The plan had been to win the election and then start maternity leave about three weeks later as Butch would be back from his short but intense book tour then. That had been the plan for Sheriff Joanna Brady. But, whether it happened due to the stress of election night, the campaign, recent events, or a million other things, Eleanor Sage decided to arrive much earlier. In fact, she decided to make her appearance early on election night before all the votes were tallied. Winning the election was grand and all that, but having a healthy baby was far more important.
At nearly the same time and unknown to all, a young teenager and his friends recently found a human skull. One that is later found by the teen’s mother, June Carver, when she was cleaning out her son’s closet so that it could be painted. With Sheriff Brady out on her maternity leave, June Carver and her son, Jack Carver, come in to see Acting Sheriff Tom Haddock about the skull. There is no doubt that the skull is human and it appears to one and all that a bullet was fired through it at some point. That is not all Jack Carver and his friends saw in the desert out in the San Bernardino Valley.
It is a very good thing the killer did not see them.
One thing leads to another, and soon a multi-jurisdictional investigation is underway with Sheriff Brady supervising and Acting Sheriff Tom Haddock supervising folks out in the field and doing the legwork. They are on the hunt for a serial killer and it is all hands on deck at home and as much help as they can round up from others. They are chasing a serial killer who just might have some victims still alive if they can find him and them. Time is against law enforcement as once the media knows and the small town grapevine gets going, not to mention social media, it will be all over for those they hope to save.
Shifting in point of view between the captives, the captor, and the numerous investigators, the book rolls along at a steady pace. A significant portion of Field Of Bones: A Brady Novel of Suspense is in the point of view of the main victim who learns what has been going on to others for months. How she copes with the trauma of her imprisonment and degradation is a major part of the read. As a result, some of those sections are not easy reading as they are a bit graphic at times. As those sections are in essence nothing more than the classic naked woman chained in the basement with nothing to eat but dog food kibble as she is repeatedly raped over the course of weeks, one could easily skip those sections and lose nothing at all in reading the tale.
Overall, despite the usual --drop into the mind of the nutjob as he is a smart crazy dude at it quite a while—sections that all such books seem to have these days, the overall read is an average one. The book flows fairly well and numerous secondary characters long known to readers are again given attention in this read. Much is at work here in a personal as well as professional way for Sheriff Joanna Brady and that results in a ton of backstory in many different ways. Despite being billed as a novel of suspense, there really is not much suspenseful about the book at all.
Field Of Bones: A Brady Novel of Suspense plows along and gets the job done. It certainly is not J. A Jance at her best, nor is it her at her worst. Instead, this is an average read that occasionally scores political points that will no doubt offend some readers who will swear to never read another book by her ever again while also managing to do the classic smug nutjob serial killer shtick. Yes, it gets complicated in a paint by numbers sort of way. Despite its noted flaws, Field Of Bones: A Brady Novel of Suspense holds reader interest and continues the saga of Sheriff Joanna Brady.
Related Item of Interest:
CrimeReads spoiler filled interview with J. A. Jance from last September: http://crimespreemag.com/interview-with-j-a-jance/
Field Of Bones: A Brady Novel of Suspense
J. A. Jance
Harper Luxe (imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)
LARGE PRINT (also available in hardback, audio, and digital formats)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2019