Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady’s professional and personal lives collide when her college-age daughter is involved in a missing persons case in this evocative and atmospheric mystery in J. A. Jance’s New York Times bestselling suspense series, set in the beautiful desert country of the American Southwest.
When Jennifer Brady returns to Northern Arizona University for her sophomore year, she quickly becomes a big sister to her new roommate, Beth Rankin, a brilliant yet sheltered sixteen-year-old freshman. For a homeschooled Beth, college is her first taste of both freedom and unfettered access to the internet, and Jenny is concerned that she’s too naïve and rebellious for her own good.
Her worries are well-founded because one day Beth vanishes, prompting Jenny to alert campus authorities, local police, and her mom, Sheriff Joanna Brady—who calls in a favor. Beth is found, but Jenny’s concern has unwittingly put her in the crosshairs of a criminal bent on revenge.
With Christmas vacation approaching, and Beth at war with her parents, Jenny invites Beth to the shelter of the Brady home. While Joanna is sympathetic, she’s caught up in a sensitive case—an officer-involved shooting that has placed the lives of two young children in jeopardy—leaving her stretched thin to help a fragile young woman recently gone missing and endangered.
Sometimes it is through necessity that the best experiences are born. Such is the career of author J. A. Jance, who after many years of wanting to become a writer, found her way to that end. However, it took a lot if sacrifice and detours before she finally became the writer she always wanted to be.
Upon being denied admittance into a creative writing class by a professor who thought women belonged at home or in teaching, she gave up and married a young man who aspired to be another Faulkner or Hemingway. The only similarities to those writers was his love for alcohol. He became a severe alcoholic and proclaimed to his wife, whom he knew wanted a writing career, that he would be the only writer in that family. She grew weary of his addiction, and divorced him just two years before he died at a very young age. Jance had been writing when he was away or asleep, but she now had to find a way to support her children as a single mother. She spent her days selling insurance and her nights writing......many times writing all night. After the disappointment of not having her first book published, her agent advised her that she might be best at writing fiction. She followed that advice, and has written 22 Detective Beaumont books, 17 Joanna Brady books, and 10 Ali Reynolds books. There were also four thrillers added to the body of work.
Jance says that one of the best parts of writing is hearing from fans that her books have helped many as they were going through illness, or were sitting with a loved one who was going through difficult times. She says........"it gratified me to know that by immersing themselves in my stories, people are able to set their own lives aside and live and walk in someone else's shoes. Jance feels that she is doing the best job that she can at the best job in the world.