Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: Damage Control by J. A. Jance

On a beautiful sunny day in the Coronado National Monument, an elderly couple's car goes off the side of a mountain and into oblivion. The terrain is so rocky that a helicopter must be flown in to retrieve the bodies, and to make matters worse, a thunder-storm is looming on the horizon. Hours later and miles away, the subsiding rain reveals gruesome evidence: two trash bags containing human remains.

It's just another day in the life of Cochise County sheriff Joanna Brady.

Back at home, Joanna has a newborn baby, a teenage daughter, a writer husband, and a difficult mother to deal with. But in the field, it turns out that she has much more on her hands. The remains are those of a handicapped woman who had wandered away from a care facility with a suspicious track record. Another resident, with whom the woman may have been involved, has also been reported missing.

Meanwhile, a note is found in the glove compartment of the car lying twisted down the mountainside, stating that its occupants intended to take their own lives. Yet a contradictory autopsy report surfaces, and when the deceased's two daughters show up to feud over their inheritance, Joanna knows there is more to this case than just a suicide pact.

And she will go all out to find the truth—no matter where it leads.

I have been reading this series for quite a while and always enjoy it. Joanna Brady is a strong character and does a very good job of balancing being a wife and mother with a demanding job.

This installment in the series was interesting because Joanna had so much going on. There were multiple cases taking her attention, and her mother was even moodier and more unpredictable than usual.

This is by far my favorite Jance series. I have only read one book in the Beaumont series and it was ok, but I haven't taken the time to go back and read them all. The Ali Reynolds series is the weakest of the three, in my opinion. I have read all of them so far, but have not been impressed and don't know if I will continue reading the series. Joanna Brady is a character to check out though! 4 stars

Order Damage Control


Sandy Nawrot said...

I went on a J.A. Jance tear a few years back, and I think it was the Beaumont series that I was reading (male character, wife had cancer?). I really liked it, and thought I should pick up the Brady series, I just haven't had time. It is usually a lifetime commitment for me when I start these things!

Cathy said...

You and I seem to be in total agreement on Jance's series. I love the Brady series, read one or two of the Beaumont series but wasn't impressed enough to continue, and the Reynolds series? I read the first one and have left it alone ever since. It's definitely the weakest one. Did you know that Jance wrote 3 or 4 other mysteries set in Tucson that center around another group of characters? Those are good!

Melissa said...

Sandy: I have a couple of the Beaumont books and will have to give them another try.

Cathy: For some strange reason I keep reading the Reynolds series...I will look for her other books though. Those sound good!