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Book Review: Desert Heat feature (image)

Book Review: Desert Heat by J.A. Jance

by Yvonne Schneider, Books n Treasures, Show Low

Desert Heat is one of many novels written by J.A. Jance. Ms. Jance was born in South Dakota, brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, and now lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

In the beginning we find Joanna Brady on her porch in southeastern Arizona waiting for her husband Andy to come home. Andy is a full-time deputy for the Cochise County Sheriff’s department. He is also running for election to become the next sheriff. Today is Joanna and Andy’s tenth year wedding anniversary. Andy tells Joanna to be ready to celebrate and stay overnight at a hotel when he arrives home. Joanna’s mother Eleanor is already at their house staying overnight to care for their 9 year old daughter Jenny. But where is Andy?

When Andy is almost three hours late, Joanna checks with the Sheriff’s department to see if they have any info. One of Andy’s best friends in the department, Ken Galloway, tells Joanna that Andy left at 5:00 in a definite hurry. More worried than ever Joanna puts on her ranch boots and Andy’s jacket and goes to search for him. Her dog, Sadie, races alongside the car as she heads over the third of a series of one lane bridges, over several washes.  She sees the moonlight shine off of something in the wash below and stops to investigate. Joanna stares down into the sand below and recognizes Andy’s Bronco. Shouting Andy’s name as Sadie goes down to investigate, Joanna hears a low moan. Petrified she climbs down the embankment and discovers Andy face down in the sand. With amazing strength Joanna turns Andy over and discovers a long line of blood below his beltline. “Oh God” she exclaims, “help me”!

What follows is Joanna’s panic and follow through to get the paramedics called to respond. Her ability to stay firm in her beliefs about her husband, despite others, helps her solve the mystery of what happened to Andy and subsequent problems that arise. I found the book to be a good mystery that has twists and turns on every path.

Books ‘n Treasures is located at 1151 E Deuce of Clubs in Show Low. The store carries used books, books by local authors, a large collection of comics and cards, jewelry, and handmade items by local artists. The store’s telephone number is (928) 532-5533. We are open Monday thru Friday from 9 to 5 and Saturday 9 to 4. Come in and enjoy our ever expanding non-fiction area.