Aug 29, 2014

Book Review: Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance


Remains of Innocence
Title: Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady #16) by J. A. Jance
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.

Synopsis:

Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together. J. A. Jance’s tale of suspense brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest's beauty and mystery.
An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers that her mother was hiding a secret.
Liza flees dangerous pursuers on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee.  Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out. (publisher)

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.
Thanks to Partners in Crime Book Tours and the publisher for a review ARC of this book. Visit the tour schedule for other reviews.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this latest Joanna Brady mystery with us. Sounds like a very interesting read, especially the ending!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this mystery, Harvee. It sounds intense.

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  3. I have a copy of this one myself. It sounds good but to bad about the ending.

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