"Something's terribly wrong with this picture." Butch objected. "You save two kids and wing a triple murderer, but you're the one who's being investigated? It makes no sense."
"Thank you," Joanna said, smiling at his obvious outrage.
"You're welcome. See you when you get here. I'm not holding dinner."
Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady is blessed with a soul mate who is not only handsome and helpful but genuinely sensitive as well. With Sheriff Brady due to have her baby at any moment, how many men would be so supportive? Joanna needs all the support she can get in this latest series thriller by J.A. Jance.
Sheriff Brady's ever short-handed department is being stretched beyond its limits with the murder of an ex-convict who has been stalking a young woman, evidence of illegal dog fights in the desert, and multiple issues raised as undocumented aliens cross the nearby borders in droves. To add to these problems, her lead detective is dealing with possible prostate cancer, and her Animal Control Officer has been critically beaten and lies near death in the ICU. What else can happen? How about Butch's domineering parents parking their RV in the driveway to await the birth of their first grandchild?
Yet, with consistent ethical values, strong convictions and unrelenting police work, our heroine manages to make leads pay off even when they seem to be dead ends. Nothing is as it appears, and from the beginning Jance allows the reader to understand what the title means: DEAD WRONG seems to describe every lead and theory that the detectives come up with.
Never one to skimp on themes, the author also manages to address some controversial social and political issues with an even hand rather than inflammatory rhetoric. Jance has lived in the Southwest and has a feel for the country and its people that few others have mastered. She deftly combines ordinary human drama with the extraordinary drama of police work to provide a thoroughly satisfying tale.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on December 29, 2010