Book Review: Second Watch by J. A. Jance—and a Giveaway

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Title: Second Watch
Author: J. A. Jance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

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Second WatchSecond Watch
J. A. Jance
William Morrow, September 2013
ISBN 978-0-06-213467-7
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Getting old is hell. J. P. Beaumont is finally taking some time off to have knee-replacement surgery. But instead of taking his mind off work, the operation plunges him into one of the most perplexing and mind-blowing mysteries he’s ever faced.

A series of dreams takes him back to his early days on the force with the Seattle PD, and then even earlier, to his days in Vietnam, reminding him of people and events he hasn’t thought about in years. Are they just drug-induced hallucinations? Beaumont isn’t so sure. When tugging on those threads from long ago leads to present-day murders, Beau’s suspicions are confirmed. Some bodies from the second watch just won’t stay buried.

A masterful demonstration of J. A. Jance’s superb craftsmanship, Second Watch is a thought-provoking novel that is also a poignant look at one of the most painful and divisive moments in our history—Vietnam—and a reminder of the staggering cost of war and the debts we owe to those who served then . . . and those who do now.

Our favorite authors are often those who seldom, or never, let us down. Once again, J. A. Jance has not let me down.

One of the appealing things about J. P. Beaumont is that we’ve come to know him so well over the course of twenty books and, now, in the twenty-first, we get an even more in-depth look at his past and, in the end, understand him as never before. Those of us who lived through the Vietnam era can feel a true connection and re-live those times as well as Beau’s earlier days on the Seattle PD Homicide Squad.

Undergoing knee surgery means taking some pretty heavy-duty drugs and the resulting dreams (hallucinations?) take Beau back to those days when he did his first investigation, into the death of a girl named Monica. That case is still unsolved after all these years and the memories compel Beau to take a fresh look at the old case with new technology. While he’s delving in to this old mystery, another old memory comes to the surface, that of his Army friend, Lennie (Doug) Davis, who died in Vietnam. With a little help from Sheriff Joanna Brady, Beau decides to look up Doug’s’s fiancee, Bonnie, to let her know what he meant to Beau and finds more than he ever could have foreseen.

All these years later, there is still a lot of emotion involved with the subject of Vietnam and some of the wounds haven’t yet really healed—witness the uproar during John Kerry’s presidential campaign. I lost friends there as did so many of us from that period and Ms. Jance clearly has strong feelings about it, too. I really appreciate the way she focuses on the people and how the war affected them rather than the politics. Her approach brings a humanity to a still painful time. That, coupled with an absorbing and dangerous investigation into a very cold case, puts this entry in the J. P. Beaumont series at the top of the list for me.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2013.

About the Author

J. A. JanceA voracious reader, J. A. Jance knew she wanted to be a writer from the moment she read her first Wizard of Oz book in second grade. Always drawn to mysteries, from Nancy Drew right through John D. McDonald’s Travis Magee series, it was only natural that when she tried her hand at writing her first book, it would be a mystery as well. J. A. Jance went on to become the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family, and Edge of Evil. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Catch Up With the Author:

To enter the drawing for a print copy of Second Watch
by J. A. Jance, leave a comment below. The winning
name will be drawn Saturday evening, September 21st
and the prize will be sent out at the end of the tour.
Open to US residents only.

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Book Blitz: Contrition by Lee Strauss—and a Giveaway

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Title: Contrition 
Author: Lee Strauss
Series: Perception #3
Publication date: September 26th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Synopsis:

Zoe, Noah and the other plane crash survivors
are stranded in the Arizona desert.

They all have secrets,
and reasons to hide.

But they’re not alone.

Cyborg soldiers.

War.

Humans and humanoids.

Who can be trusted?

Zoe’s life is in danger.

Noah must make an impossible choice.

Will their love survive their brokenness?

Will the world as they know it end before they can find out?

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Previous books in the series:

Perception 2Volition 2

An Excerpt from Contrition

“What was Tucson, like?” I asked. It was code for were there pictures of my face?

Noah stared at the ground. “It was busy, just like any other city. Lots of people. Traffic. Noise.”

“And…”

His eyes caught mine. “And lots of billboards. They’re still after us, Zoe. The reward for your return has been upped to two million.”

My heart whooshed. “And you?”

“The same. But the president doesn’t care if I’m brought in alive.”

Fear gripped my throat. “You can’t go into Tucson, anymore, Noah.”

He brushed it off. “Ah, the picture of me makes me look like I’m a twelve year-old boy. I didn’t get a second glance.”

“It’s true,” Taylor said. “Your photos look hot, but his, meh.”

ContritionI laughed at Taylor, and he grinned back at me before disappearing into the tech cave. I watched Noah as he unloaded the last of the items from the buggy. He caught me staring, and I glanced away. My shoes were suddenly very interesting. I dug at the sand with my toe. I casually looked up again from under my lashes. Noah’s eyes were on me now. I stayed locked on his gaze. What is he thinking? Did he feel the pull of attraction I felt? Did the longing for something more make his soul ache like mine did?

And if so, would he ever give into it again?

Sweat dripped between my breasts and down my spine. I felt dizzy and slid to the ground with a thump. Thankfully, the others were all busy focused on other things and didn’t notice. I held my chest, willing my heart to slow.

Something was wrong with me.

I didn’t know what, but I should be stronger. I should actually be the healthiest. Well, along with Taylor, though technically I’d been a GAP for longer.

When my heart calmed, I reached into my bag for a “clean” shirt and mentioned to Hannah that I was going to the stream to freshen up. The sun was low on the horizon, and I wanted to make it back before it got dark.

I’d collected the soap and shampoo on my way out of the cave looking forward to the shock of cold water. My hair hung in greasy strands, long enough now to tie back at least. I removed the tie, along with my clothes, and slipped in.

The water was strangely warm. Something was weird, but I wasn’t going to complain just yet. I’d tell Taylor when I got back. I made good use of the soap and was about to reach for the shampoo when I heard movement.

“Knock, knock.”

I startled at the voice. “Noah?”

“Sorry, I didn’t know you were here.”

So, now you do. Why are you just standing there, staring? I was fully aware that, though submerged, I was naked. Noah’s eyes zeroed on mine, and I could sense the debate going on in his head. He wanted to stay.

Suddenly, all the oxygen felt like it was sucked out of the cave.

I took a chance. “Would you… like to join me?”

“Yes,” he said, “against my better judgment.”

“If it helps, I want you to.”

“It helps.”

About the Author

Lee StraussLee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/elle_strauss to find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at http://www.ellestraussbooks.com

Author Links:

Website  //  Goodreads

Facebook  //  Twitter

                                      

Two chances to win!

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(1) Leave a comment below and you might win an
ebook copy of Contrition by Lee Strauss. The winning
name will be drawn on Saturday evening, September 21st,
and the prize will be sent after October 7th.

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(2) To try for the drawing for the grand prize, enter here.

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