Strong, the investigating officer of the Grehalva case. Eventually, Joanna convinces her to look elsewhere for suspects and Carol admits to having assumed the case closed because the husband hit his wife once.Eventually, through the help of bartender Butch, they get onto a man who did some work as a process server. He’s also left some physical evidence behind and soon they’re on his trail. But of course, because Joanna’s kid and Grehalva’s kid is on the scene, they get used as pawns to help the killer get away. He almost does. Joanna shoots him in the leg as he tries to run away. Instead of giving up, he throws himself in front of a train and dies. The last thing he tells her is that there isn’t all the time in the world to find the kids.Butch remembers that the police training compound has a bomb shelter. But he doesn’t know exactly where it is. Eventually they find it and the girls. They also find the corpse of the killer’s mother. His first victim. His last was Joanna’s new friend and fellow student at the school.I liked how Butch and Joanna didn’t fling themselves into bed the moment sparks flew. She was sensible and he was understanding. I also liked the fact that she wasn’t portrayed as some vengeful wife, using her new job as a way to get back at criminals for the death of her husband.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Perhaps I was expecting more from a book with "Novel of Suspense" on the cover, or perhaps I've read too much freakish suspense like Stephen King for this book to be suspenseful for me. It read like a standard mystery, with a reluctant heroine trying to find the answers to someone else's problem. Its well written, though the final villan is not at all expected. The twist at the end I didn't care for, since I didn't feel mislead, I felt blindsided. I'm willing to say, because this is only the third book in the series, that perhaps I need to read more before I condemn the line, but right now, I'm not that filled with suspense by this book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Joanna is in her law enforcement training course in Phoenix when she becomes aware of a serial killer on the prowl and coming dangerously close to her.I didn't care for this book as much as the previous two. Joanna came across as a spoiled and ungracious brat at the holiday season. As far as the mystery, again, it isn't so much a mystery as a blank reveal at the end. I felt cheated out of a better thought out villain. However, where Jance shines is her characters, which were very interesting and make me want to keep reading. I must say, the hullabaloo in the hotel lobby was very distracting to me, a hotel worker. All I could think about were the poor hotel agents who would be blamed for everything and have to hand out discounts left and right even though it was in no way their fault. I can just hear the guest's complaining.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

This was pretty good. Here we have a woman acting with sense. Her husband is a cop killed in the line of duty. So she runs for the office of county Sheriff and wins. She then goes off to a 6-week training course in Phoenix. She has to leave her kid, but will see her over Thanksgiving. Here she meets another woman cop and they become tentative friends. Through this new friend and a plea from a man’s mother, Joanna gets involved in the murder of Sheila Grehalva. It’s obvious that her husband killed her. Too obvious. And the same has been happening to a lot of women around the state and in other states. The women killed have all sworn out complaints against abusive husbands. So of course those men are looked at as suspects and no one looks very hard for anyone else who might have killed them. Enter Carol Strong, the investigating officer of the Grehalva case. Eventually, Joanna convinces her to look elsewhere for suspects and Carol admits to having assumed the case closed because the husband hit his wife once.Eventually, through the help of bartender Butch, they get onto a man who did some work as a process server. He’s also left some physical evidence behind and soon they’re on his trail. But of course, because Joanna’s kid and Grehalva’s kid is on the scene, they get used as pawns to help the killer get away. He almost does. Joanna shoots him in the leg as he tries to run away. Instead of giving up, he throws himself in front of a train and dies. The last thing he tells her is that there isn’t all the time in the world to find the kids.Butch remembers that the police training compound has a bomb shelter. But he doesn’t know exactly where it is. Eventually they find it and the girls. They also find the corpse of the killer’s mother. His first victim. His last was Joanna’s new friend and fellow student at the school.I liked how Butch and Joanna didn’t fling themselves into bed the moment sparks flew. She was sensible and he was understanding. I also liked the fact that she wasn’t portrayed as some vengeful wife, using her new job as a way to get back at criminals for the death of her husband.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Perhaps I was expecting more from a book with "Novel of Suspense" on the cover, or perhaps I've read too much freakish suspense like Stephen King for this book to be suspenseful for me. It read like a standard mystery, with a reluctant heroine trying to find the answers to someone else's problem. Its well written, though the final villan is not at all expected. The twist at the end I didn't care for, since I didn't feel mislead, I felt blindsided. I'm willing to say, because this is only the third book in the series, that perhaps I need to read more before I condemn the line, but right now, I'm not that filled with suspense by this book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Joanna is in her law enforcement training course in Phoenix when she becomes aware of a serial killer on the prowl and coming dangerously close to her.I didn't care for this book as much as the previous two. Joanna came across as a spoiled and ungracious brat at the holiday season. As far as the mystery, again, it isn't so much a mystery as a blank reveal at the end. I felt cheated out of a better thought out villain. However, where Jance shines is her characters, which were very interesting and make me want to keep reading. I must say, the hullabaloo in the hotel lobby was very distracting to me, a hotel worker. All I could think about were the poor hotel agents who would be blamed for everything and have to hand out discounts left and right even though it was in no way their fault. I can just hear the guest's complaining.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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