Desert Heat | by J A Jance

This was the first in the Joanna Brady series set in Bisbee, Arizona. Having read all the others, this one was rarely available, one knows the eventual outcome but not the details. Joanna is still working for an insurance company and on the night of her 10th anniversary her sheriff’s deputy husband, Andy, is late home. He had arranged a duplicate of their wedding night with an overnight stay at a local hotel. Joanna did not start to worry about him until he was over two hours late and no one had seen him since he had left the station.

Taking matters into her own hands she drives out of their ranch to try to find him only to get to the scene of what looked like a car accident. The car is Andy’s. Joanna arrives and her husband is close to death. He had been shot and locked out of his car. This is really where the story begins. Why was he shot? Who shot him? There are rumours of suicide and drug running associated with his name which she is adamant about clearing. We meet the people in Joanna’s life who are so much a part of all the other stories and the town. Her relationships with her mother, her in-laws as well as her best friend are established and one can’t help feeling like they know all these characters. I love the way Jance writes and am immediately captivated as soon as I open one of her books. If you haven’t read any of her Brady mysteries this is the one to start with but there is no harm if you haven’t as it sets a lot of the ground work for who Joanna is and why she does what she does.

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