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The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds—bounced off the air by executives who wanted a "younger face." With a divorce from her cheating husband of ten years also pending, there is nothing keeping her in L.A. any longer. Cut loose from her moorings, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the death of a childhood friend. Once there she seeks solace in the comforting rhythms of her parents' diner, the Sugarloaf Café, and launches an on-line blog as ...
The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds—bounced off the air by executives who wanted a "younger face." With a divorce from her cheating husband of ten years also pending, there is nothing keeping her in L.A. any longer. Cut loose from her moorings, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the death of a childhood friend. Once there she seeks solace in the comforting rhythms of her parents' diner, the Sugarloaf Café, and launches an on-line blog as therapy for others who have been similarly cut loose.
But when threatening posts begin appearing, Ali finds out that running a blog is far more up-close and personal than sitting behind a news desk. And far more dangerous. Suddenly something dark and deadly is swirling around her life . . . and a killer may be hunting her next.
The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds, bounced off the air by executives who wanted a younger face. With a divorce from her cheating husband also pending, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the mysterious death of a childhood friend--and the killer may be hunting her next.
When Alison Reynolds left the studio after the eleven o'clock news, she was amazed to find Cliff Baker, the news director, waiting out in the hall. He was usually gone for the day by then, or else he was out in the parking lot toking up.
"Talk to you a minute, Ali?" he said in that clipped almost rude tone of his, one that made his smallest requests come across as issued orders.
Ali was whipped. She had started that morning as the featured speaker for a YWCA fund-raising breakfast. At noon she had MC-ed an American Cancer Society-sponsored charity event. In the process she had driven from one end of LA to the other. She had also co-anchored two evening live news broadcasts-one at six and the other at eleven. She was ready to go home, kick off her high heels, and put her feet up. Looking at Cliff's uncompromising face, she knew he wouldn't take no for an answer.
She summoned a tired but necessary smile. "Sure, Cliff. What's up?"
That's when she noticed Eduardo Duarte, a uniformed security guard, standing off to one side and hovering awkwardly in the background. Ali knew Eddie and his wife Rosa. They had met in a hospital room on a juvenile cancer ward where she had gone to cheer them up while the Duarte's three-year-old son, Alonso, had been undergoing treatment-successful treatment it turned out-for leukemia. Ali Reynolds was, after all, the station's unofficial but very committed one-woman cancer research and treatment spokesperson.
This status had been a natural aftermath of her first husband's death from an inoperable brain tumor at age twenty-four, twenty-two years earlier. His death had left Ali a widow at age twenty-three-widowed and seven months pregnant. Christopher had been born two full months after his father's death. Since then, Ali had been a tireless crusader for cancer research. She walked in Relays for Life, participated in Races for the Cure, and did countless cancer-related public appearances whenever possible. And private appearances as well.
For most of the on-air folks at the station, Eduardo Duarte was just another nameless, faceless security guard who checked IDs as employees came and went through the front lobby. For Ali, Eddie was far more than that. She had been with the Duartes in the hospital waiting room and had held their hands during the dark time when no one had known for sure whether or not their child would survive.
"Hey, Eddie," she said. "How's my man, 'Lonso?"
"He's okay, I guess, Ms. Reynolds," Eddie answered, but he kept his eyes averted. That's when Ali tumbled to the fact that Cliff Baker's hallway ambush meant trouble.
"What's going on, Cliff?" she asked.
Six months earlier Clifford Baker had been brought on board to "fix" things. At least that was the way the story was told to the news team at the staff meeting when Cliff was introduced. But what had been bad then was still bad now. It was hard to win the ratings game when there were too many people out in the parking lot smoking joints before and after their shifts; when there were too many people hiding out in their offices with too many lines of coke going up their noses. And Ali Reynolds long suspected that one of those problem noses belonged to Cliff Baker.
"The ratings still suck," he said.
Ali didn't say anything. She was over forty in a world in which thirty-five meant on-air womenfolk were nearing the end of their sell-by date. Standing there in the hallway, breathing the sweet perfume of marijuana smoke wafting off Cliff's rumpled sports jacket, Ali knew exactly what was coming. There was a certain inevitability to the whole process, and Ali wasn't about to say something that would make Cliff's job any easier. If he was there to fire her, he would have to come right out and say so.
"We've decided to take the news team in a different direction," he said at last.
Presumably without me, Ali thought, but she kept her mouth shut.
"I know this is going to be difficult for you," Cliff continued.
Ali had known from the moment she met the man that he was a cold-blooded bastard. The supposed reluctance he was exhibiting now was all an act-a classic study in self-serving, cover-your-ass camouflage.
"And I'm sure this is going to seem hard-hearted," he went on, shaking his head reluctantly, "but we have to let you go. We'll pay you until the end of your contract, of course, and then I'm sure there'll be some severance pay, but after that . . ." He shrugged.
With the news broadcast ended, there were other people coming and going in the hallway. Ali noticed that they all gave the three people standing outside the newsroom door a wide berth. Ali wondered, How many of you knew this was coming?
She had noticed a few sidelong glances of late-quiet conversations that would die away as soon as she came into the room and resume once she left-but in the cutthroat world of television, she hadn't thought them anything out of the ordinary. Now she knew better, but she couldn't afford to think about her spineless co-workers just then. Instead, she remained focused on Cliff.
"Why?" Ali asked. "Why do you have to let me go?"
This was a good journalistic gambit. Go for the Ws-who, what, why, where, when, and sometimes how. She was never quite sure how the word how had been added to the mix of Ws, or why it was considered to be one, but when taking journalism classes from stodgy professors whose grading meant everything, it's a good idea to avoid questioning the conventional wisdom.
"For the good of the team," Cliff answered at once.
Ali Reynolds came from good Scandinavian stock. She was a natural blonde who could, on occasion, summon a suitably dumb-blonde persona. It was a gambit that had suckered more than one unsuspecting male interviewee into saying more than he intended. Cliff, dyed-in-the-wool male chauvinist that he was, took the bait.
Excerpted from Edge of Evil by J. Jance Copyright © 2005 by J. Jance. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted October 26, 2006
As a big JP Beaumont fan, I expected Jance's new character to be a lot more interesting. Unfortunately, she's boring and the plot is just plain unbelievable.
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Posted December 9, 2008
Alison Reynolds is having one of the worst weeks after life. After giving the eleven o¿clock broadcast, the anchorwoman is ambushed by the news director fires her because they are bringing in a younger anchor person. Her husband, a network executive, knew about the firing but didn¿t tell her. Her parents call to tell Alison that her best friend Reenie is missing and later call again to inform her that Reenie¿s body has been found along with her destroyed car. The police believe she drove it off a dangerously winding and wet road after she was diagnosed with ALS. --- Alison¿s son Chris sets her up with a blog and she writes what is going on in her life to an ever growing audience. She drives up to Sedona where Reenie and Alison¿s family like to give her support Reenie¿s loved ones but the reporter has questions that cast doubt on her death being a suicide. The suicide note was written on a computer and wasn¿t signed. Alison doesn¿t think that she would have written a note like that since she sent cards for every occasion. In fact, Rennie sent Alison a card on the day she died that didn¿t sound like she was depressed and going to kill herself. Alison uses her investigative skills to trace Rennie¿s last hours hoping to find out who (as she believes) murdered her best friend. --- J.A. Jance is one of the best mystery writers publishing today. The key to her success is her protagonists like J.B. Beaumont and Joanna Brady, both of whom have their own series because readers care about them and want to read about what is about what is going on in their lives. Ms. Jance has written about another delightful heroine who also deserves her own series. The mystery itself is well thought out with the unusual amount of red herrings and unexpected twists to keep the reader off guard. Misdirection is used to keep readers off balance and wondering if Reenie did or didn¿t commit suicide. Readers will love this exciting thriller so much they will finish it in one sitting. --- Harriet Klausner
3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2012
I have recommended this book to my friends! J A Jance is one of the best writers I have read! I have read every one of her books about J P Beaumont and Joanna Brady series! I am now reading the Ali Reynolds series. I love the series books because they make you feel like you are part of the book. The same people are in each book. Would definitely recommend all of her books!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2012
This is a great story about life handing you lemons and you make lemonade. The author makes you feel like you know the characters and they are your friends. And the main character keeps on going even after all of the problems she runs into. The story keeps moving so you never feel that you have to get throught the "boring parts".
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2006
This book was really outstanding! I would recomend this book to all who like J.A.Jance books!. I think she (the author) was at the top of her game when she wrote this bone-chilling, elaborate, and moving novel. I can't wait to see another novel!
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2006
Very unimpressed with this book. The primary character was uninteresting. The storyline just plodded along without inspiration. I ended up reading every-other-page just to get to the end faster. Definitely not on par with her Joanna Brady series.
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Posted October 11, 2014
Posted October 5, 2014
This is the start of a new series from the author of the Joanna Brady series. As a series starter, this one is pretty good and has all the potential to equal the previous series. Don't expect this to be like the other series, though. Ali Reynolds is an entirely different character than Joanna Brady. She had a much different background and lifestyle. Her motivations are unique to her character as well so she does things a bit differently. I like this series and will look forward to reading the future installments. Stephanie ClanahanWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2014
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Posted December 28, 2012
I am confounded as to why Ms. Jance writes in an interesting and intelligent manner when her books feature her male character, JP Beaumont, but seems unable to apply those skills in her books featuring female leads. This book is extremely disappointing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2012
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Posted May 6, 2012
IMHO, this is her best book since the Beaumont series. Reynolds is a very likable, believable character. Plot is smooth with just enough steam to add interest. A real page turner and can't wait for the next in the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.