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Exit Wounds (Joanna Brady Series #11)

Exit Wounds (Joanna Brady Series #11)

4.1 42
by J. A. Jance

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The intense desert heat has brought horror to a small corner of the Southwest. A body lies lifeless in an airless trailer, surrounded by seventeen others. It is a crime unspeakable in its conception and execution—a nightmare strangely connected to a grisly slaughter in a neighboring state, where the corpses of two women are found tied up, naked, and


The intense desert heat has brought horror to a small corner of the Southwest. A body lies lifeless in an airless trailer, surrounded by seventeen others. It is a crime unspeakable in its conception and execution—a nightmare strangely connected to a grisly slaughter in a neighboring state, where the corpses of two women are found tied up, naked, and gruesomely posed on a rancher's land. A day that started out hot has already turned blistering for Joanna Brady, the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, for terror has moved into her small town to stay. And the nightmare will not end until she uncovers the roots of a monstrous obsession buried somewhere in the most frightening dark shadows of the past.

Editorial Reviews

“Brady fans won’t want to put this one down.”
Arizona Capitol Times
“Sheriff Brady operates on full throttle throughout....compelling.”
The Barnes & Noble Review
The pressure is high for Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady in Exit Wounds, a riveting mystery where the action is as relentless as the desert heat. Combining police work, politics, and a personal life is never easy. But this time out, Sheriff Brady has her hands particularly full. She's investigating the murder of an animal hoarder and the death of her 17 dogs; trying to keep the lid on trouble at the local jail; and dealing with a deadly car crash involving undocumented aliens -- all while trying to fit everything in around the political demands of her struggling reelection campaign. On top of all that, she's coping with personal issues that she suspects will rock her family to the core.

As always, J. A. Jance does a superb job of juggling the gritty realities of police procedure and political power struggles, while portraying characters whose personal lives are as realistically complex as their jobs and the world they live in. Exit Wounds is a gripping read…and Joanna Brady is sure to face the unexpected challenges in her life head-on. Sue Stone

Publishers Weekly
In a fine addition to a lively series, bestseller Jance's ninth after last year's Partners in Crime, Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady once again juggles police work and her complicated personal schedule with lan. It's the Fourth of July, and Brady is racing from event to event, unofficially campaigning for reelection, when she learns that a woman has been found dead in a mobile home, surrounded by 17 dead dogs. The dogs died of the blazing desert heat, but Carol Mossman was shot. Then Brady gets the news that two female bodies have been turned up in a nearby county in New Mexico. Ballistics reveal that the same gun was used in both crimes. Meanwhile, Brady and her husband are delighted to learn that she's pregnant. Morning sickness and eating aversions play a larger role in Brady's day than she would like, but she struggles on with the minutiae of a sheriff's life. Clues to the three murders are slow in coming, but eventually Brady learns that Carol's father Ed Mossman belonged to a cult called the Brethren for many years, and the two women who were murdered in New Mexico were in the midst of producing a report on the publicity-shy Brethren. Joanna begins to understand that the more she learns about the Mossman family and this group, the closer she'll be to solving the murders. Joanna Brady's life is never simple, always busy, and full of questions large and small about human nature. (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the latest of Jance's Joanna Brady mysteries, the Arizona sheriff investigates the murder of Carol Mossman, a lonely woman who lived in a house trailer in the desert with her 18 dogs. Joanna slowly uncovers a web of deceit involving the Mossman family, including child abuse and incest. This very dark tale also includes polygamists, animal rights activists, illegal immigrants, and a dangerous group of cultists holding children against their will. Joanna must conduct her ever-widening investigation while coping with a reelection campaign and the early stages of pregnancy. Stephanie Brush, whose voice resembles actress Deborah Winger's, provides a smooth, energetic reading. Her ability to convey sympathy for the plights of these characters makes the proceedings seem less sordid than they might have been. Recommended for collections where Jance's works are popular.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Sheriff Joanna Brady investigates the murder of Carol Mossman, who lived alone in the desert and was shot with an antique gun. Her 17 dogs died, too, due to an intense buildup of heat in the trailer. The investigation leads to the deceased woman's siblings, grandmother, and father, and two murdered female reporters. As the facts come together, it becomes apparent that the victim's father raped his daughters, impregnating at least two. While working on the case, Brady deals with the local animal activist group and illegal immigrants, all while running for reelection. While none of the scenes depict details of the incestuous relationships, the lasting effect of abuse becomes a major point of the story. The human abuse in turn leads back to the topic of animal abuse, painting a sad picture of the horrors of both. But Jance manages to keep the atmosphere positive, with lots of action, energy, and realism along the way, and Brady's personal thoughts and beliefs give a perspective to the events. This 10th in the series offers topics for thought and a rousing plot.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Joanna Brady Series , #11
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Exit Wounds

Chapter One

Late on Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Joanna Brady sat at her desk, stared at the pages of her calendar, and knew that Butch Dixon, her husband, was absolutely right. She was overbooked. When he had mentioned it at breakfast that morning, she had done the only reasonable thing and denied it completely.

Coffeepot in hand, Butch had stood looking at the week's worth of calendar he had finally convinced Joanna to copy and tape to the refrigerator door in a vain attempt at keeping track of her comings and goings.

"Two parades on Friday?" he had demanded, studying the two pages of copied calendar entries she had just finished posting. "According to this, the parades are followed by appearances at two community picnics." Butch shook his head. "And you still think you'll be at the fairgrounds in time for Jenny's barrel-racing event, which will probably start right around four? You're nuts, Joey," he concluded after a pause. "Totally round the bend. Or else you've picked up a clone without telling me about it."

"Don't worry," she told him. "I'll be fine."

Butch had poured coffee and said nothing more. Now, though, late in the afternoon and after putting in a full day's work, Joanna studied her marathon schedule and worried that maybe Butch was right. How would she cover all those bases?

The Fourth of July had always been one of Joanna's favorite holidays. She loved going to the parade, hosting or attending a backyard barbecue, and then ending the evening in town watching Bisbee's community fireworks display.

But this wasn't a typical Fourth of July. This was an election year, and Joanna Brady was an active-duty sheriff trying to do her job in the midst of a stiffly contested reelection campaign. Rather than watching a single parade, she was scheduled to participate in two of them -- driving her Crown Victoria in Bisbee's parade starting at eleven and in Sierra Vista's, twenty-five miles away, starting at twelve-thirty. She was also slated to appear briefly at two community picnics that day -- in Benson and St. David. The day would end with her making a few introductory remarks prior to the annual fireworks display eighty miles from home in Willcox. Stuffed in among all her official duties, she needed to be at the Cochise County fairgrounds outside of Douglas at the stroke of four o'clock.

After years of practicing around a set of barrels positioned around the corral at High Lonesome Ranch, Jennifer Ann Brady had declared that she and her sorrel quarter horse, Kiddo, were ready for their public barrel-racing debut. That Fourth of July would mark Jenny's first-ever competition on the junior rodeo circuit. Joanna's showing up for the barrel-race rodeo had nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with motherhood.

Be there or be square, Joanna told herself grimly.

Looking away from her calendar, Joanna walked across to the dorm-sized refrigerator Butch had brought back from Costco in Tucson and installed in her office. She retrieved a bottle of water. Taking a thoughtful drink, she stared out the window at the parched hills surrounding the Cochise County Justice Center. The thermometer perched in the shade under the roof of a covered parking stall just outside her office door still hovered around 103 degrees. Summertime temperatures in and around Bisbee seldom exceeded the low nineties, so having the temperature still that hot so late in the afternoon was bound to be a record breaker.

Inside Joanna's office, things weren't much better. The thermostats at all county-owned facilities were now set at a budget/energy-conscious 80 degrees -- too warm to think or concentrate. She had a fan in her office, too, but she hated to use it because it tended to blow loose papers all over her desk -- and there were always loose papers. The radio, playing softly behind her desk, switched from music to bottom-of-the-hour news where the weather was a big concern. All of Arizona found itself in the grip of a severe drought and what was, even for July, a fierce heat wave.

The radio reporter announced that flights in and out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport had been grounded due to concerns that the heat-softened runways might be damaged by planes landing and taking off in the record-breaking 126-degree temperatures. The announcer's running gag about its being a dry heat didn't help Joanna's frame of mind. Bisbee, situated two hundred miles southeast of Phoenix, was a couple of thousand feet higher than Phoenix and more than twenty degrees cooler, but that didn't help, either. Deciding to ignore the weather, Joanna switched off the radio and returned to studying her calendar and its self-inflicted difficulties.

Months earlier, one of her least favorite deputies, Kenneth W. Galloway, had officially announced his intention to run against her. Bankrolled by a wife with a booming real estate business in Sierra Vista, Ken, Jr., had resigned from Joanna's department within weeks of announcing his candidacy. Minus the burden of a regular job, Galloway had been on the stump ever since. He spent every day on the campaign trail, crisscrossing the county with door-belling efforts and public appearances.

And that was where he had Joanna at a disadvantage. With a department to run, she couldn't afford to doorbell all day long. She had done her share of rubber-chicken banquets and pancake-breakfast speeches for local civic organizations, but she'd had to squeeze them in around her regular duties. Which was why she had said yes to appearing at all those various Fourth of July events. She'd be able to cross paths and shake hands with far more people at those holiday get-togethers than she would have been able to see under ordinary circumstances ...

Exit Wounds. Copyright © by J. Jance. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five interrelated thrillers about the Walker family, as well as a volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Brief Biography

Bellevue, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 27, 1944
Place of Birth:
Watertown, South Dakota
B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970

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Exit Wounds (Joanna Brady Series #11) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
king2 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy the books by J.A. Jance, especially the ones about Sheriff Brady, they are continuing stories and I just wish there was more of the books about her and her life, her daughter, new hubby and now a new baby. It is an interesting book about a woman sheriff and how she does it all. I especially like that they have made her husband a stay at home Dad and an author. J.A. Jance also writes about Det. Beaumont and they are also very good books.
daveruss33 More than 1 year ago
I love a good mystery and I love J.A. Jance, so I cannot say enough about Exit Wounds. A grat read!
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kamas716 More than 1 year ago
All in all, not a bad book, but not the greatest either. The beginning quarter of the book kind of gave me a sour taste, but the last half seemed much better. It had a little too much family drama for my tastes. The whole thing about being pregnant and running for re-election, the fights with her mother over it and stuff was just about enough to turn me off from the book. Luckily, the mystery part of the book was pretty strong and kept me interested. I would put this story closer to 3.5 stars than three, but not strong enough for four. This was my first Joanna Brady novel, and second J.A. Jance novel. Both of the ones I've read had some great parts to the story, with some very annoying sidestory parts. I've got one more Jance novel on my shelf to read, but if it's similar to these two I don't think I'll be going out of my way to track any more down unless heavily discounted/free. They just don't quite sit right with me. I don't know if it's a gender thing, or possibly growing up and working with people in law enforcement, but there were parts in both novels that I had a hard time comprehending viewpoints. The eBook was formatted fine with no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jance has returned to her formr writing style with a wonderful addition to the Joanna Brady series. This is among her best books, in my opinion. This book is absolutely fantadtic. The primary storyline is very interesting and engages the reader quickly, but the secondary storie are also masterfully written and add allot to the plot as well ad reader enjoyment. I would definately recommend this one. Stephanie Clanahan
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the 11th in the Joanna Brady series. What a sad theme, but one I could unfortunately relate too in so many ways. I'm really loving Joanna Brady and the other main characters in this series. Only 5 more books to go. Highly recommend starting from #1 and reading the whole series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sheriff Joanna Brady mystery. Needs a bit of proof-reading. A story of the long reaching effects of both incest and illegal aliens coming into the USA. Also animal hoarding is addressed. Well written. Holds interest to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy cop mysteries and don't mind having to pick up the next book to see what happens, then you'll enjoy this series. I started mid-series and am hooked. I like that it is centered in Arizona.
Rosie4868 More than 1 year ago
I love J.A. Jance's books, especially the JoAnna Brady series. Loved this one too! Keeps your interest and you feel like you know her and the family, as well as her dogs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Solid procedural introduces Cochise County, AZ, Sheriff Joanna Brady, her family, community, cohorts, friends and enemies. A series well worth following for all those who enjoy the genre. The location is, in a sense, a major character in the story. Animal rights advocates and pet lovers will particularly enjoy this initial Brady mystery.
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