Judgment Call (Joanna Brady Series #15)

Judgment Call (Joanna Brady Series #15)

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by J. A. Jance

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New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance brings back acclaimed sheriff Joanna Brady in an exciting and twisting mystery set against the beauty and isolation of the Arizona desert

Judgment Call

When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise

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New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance brings back acclaimed sheriff Joanna Brady in an exciting and twisting mystery set against the beauty and isolation of the Arizona desert

Judgment Call

When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff's personal and professional worlds collide, forcing her to tread the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders has always meant discovering unpleasant facts and disquieting truths, the experienced Joanna isn't prepared for the knowledge she's about to uncover. Though she's tried to protect her children from the dangers of the grown-up world, the search for justice leads straight to her own door and forces her to face the possibility that her beloveddaughter may be less perfect than she seems—especially when a photo from the crime scene ends up on Facebook. A photo only one person close to the crime scene could have taken.

The gruesome picture is just the tip of the iceberg. Even a small, close-knit town like Bisbee has its secrets. Navigating her way through the unfamiliar world of social media, Joanna discovers shocking—and incriminating—information. The details build, from a hushed-up suspension, to a group of teenagers with a grudge against the late Ms. Highsmith, to a hateful video calling for the principal's death. The video evidence points to one particular privileged boy, who's already lawyered up thanks to his father, a well-to-do doctor determined to protect his son's reputation. Yet the deeper Joanna digs, the more complications she uncovers. It seems the quiet, upstanding principal had a hidden past, full of mysterious secrets she'd successfully kept buried for years.

As the seasoned sheriff juggles professional constraints and personal demands—budget cuts, new team members, an arrogant coroner, a confused teenager, a precocious toddler, and a high-maintenance mother—she finds herself walking a fine line between justice and family that has never been so blurred.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has a problem that crisscrosses the personal and the political. Her daughter, Jenny, has discovered her high school principal murdered. It's no fun digging into the uncomfortable truths about the man, especially when Jenny seems to know more—and understand less—than she's revealing. The one-day laydown on July 24, 200,000-copy first printing, and ten-city tour come as no surprise.

For Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady, every case is personal, but that connection takes on new meaning when her own daughter Jenny becomes a prime suspect in the murder of her high school principal. J.A. Jance's fourteenth Brady mystery adds new depth to the main characters of this addictive series. Strong as a standalone; ripples with add meaning as a series entry.

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Jance’s satisfying 15th novel of suspense featuring Cochise County, Ariz., sheriff Joanna Brady (after 2009’s Fire and Ice), Brady’s 15-year-old daughter, Jenny, discovers her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, shot to death in the desert near their family home. Jenny phones Brady, who hops on her horse and rides to the crime scene. Who might have wanted to kill the extremely private Highsmith, who appears to have had no friends and no next of kin? When a second murder follows within as many days, Brady really has her hands full, especially since important intel about the crimes is hitting the Internet even before she can begin lining up suspects. Meanwhile, Brady’s trying her best to juggle the life-or-death circumstances of her job with a private life. Jance smoothly intertwines the threads of multiple subplots, complete with a red herring or two. The solution to a 25-year-old mystery surrounding the death of Joanna’s father is a bonus. 10-city author tour. Agent: Alice Volpe, Northwest Literary Agency. (Aug.)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Joanna Brady Series , #15
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Judgment Call 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Avid_ReaderLL More than 1 year ago
Great addition to the Brady series! I loved how she weaved all the stories together and really brought out some of the pitfalls associated with social media today. Jance does such a great job keeping all the series she writes fresh and relevant in addition to the characters not becoming stale. Now I only hope she brings a new Beaumont novel next - I like Joanna, but I love JP.
omniverousreader More than 1 year ago
Johanna Brady never fails to deliver. good story, moves right along. One solved and it segues into another to polish off lose ends, something that does not happen often these days.
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
Oh man, what a great ride that I was on that suddenly became more than solving the recent murder of a high school principal. As the story moved forward, this quickly became a page-turner that I could not put down. Joanna is very good at her job and I enjoyed watching her put all the pieces together, especially when the matter became more personal. This was the best book yet in this riveting suspenseful series and I look forward to more adventures in Bisbee, Arizona with Joanna and her team.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading the last of the Joanne Brady series books and loved it. I highly recommend Judgement Call. Looking forward to the continuation of this very interesting series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love the joanna brady series and the arizona setting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book. There were multiple twists and turns and the entire villainous plan wasn't revealed until the final chapter.
Frankslc More than 1 year ago
All her books are great reading, this one is no exception. Like the Joanna Brady series.
Griffin-Fan More than 1 year ago
Another cliff hanger you will not see what is coming until the end.
twinkie92 More than 1 year ago
My 1st J.A. Jance novel, thought is was pretty good, looking forward to reading more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed with this story in the Joanna Brady series by J.A. Jance. It did seem to come full circle from the first book of the series. But it just was missing that certain something. This is the last of the Joanna Brady series for now. But I will read any more in the series if she continues them. Read it if you are reading the series - it does contain a decent amount of "full circle" reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story but the writing was not as smooth and flowing as i have loved in the past. Poor editing?
Kitty66 More than 1 year ago
Love all her books but especially like the Joanne Brady series. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another J. A. Jance hit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed every one of the Joanna Brady Series that I've read.Each one has kept my attention until the end.
GailMarlow More than 1 year ago
Except for the first chapter where the reader watches the murder, this Joanna Brady novel is, as Jance's books always are, good reading. Sheriff in southwestern Arizona, Joanna is a good detective and a warm, human character. Her home life, and her life with friends, retains interest, unlike those of so many detectives whose private lives seem to be added just to plump up the pages in their books. The solution to the murder comes after hard police work, and provides a very satisfactory conclusion to this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JA Jance is never a disappointment. She holds you riveted to your chair until you are done with her books. She is not able to write them fast enough for me. Her series of Joanna Brady makes me want to visit Bisbee, Arizona. If you like fast paced, mysterious and full of suspense, this is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent. Love the Joanna Brady books. This one is excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite JOANNA BRADY novel to date!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
Some veteran authors fall into a rut – it could be due to reader demand, or to pressure from the editor/publisher, or that they're a “one-trick pony” who has to keep repeating themselves, or many other reasons.  It's always interesting when an author realizes that there's a formula to their work, and attempts to break out of the pattern.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not – and sometimes it falls in between. Judgment Call is the 15th book in J.A. Jance's Joanna Brady series.  In the others (the two crossovers with her J.P. Beaumont series excepted) are very good, but follow the same general stages that we all learned in creative writing. - Intro, Conflict, Climax, Resolution – at about the same approximate pace.   In Judgment Call, Jance decided to try something a little different.  Yes, our creative writing instructors would still approve of her use of the 4 stages.  However, Jance decides to take TWO stories and interweave them.  Two SEPARATE murders, with two SEPARATE sets of suspects and witnesses and family members – well, almost, it IS a small town, after all.  She succeeds in telling BOTH stories at the pace they need to be told, bring the lagging story and the novel to a successful and satisfying conclusion at what feels an appropriate time and pace. Hats off to J.A. Jance.  She loves her characters and her readers too much to risk them becoming stale.   RATING: 4 stars, and I had to stop to think awhile before not bumping up to 5.
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kpTX More than 1 year ago
I liked that we're including jenny more as a character. I'm a new Jance reader and have read this series now end to end and started the Ali Reynolds series. I love that all her mysteries end well. Need that in these times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago