Missing And Endangered – JA Jance

The holidays are fast approaching and Joanna Brady’s eldest daughter, Jennifer is finishing up her term Northern Arizona University. Jenny’s roommate Beth is a freshman, and still new to campus life, having led a rather sheltered existence at home where her domineering parents shun all things technological. But on campus, she quickly takes advantage of all technology has to offer, purchasing a smart phone and computer, and finds herself a boyfriend on a dating site. After a huge row with her parents during Thanksgiving break, Beth has no intentions of returning home for the holidays, and Jenny invites her to spend Christmas at the Brady Ranch. 

Meanwhile, Joanna has just received word that one of her long time deputies is set to retire for medical reasons, and another has just been shot and badly wounded while trying to serve a protective order. Pushing Jenny and her roommate to the back of her mind, she sets out to check on her deputy and to visit the crime scene, only to learn that her nemesis, Deputy Dave Newton of the DPS has been assigned to investigate the officer-involved shooting, effectively removing Joanna form the investigation.  As her deputy fights for his life in a Tucson hospital, Joanna calls in favors as she and her team try to quietly discover what really happened at the scene… 

Back in Flagstaff, Jenny & Beth prepare for finals, and Beth tries to balance her school life with her security cyber expert boyfriend, Ron Cameron, who has to call her late at night because of his super-secret job in DC.  As their phone relationship grows, he convinces her to send nude photos of herself. Then after a strange argument, she breaks it off with him, only to begin receiving lurid texts from both strangers and classmates. In horror, she learns that Ron has somehow shared those private pictures with hundreds of people. 

As Jenny helps Beth pick up the pieces, Joanna learns of the situation and gets the FBI involved. But this predator is still watching the girls, determined to destroy Beth for defying him – and now he has his sights set on Jenny as well…

I have read (to my knowledge, anyway) every book that JA Jance has written, so I was delighted when William Morrow/Harpers Collins selected me to receive an advance reader copy of her latest Joanna Brady novel. I settled in eagerly to read, and as always, Ms Jance does not disappoint! This one kept me up well into the night, and I was determined to finish it in one sitting! If you’re a fan of her series, this book will not disappoint – and if you’re new to her writings, this is a great place to start, as each can be read as a stand-alone.  Bet ya can’t read just one though!! 

Dying To Be Her – Gregg Olsen

Olivia Grant is a foreign exchange student from England, who winds up in rainy Port Gamble, Washington, far removed from the Hollywood type people she had hoped to meet. On the fateful night that opens this novel, she’s attending a Halloween party at the home of Brianna Connors, while Brianna’s Dad is out of town. Feeling a bit under the weather from whatever she’s consumed, she curls up in Brianna’s bed to take a nap, only to wake to find an assailant standing over her, quickly becoming a homicide victim. 

Taylor & Hayley Ryan, twin sisters with very unique extrasensory abilities, are both awakened by the sense that something is very wrong. As they communicate their concerns with one another telepathically, they both agree that they hadn’t felt something like this in quite a while. It’s not until the next day that they receive a text message from their friend Beth, providing them with the shocking details of Olivia’s stabbing. 

When Annie Garnett, the local police chief, arrives on the scene, she’s astonished at the lack of empathy displayed by the spoiled, rich Brianna Connors and her equally spoiled boyfriend Drew, as they lament their party being spoiled by a murder. She’s also disgusted when she receives word of Brianna & Drew being seen shopping at Victoria’s Secret the day after the murder. Brianna is also using the murder to boost her own notoriety on social media.  Then, Brianna and Drew disappear. Meanwhile, a class assignment has the twins digging through boxes of old family photos, where they find old newspaper clippings that tell a very different story of past events that what they’ve come to know…

As Taylor & Hayley do their own investigating into events, both past and present, they begin receiving texts from an unknown person they deem ‘Text Creeper’. Emboldened by their discoveries, they plan to meet ‘Text Creeper’ in a public setting, instead they end up fleeing for their lives – but at the same time, the girls make a startling discovery…

As with all of Brian Olsen’s books, this one grabbed my attention from the first page and didn’t let me go, with me frantically flipping pages into the early AM hours. I’ve read many of his novels over the years but had totally missed this one – and the one that precedes it, which reportedly involves many of these same characters. This is be easily read as a standalone, especially if you don’t know otherwise! But, I’ll be heading to Amazon to check out the twins past exploits in just a second!  

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

The Wife Who Knew Too Much – Michele Campbell

Thirteen years ago, young Tabitha Girard chanced to meet Connor Ford – she, a ‘pool girl’ working at the local country club, and his family were members of the same club. Being worlds apart economically, they had nothing in common, but young love was not to be denied, and they carried on a whirlwind summer romance until Connor’s grandmother caught them together and angrily sent Tabitha on her way. 

Now, Connor is making headlines as the husband of the infamous Nina Levitt, so Tabitha is stunned to see him walk into the Baldwin Grill where she’s a waitress – even more so when the hostess seats him in her section.  Shocked and seemingly elated to see her again, Connor asks Tabitha is she’ll meet after work to catch up on things. Turns out he’s in town investigating a potential business venture and is staying at the home of a friend – a night of talking reveals that being the husband of a famous woman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Tabitha and Connor start their relationship once more.

As Tabitha waits impatiently on the sidelines, Connor desperately searches for a way out of his marriage without forfeiting all of the money that he’s married into – until the fateful night after a 4th of July party finds Nina floating in her pool, a presumptive victim of suicide…leaving Connor free to be with Tabitha. But an evolving set of circumstances lead police to re-open the investigation…with the suspicion that Nina was murdered. 

As Tabitha – now Tabitha Ford – tries to adjust to the jet setting life Connor leads, he is equally determined to remain above suspicion. But then Nina’s diary turns up – and its’ words leave Tabitha speechless – and turn her world upside down. Now she must discover if anyone in the household can be trusted – or if her whole world has become a well-orchestrated lie…

This is one of those books that hooks you right from page one and keeps you frantically turning pages just to find out if you’re right (or in my case wrong!) about the roles of each character you meet inside the cover. This one kept me up well into the night (yes, I know, many of my books do) because it was just that good!!  Highly recommend!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

A Bad Day for Sunshine – Darynda Jones

I have to preface this review by saying that this book was amazing! I initially received it as an advanced read offering from the publisher and downloaded it without a second thought and promptly forgot about it– hence my super late review.  As I cruised through the pages today, completely unable to put it down, I could only shake my head in disbelief that it had gotten by me for so long…I laughed, I cried, turned pages as fast as I could, and when finished, I immediately hit up Amazon, hoping desperately that the second book had already been released – but alas, I have a few more months to wait! Darn it!! 

Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown to begin her new job as elected Sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico. Interestingly enough, she never applied for such a job, and has no idea how her parents not only engineered her application for the position and ran her campaign,  let alone ensuring her victory. But none-the-less, she has returned to her roots, with her 14-year-old daughter Aurora, in tow and is preparing for her first day on the job. 

Del Sol is a quirky little town, with an elderly flasher named Doug, an ongoing feud over a rooster named Puff Daddy and a woman who bakes muffins that foretell calamity and inspire dread whenever a fresh batch appears at the station.  But Del Sol hasn’t always been this calm… Years ago, as a teenager, Sunshine was the victim of a kidnapping for ransom, and was inexplicably dropped off injured (and unbeknownst at the time pregnant), with no recollection of her ordeal, or the weeks preceding it and no clues as to her abductor.  

Del Sol is also home to the Ravinders’, a bootlegging, moonshine making family that have been the bane of Sunshine’s existence since Hailey Ravinder tried to stab her with a pencil when she was three and stole her bicycle years later. Levi, Hailey’s brother, has always been a source of trepidation for Sunshine as well, even as she still can’t quite shake her teenaged crush on him.

Summer’s first day at the office starts off with a big batch of muffins, an accident, and the reports of a missing teen, which immediately brings Sunshine back into the cloudy memories of her abduction. Shortly thereafter, she receives a letter from the missing teen herself, thanking Sunshine for her daughters’ friendship if she’s killed –which details a premonition that she’s had as a child of her abduction. Determined to find her alive, and to learn the circumstances of her own fate all those years ago, Sunshine and her deputies begin to investigate. 

Meanwhile Auri’s first day of school has been anything but mundane. Her new friend Sybil seems to have blown her off after promising to show her the ropes, and a recent party with a confiscated keg, has earned Auri the nickname ‘narc’, even though she didn’t say a word. Added to that, she’s earned the ire of a classmate, who seems out to get her. To make things worse, she’s assigned a project with the quietest kid in class, Cruz, whom she can’t quite figure out. 

And so begins the adventures of Sunshine and Aurora and as they settle into their lives in Del Sol, New Mexico, where nothing is quite as it seems and yet the danger is quite real – and closer to them than they could possibly realize..

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!