J.A. Jance, Sentenced To Die Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of J.A. Jance, Sentenced To Die


J.A. Jance, Sentenced To Die - "Until Proven Guilty". ...”

Written on: 18/02/2005 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

J.A. Jance, Sentenced To Die - "Until Proven Guilty". The victim was no more than five years old; the weapon a Holly Hobbie gown used to strangulate Angela "Angel" Barstogi. Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont may have fifteen years of murder cases under his belt, but whenever a kid is involved it is tough. He and his partner, newcomer Ron Peters, concentrate on the mother Suzanne and the cult leader Pastor Michael Brodie of the Faith Tabernacle. However, as he struggles to understand how Michael has such control over the "sisters," Beau, as J.P. is called, is sidetracked when he meets and falls in love with Anne Corley. Though Beau does not come out as professional as he does in later tales because he spends the middle of the novel sniffing after Anne rather than the case, the partnering between he and Ron cleverly starts to form, storm, norm, and perform.

"Injustice for All". Beau was on vacation at Rosario resort when he heard the scream that sounded like a bad teen slasher flick. Ginger Watkins was sobbing while Sig Larson of the parole board who was attending a seminar lies dead on the beach. Though a hundred plus miles from his jurisdiction, Beau takes charge of the crime scene only to learn that the husband of his witness is Darrell Watkins, running for lieutenant governor and that the victim's wife accuses said witness of an affair with her now dead spouse. The vacation is shot to hell even though Beau is attracted to his star witness. In an early appearance, Beau conducts an intriguing investigation that is somewhat sidetracked by his attraction to Ginger, but he shows more of the depth of caring that highlights his later tales as he makes inquiries though he is outside his jurisdiction.

"Trial by Fury". The corpse of Mercer Island High School basketball coach Darwin Ridley was found in a dumpster; he was executed state-style. Beau investigates, starting with the pregnant wife Joanna who says her husband never comes home following a defeat as he needs time to recover and the team just lost at the finals. The suspects are shockingly everywhere including the spouse, but who could have done a state style execution seems just outside Beau's grasp. This is the Beau that readers adore as he is filled with flaws, gets no respect, but keeps working in between drinks to solve the case.

These three 1980s Beaumont tales introduces the audience to Beau, his partner, his journalist enemy, and some of the lovers in his life while providing a grim realistic police procedural. SENTENCED TO DIE is a terrific way to meet one of the better long running police procedurals.

Harriet Klausner

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