"As far as Renteria was concerned, the story seemed pretty straightforward. Phil shoots Jose Reyes; Christine bashes Phil's head in; Christine gets shipped off to the funny farm; end of story; two cases closed. What he needed was to find solid leads that would link the two men."
And Santa Cruz Sheriff Renteria isn't the only one determined to uncover answers to the latest crime spree to hit the area south of Tucson near the Mexican border. In this latest Ali Reynolds story, LEFT FOR DEAD captures the essence of current-day Arizona and the struggles of law enforcement to separate the illegal immigrants from the drug cartels and the regular, everyday evildoers. Somehow the good guys have to figure out how a brutally beaten young woman, a critically wounded police officer, and a dead postman in southern Arizona tie into a dead pimp in Phoenix and millionaire pervert in Fountain Hills.
"What is it that separates a good writer from a great writer, interesting books from excellent books? Jance has found the secret."
Series star Ali Reynolds returns, but not as the police officer she recently trained to become. Just as she graduated from the Police Academy, Arizona faced a serious budget crunch and new officers were put on hold. Luckily for Ali, she was not desperate for a job because her cheating spouse died before he could change his will, and his substantial fortune went to her. Perfect poetic justice. So, while waiting to be able to use her police training, Ali serves as organizer for several charities and often gets involved in helping people like her former academy classmate, Jose Reyes, who was shot and left to die while making a traffic stop.
When Ali leaves her home in Sedona and heads down to Mercy Medical Center in Tucson, she is hoping to be able to help Jose's pregnant wife with their two little girls and investigate the events surrounding the shooting. At the hospital Ali runs into her old friend, Sister Anselm Becker, who is there as a patient advocate for a young woman who was left for dead in the desert and is still unconscious. As each of them starts investigating the details of the two incidents, they begin to put the pieces together and discover that there may be a connection.
Without wasting time or words, J.A. Jance moves the action along to its surprising and exciting conclusion. What is it that separates a good writer from a great writer, interesting books from excellent books? Jance has found the secret. By creating and developing memorable characters, using for a backdrop the environment that is familiar to her and letting her imagination develop complex plots, she has won millions of fans who can't wait to read her next book. Whether it is the Sheriff Joanna Brady or J.P Beaumont series, or a stand-alone novel, her books never disappoint. LEFT FOR DEAD is no exception.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on February 9, 2012