Top ten New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance brings us another mesmerizing thriller featuring Arizona Sheriff Joanna Brady as she searches for the brutal killer of a young girl. Brianna "Bree" O'Brien never returned from Skeleton Canyon. Someone brutally murdered the pretty, popular teenager who had stolen away under cover of darkness to rendezvous with her boyfriend. Perhaps youthful rage, jealousy and savage passion cost young Bree her life. Or maybe she stumbled onto something too dangerous to know. Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County knows only too well the pain of losing a loved one to violence. But she is disturbed by the O'Brien's insistence that Bree's boyfriend is responsible for their daughter's slaying. Joanna senses there are words not being spoken, and dark mysteries locked behind doors of the sprawling O'Brien family compound. But it is the strange disappearance of a good friend that is pulling Sheriff Brady ever closer to the lethal nest of lies, greed and secrets hiding in a desolate corner of the Arizona desert - where the next blood that feeds the parched, cracked earth could be her own.
Jance is an expert at writing rich mysteries filled with as much human decency as skullduggery. When high-school valedictorian Bree O'Brien is found dead in the southeastern Arizona mountains, suspicion falls on her boyfriend, Ignacio Ybarra, who refuses to explain his fresh cuts and bruises. But the case isn't that simple, as Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady learns in this fifth adventure (after Dead to Rights). Bree and Ignacio had been meeting secretly because her wealthy father hates Hispanics. When Ignacio is cleared, Joanna suspects that another case may be connected with the homicide. Someone has been smuggling Freon across the border, cashing in on high black-market prices for the refrigerant. Are Bree's parents involved And would any amount of smuggling money make them kill their own daughter Why did O'Brien hire an ex-cop with an unsavory past who often leered at Bree And why did Bree write in her journal, "My mother is a liar" Joanna tackles the cases while still coping with the loneliness of her recent widowhood and a startling personal revelation about her mother. This is a solid yarn with strong characters and a full palette of local color. Jance's regional knowledge runs deep, whether she writes about troubled Anglo-Hispanic relations along the border or the surprising power of Arizona thunderstorms. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Aug.) FYI: Skeleton Canyon will be simultaneously published with the mass market reprint of Dead to Rights. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
July 26, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Skeleton Canyon by J.A. Jance
HANDS ON her hips, youthful breasts outthrust beneath the bulk of her red-and-gray sweater, seventeen-year-old Roxanne Brianna O'Brien, captain of the Bisbee High School pep squad, tossed her long blond hair and led her six-member team in a strutting parade around the end of the football field.
On a clear crisp late-November night, this was the end of halftime festivities and the beginning of the third quarter in a hard-fought football game between two teams whose long-term rivalry stretched all the way back to 1906. A ragtag marching band ' comprised of mismatched players from both the Bisbee and Douglas music programs ' had just delivered a faltering, musically challenged performance. Now it was time for the uniformed yell squads of both schools to travel to opposite sides of the field. There each would give an obligatory and good-sportsmanlike cheer in front of the opposing team's fans.
The Bisbee Pumas might have been two touchdowns behind at the half, but there was no sign of that in the proud carriage of their cheerleaders as they marched down the sidelines toward the part of the bleachers reserved for visiting Douglas supporters.
At the fifty-yard line, Brianna, who much preferred her middle name to the old-fashioned Roxanne, glanced toward the reserved-seat section where her parents usually sat. David O'Brien's wheelchair was parked in the bottom aisle. As the cheerleaders paraded past out on the field, Bree noticed that her father's silvery-maned head was inclined toward his program, studying it with frowning concentration. Brianna hoped he'd raise his eyes and at least glance in her direction. She longed for some acknowledgment from her father, for some sign of parental pride or approval. As usual, David was too preoccupied with something else to bother noticing her.
The same did not hold true for Bree's mother, Katherine. She smiled and nodded encouragement as her daughter went by. Katherine's beaming pride and unfailing enthusiasm were almost as hard for Bree to handle as her father's studied indifference. Under the harsh glare of the ballpark's newly installed field lights, Bree was careful not to let the hurt show through. After all, to those around her ' fellow students who had elected her head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and the girl most likely to succeed ' Brianna O'Brien had it all ' money, looks, and brains. Brianna alone knew the hurt and disappointment that lurked behind those outward trappings of youthful success.