The incomparable J.A. Jance returns with a powerhouse tale of suspense: a return to the characters from her New York Times bestseller, Edge of Evil, that reveals the darkness at the heart of promises unfulfilled and danger unrelenting....
WEB OF EVIL
The highway from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs desert is parched, unforgiving, and deadly. In the suffocating stillness of a car trunk, a man -- his mouth and hands bound with tape -- waits to learn his fate. Fortunately for him, he'll never know. What possible enemy could be bitter enough to commit such a heinous crime? And when will the monster make another move?
Ali Reynolds is traveling that same blistering, lonesome highway, looking forward to putting her past behind her. She'd left Los Angeles for the home comforts of Sedona, Arizona, and the satisfaction of a blog, cutlooseblog.com. But her cheating husband is in a hurry for a divorce; his very young and very pregnant fiancée has a wedding planned for the next day. And the television network that wrongfully dismissed Ali for the sole sin of being over forty will face her in court as well. So Ali must return to the scene of those crimes. As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, she thanks goodness it's no longer her job to report the news. Until she finds out the news is her own.... For the victim is Ali's cheating husband, and soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.
Web of Evil gives us J. A. Jance at her most masterful in a twisted and lethal drama of heart-pounding suspense that asks the question: If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, just what punishment could that fury unleash?
At the start of bestseller Jance's uninspired second Ali Reynolds thriller (after Edge of Evil), Ali's husband, Paul Grayson, is killed on the eve of their divorce-by a train that hits the car where he's tied up in the trunk somewhere near Palm Springs, Calif. Ali, Paul's legal beneficiary, becomes the chief murder suspect. A popular blogger and former Los Angeles TV news anchor who's suing the station where she used to work for wrongful dismissal, Ali initiates her own investigation, enlisting the help of her mother, grown son Chris and high school friend Dave Holman, a homicide detective in Sedona, Ariz., where Ali now lives. In a series of clumsy plot developments involving Paul's fianc�e, April Gaddis, and April's greedy mother, Monique Ragsdale, Ali learns that Paul was financing a performance variety of the sumo sudoku puzzle fad. Full of endless blogs and superficial characters, this one will disappoint fans of Jance's expertly written and paced Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont mysteries. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 25, 2007
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Excerpt from Web of Evil by J.A. Jance
When the man opened his eyes, it was so dark that at first he thought they were still closed. So he tried again, but nothing changed. It was dark -- a hot black stifling darkness that seemed to suck the breath out of him. He sensed movement, heard the whine of tires on pavement, but he had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten there. He tried to move his legs but couldn't. They were jammed up under his belly in a space that was far too small, and they seemed to be tied together somehow.
His hands were stuck behind him, shoved up against something hard. After several minutes of struggling he was finally able to shift his body enough to free them. He was stunned to discover that they, too, had been bound together in the same manner his legs were. The combination of their being tied too tight and being stuck under his body had cut off the circulation. At first his hands were nothing more than a pair of useless and inextricably connected dead-weight cudgels. After a few moments the blood returned to his fingers in a rush of needle-and-pin agony.
As his senses gradually reasserted themselves, he realized that the rough surface under his cheek was carpet of some kind, and from somewhere nearby came the distinctive smell of new rubber -- a spare tire. That meant he was in the trunk of someone's vehicle being taken God knows where. He tried to shout, but of course he couldn't do that, either. His mouth was taped shut. All that emerged from his throat was a guttural groan.
What was it you were you supposed to do if you found yourself trapped in a vehicle like that? Kick out the taillights, hang an arm out the hole, and signal for help? But he couldn't kick anything. He couldn't move his legs, and his bound hands were still useless.
As the man gradually understood the seriousness of his predicament, his heart beat faster while his breath quickened to short panicky gasps. For a while he was afraid he was going to pass out again, but he fought it -- fought to bring his breathing back under control. Fought to concentrate. What the hell was happening? Where was he? Who was doing this? And why?