J. A. Jance ~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Cold Betrayal: An Ali Reynolds Novel (Ali Reynolds Series)  
J.A. Jance
Touchstone
Hardcover
978‑1476745046
****1/2

     In J.A. Jance's latest Ali Reynolds thriller, former reporter and unofficial detective Ali gets a call to arms by her friend, patient advocate Sister Anselm, when a young woman is hit by a car on a deserted highway in a blizzard and hospitalized. The pregnant young woman is clearly abused, revealing evidence of wide‑reaching abuse of young women in The Family, an isolated, polygamous commune in Arizona that may be connected to a decade old Jane Doe murder. She also has to help her daughter‑in‑law's grandmother, Betsy Peterson, who is being targeted by someone in her small community.
     Cold Betrayal is fast‑paced and enthralling. The institutionalized abuse of women at the hands of The Family can’t help but evoke righteous anger in the reader and a need to see justice done on their behalf and also for an elderly person being preyed on by the unscrupulous.
     Jance’s skillful writing takes the reader along for the ride with Ali and her ensemble, including the fantastic Sister Anselm. The story starts in an intriguing way that keeps the reader captivated, and the suspense doesn’t wane until a satisfying conclusion. Cold Betrayal is a recommended addition to an excellent suspense series.
Danielle Hill



Moving Target: A Novel of Suspense (Ali Reynolds Series)  
J.A. Jance
Touchstone Books
Hardcover
978‑1476745008
****1/2


     Moving Target marks former reporter Ali Reynolds' latest adventures in crime‑solving.
     Ali is two weeks away from her wedding to her computer security guru fiancé, B. Accompanying her property manager and friend Leland to England to a reunion with his family after a near‑lifetime estrangement, Ali solves a decades' long murder mystery.
     On the home front, B asks for her help when a young man with incredible computer skills that landed him in a juvenile detention facility is severely burned under suspicious circumstances. He also recruits Ali's tough‑as‑nails friend Sister Anselm to help the boy when whoever burned him seems determined to harm his family as well unless they get what they want from him. Ali has two mysteries to solve, but she’s more than capable of the task, especially with the help of friends.
     Moving Target has a momentum that more than lives up to its name. The writing is enthralling and entertaining, and the plot has a story that keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the page. The mystery is well‑written with bread crumbs of clues leading to a satisfying conclusion. Ali is an engaging lead character, surrounded by equally likable secondary, recurring characters. Recommended to mystery fans.
Danielle Hill


Left for Dead: A Novel (Ali Reynolds Series)
J.A. Jance
Touchstone
Hardcover
978‑1451628586
****1/2


     Left for Dead is the seventh book in the Ali Reynolds modern day mystery series set in and around Phoenix, Arizona. Ali gets a call about her police academy friend Jose Reyes getting shot and critically injured in a routine traffic stop. It turns out that the Sheriff's department where he works believe that he was shot due to his involvement in drug trafficking. At the same time, Ali's friend, Sister Anselm, a patient advocate, gets a call about a young woman found brutalized and barely alive in the desert near the Mexico border. It turns out, she and Jose are in the same I.C.U, unit and hospital, and the friends reach out to help both victims. Conspiracy involving the Mexican drug cartel violence seems likely with catastrophic results for the young deputy and his pregnant wife and two young children.
     Left for Dead is an excellent, fast‑moving, well‑plotted mystery novel in which the author effectively ties together two seemingly unrelated crimes. Ali Reynolds and Sister Anselm make a great crime‑solving team, and the cast of secondary characters makes this a satisfying and engrossing read. Highly recommended to crime/mystery readers.
Danielle Hill