Book Review: Left for Dead by J.A. Jance

Left for Dead
J.A. Jance
Touchstone Books, February 2012
ISBN 9781451628586
Hardcover

With a complex plot and enough characters to fill an auditorium, J.A. Jance delivers another winner of a story set in Arizona’s desert. This one has a little bit of everything and you won’t know where you’re going next.

Officer Jose Reyes, making what he thinks is a routine traffic stop, is beaten and shot. His friend from the academy, Ali Reynolds learns of the crime and rushes to the hospital. Soon, she finds Jose and his wife under suspicion as drugs and money are found in both Jose’s car and house. At the hospital, Ali discovers another friend, counselor Sister Anselm, comforting a teenage prostitute who was found in the desert, tortured, beaten, and barely alive. Ali becomes involved with investigating both cases and danger stalks both victims as guilty parties try to cover up their crimes.

This is a character driven story with an intricate plot and plenty of each. The reader will enjoy in depth background on the various players while trying to figure out the connections between everybody. Passive readers need not open up the cover as this one keeps up the intrigue, delivers on the mystery, and keeps everyone trying to piece together the evidence.

Review written by Stephen L. Brayton, December 2011.
Author of Night Shadows and Beta.