|Remains of Innocence|
Published July 22, 2014; William Morrow
Genre: mystery, suspense
Lisa Matchett hasn't seen her penny pinching mother, a hoarder in the worst possible way, in about eleven years. When Selma is taken to hospice, Lisa cleans out the house and discovers her mother's secret.
But others begin to kill for this secret, and Lisa rides with truckers to hide her trail to her brother in Arizona.
Her story later links up with Sheriff Joanna Brady in Arizona who is solving the mystery of Junior, a man found dead at the bottom of a deep cave with the bodies of pets around him. Was Junior a torturer of animals, and did someone push him to his death?
I loved the two different stories - a suspenseful trip with Lisa fleeing the bad guys, and the mystery of Junior and the dead and injured pets. The separate events come together well and in an unusual way. The plot of this novel is fantastic and as a mystery lover, I really enjoyed the action and the suspense, the detailed investigation techniques that Sheriff Brady and her team follow.... until, that is, I got to the very end.
The ending made me want to have an existential and theological discussion with the author Jance about evil and the nature of evil. The motive she gives for one of the murders was incomplete and that spoiled the book for me. Rating? Five stars for the suspense, two stars for the unsettling and, in my view, unresolved ending to one of the murders.
About the author: J. A. Jance is bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont mystery series, the Joanna Brady series, three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family, and Edge of Evil. Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.