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Monday, August 13, 2012
Judgment Call by J.A. Jance
Being a high school principal will kill you.
Or so it seems for Cochise County High School Principal Debra Highsmith in author J.A. Jance’s latest release, JUDGMENT CALL. When Highsmith’s body is found in the desert, a ripple effect begins that touches the lives of those around her and the sheriff’s family as well.
Sheriff Joanna Brady’s daughter, Jenny, finds the principal’s body. Jenny is also a student at Highsmith’s school. The investigation takes the sheriff into the world of students and parents on a different level than she’s experienced before. As the investigation continues dark secrets hidden for years begin to surface involving the victim, but also Sheriff Brady’s family.
When a second murder occurs, Sheriff Brady begins connecting the lives of several key players together. In addition, she learns new information about the former sheriff, her father, and what lead him to take the job. Her most disturbing find deals with his death.
Narrator Hillary Huber does a good job bringing the characters to life and giving each their own distinct voice. She brings the turmoil of Sheriff Brady forward playing off her strengths and weakness.
Author J. A. Jance mergers the professional and private life of her protagonist in a realistic way. Listeners/readers can feel when she is torn between the two roles she must play. In addition, the author’s detailed description of the beautiful landscape brings the setting to life making it a character in the story.
Joanna Brady is a strong protagonist making her way in a man’s world, but able to show her softer side where family is concerned. The supporting characters, especially Joanna’s mother, add a nice mix to the story.
JUDGMENT CALL is the 15th installment in the Brady Novel of Suspense series, but can be read (or listened to) on its own.
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