Queen of the Night (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #4)

Queen of the Night (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #4)

3.6 97
by J. A. Jance
     
 

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Every summer, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert—a sacred event commemorated throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation. But this year, one couple's celebration is prematurely destroyed by gunfire . . . and the sole witness to the carnage is a little girl who has lost the only family she's ever known.

Dr. Lani

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Overview

Every summer, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert—a sacred event commemorated throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation. But this year, one couple's celebration is prematurely destroyed by gunfire . . . and the sole witness to the carnage is a little girl who has lost the only family she's ever known.

Dr. Lani Walker recognizes the trauma of her own childhood reflected in her devastated young patient. Joining Dan Pardee—a member of the unorthodox Shadow Wolves border patrol—Lani vows to keep the child safe while tracking down a ruthless killer. Meanwhile, Lani's adoptive father, retired homicide detective Brandon Walker, sees a break in his investigation of the long unsolved murder of an Arizona State University coed—while his wife, Diana Ladd, relives terrible memories of a man whose death haunts her still.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dedicated to the late Tony Hillerman, Jance's brilliant fourth suspense novel featuring former homicide detective Brandon Walker and his wife, novelist Diana Ladd (after Day of the Dead), spans some 50 years, from a murder in 1959 in San Diego to a rash of killings in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz., in 2009. Interwoven with these crimes are legends of the Tohono O'odham Indians (aka the Desert People) and the lives of such contemporary Native people as Lani Walker, Brandon and Diana's adopted daughter. Jance's masterful handling of a complex cast of characters makes it easy for the reader to appreciate the intricate web of relationships that bind them across generations. The title refers to the night-blooming Cereus, a desert plant that blooms once a year and is of great symbolic importance to the Tohono. Jance, perhaps best known for her J.P. Beaumont series (Fire and Ice, etc.), has crafted a mystery that Hillerman would be proud of and that her fans will love. 7-city author tour. (July)
Kirkus Reviews

Jance offers that rare—and welcome—hybrid: the suspense novel with heart.

Jonathan Southard is one of those unhappy men whose unrequited love affair with life has caused a volatile, long-term, internal simmering. One day the mixture explodes, resulting in a crime that is both horrific and, in a sense at least, foreseeable. He shoots his wife, her dog and their two young children, construing this last as an act of mercy inasmuch as it will spare them an aftermath of humiliation and shame. Having wiped out his San Diego family, he sets off for Tucson and the home of his mother, planning to clean the slate. He's always hated Abby Tennant, attributing to her voluminous maternal shortcomings, of which she is largely innocent. With less difficulty than Southard expected, the bodies are discovered, clues are put together, identities established and soon enough the manhunt is on, participated in by multiple police forces from several states. Among these are the elite Shadow Wolves, Indians who patrol reservation land near the Mexican border. Enter Dan Pardeey. Half Anglo, half Apache, he has a special connection to the small survivor of another of Southard's monstrous crimes. Angelina Enos, age four, has remained alive only by virtue of being tiny enough to escape notice. Eerily, this parallels Pardee's own long-ago experience, and when she reaches out to him he has no choice but to respond. Because he does, his life is irrevocably changed and, in a kind of chain reaction, so are the lives of a variety of other players, one way or another, for good or ill, in Jance's absorbing cast.

A storytelling machine, Jance in her 41st (Trial by Fire, 2009, etc.) is at the top of her game and just about irresistible.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061239250
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Series:
Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series, #4
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
216,834
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

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

Hometown:
Bellevue, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 27, 1944
Place of Birth:
Watertown, South Dakota
Education:
B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970
Website:
http://www.jajance.com/

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Queen of the Night (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #4) 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 97 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1959, ASU coed June Lennox travels with Sully from the Tempe, Arizona campus to Southern California for spring break. She never returns to school as she is left dead in the desert. In 2009 in Tucson, retired Pima County homicide detective Brandon Walker visits his dying pal former Pinal County detective "Geet" Farrell at the hospice; they worked a serial killer case together back in 1975. Geet got Brandon a job with TLC (The Last Chance) entity that works cold cases. Hs current case is the homicide of June Lennox. At the same time, Brandon's wife Diana Ladd Walker still struggles with "visits" from the dead in her nightmarish past. They are Andrew Carlisle who tried to rape her, her late odious first husband Garrison Ladd III who set her up to be raped, and serial killer Mitch Johnson who kidnapped her adopted daughter Lani. At the same time, Pima County Homicide Detective Brian Fellows and Border Patrol agent Dan Pardee track a killer on the land of the desert people, the Tohono O'odham. The latest extended Walker Family mystery (see Hour of the Hunter and Kiss of the Dead) is a great entry as J.A. Jance deftly balances her myriad of leads, their cases, the present day culture of the People and the geography. The multiple plots connect by the Walkers and company who diligently work at what they do best. Ms. Jance is at her best with this terrific mystery that blends past and present Tucson, Southern California and the Tohono O'odham Nation into a powerful thriller. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
275 pages. I love J A Jance's books. This one is 275 pages. It is well edited. I only noticed one small error about half way through. Two words did not have a space between them. Big deal, I wish I could do as well. I do not know how I missed this book published in 2010, but somehow I did. It was a wonderful read. There was quite a bit of murder and violence. Not extremely graphic. No sex. Some religion. A bit of romance. A dog gets killed, but its death was not horribly torturous or disturbing as the reader does not get to know him. I still have a problem with animal deaths, even at my old and jaded age. There are a LOT of people in this book, and I do mean a lot. There are also o lot of referrals to people in other books and deceased family members. If possible you should read the earlier books in this series to know what is going on. This series is about the Indian Reservation and not Joann Brady. Both series are excellant. These books are not geared to all readers, ages 16 and up. Highly recommended. AD
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eliasmanoffat More than 1 year ago
Queen of the Night: A Novel of Suspense: murder rampages, the border patrol, and a small child witness should have made this another great read in the Walker family series. But this one lacked the fast driving suspense of the previous books. Still, it is better than so much other stuff and I did finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. The 4 book series has been exceptional. Can hardly wait to see what comes next!
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