Queen of the Night (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The New York Times bestselling author brings back the Walker family in a multilayered thriller in which murders past and present connect the lives of three families

Every summer, in an event that is commemorated throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert. But one couple's intended celebration is shattered by gunfire, the sole witness to the bloodshed a little girl who has lost the only ...

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

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author brings back the Walker family in a multilayered thriller in which murders past and present connect the lives of three families

Every summer, in an event that is commemorated throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert. But one couple's intended celebration is shattered by gunfire, the sole witness to the bloodshed a little girl who has lost the only family she's ever known.

To her rescue come Dr. Lani Walker, who sees the trauma of her own childhood reflected in her young patient, and Dan Pardee, an Iraq war veteran and member of an unorthodox border patrol unit called the Shadow Wolves. Joined by Pima County homicide investigator Brian Fellows, they must keep the child safe while tracking down a ruthless killer.

In a second case, retired homicide detective Brandon Walker is investigating the long unsolved murder of an Arizona State University coed. Now, after nearly half a century of silence, the one person who can shed light on that terrible incident is willing to talk. Meanwhile, Walker's wife, Diana Ladd, is reliving memories of a man whose death continues to haunt her.

As these crimes threaten to tear apart three separate families, the stories and traditions of the Tohono O'odham people remain just beneath the surface of the desert, providing illumination to events of both self-sacrifice and unspeakable evil.

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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: 9780062006912
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Series: Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series , #4
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 30,454
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

J. A. Jance

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 four 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.

Biography

Considering J. A. Jance's now impressive career -- which includes two massively popular mystery series and status as a New York Times bestseller -- it may be difficult to believe that she was initially strongly discouraged from literary pursuits. A chauvinistic creative writing professor advised her to seek out a more "ladylike" job, such as nurse or schoolteacher. Moreover, her alcoholic husband (a failed Faulkner wannabe) assured her there was room in the family for only one writer, and he was it. Determined to make her doomed marriage work, Jance put her writing on the back burner. But while her husband slept, she penned the visceral poems that would eventually be collected in After the Fire.

Jance next chose to use her hard times in a more unlikely manner. Encouraged by an editor to try writing fiction after a failed attempt at a true-crime book, she created J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective with a taste for booze. Beaumont's drinking problem was clearly linked to Jance's dreadful experiences with her first husband; but, as she explains it: "Beaumont was smart enough to sober up, once the problem was brought to his attention. My husband, on the other hand, died of chronic alcoholism at age 42." So, from misfortune grew one of the most popular characters in modern mystery fiction. Beaumont debuted in 1985's Until Proven Guilty -- and, after years of postponing her writing career, Jance was on her way.

As a sort of light flipside to the dark Beaumont, Jance created her second series in 1991. Inspired by the writer's happier role as a mom, plucky small-town sheriff Joanna Brady was introduced in Desert Heat and struck an immediate chord with readers. In 2005, Jance added a third story sequence to her repertoire with Edge of Evil, featuring Ali Reynolds, a former TV reporter-turned-professional blogger.

And so, the adventures continue! A career such as Jance's would be extraordinary under any circumstances, but considering the obstacles she overcame to become a bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist, her tale is all the more compelling. As she explains it: "One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything -- even the bad stuff -- is usable."

Good To Know

Geographically speaking, Jance is equal parts J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. She splits her time between Beaumont's big-city home of Seattle and Brady's desert residence of Arizona.

Before her writing career become truly lucrative, Jance made little more than "fun money" off her books, and on her web site, she wryly recalls "the Improbable Cause trip to Walt Disney World; the Minor in Possession memorial powder room; the Payment in Kind memorial hot tub."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Judith Ann Jance
    2. Hometown:
      Bellevue, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 27, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Watertown, South Dakota
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 96 )
Rating Distribution

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(32)

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(20)

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(25)

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(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 96 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Solid Hit For J.A. Jance

    The Indian people around Tucson have an annual tradition where they get together one night to celebrate the annual flowering of the Queen of the Night flower which only blooms for twelve hours, always at night. Most go to the local cultural center, where there is a festival celebrating the night and the traditional way of life.

    But this year, as an anniversary surprise, Jack Tennent has planned a surprise picnic for his wife, Abigail. He has set up a meal near a towering Queen of the Night plant out in the country, a symbolic celebration to mark their love. They are disappointed when a local couple calls and says they are planning to drop by. The next thing is a fusillade of bullets, and all four people are killed.

    There are several investigators that work on the case. Brandon Walker is a retired homicide detective, who now works on cold cases. His wife, novelist Diana Ladd and he are drawn to the case. Brain Fellows is the current investigator working the case, and there is also Dan Pardee, a war hero who now works in the Shadow Wolves, a border patrol unit. All of these men work the case, determining who were the main targets and what in their pasts have led to this event.

    J.A. Jance has written a suspense novel that will have readers on the edge of their chairs. She skillfully intertwines this case with one from forty years ago that Brandon is also working. The reader learns of family relationships and much about the traditions of the Tohono O'odham people. Jance has written 41 other suspense novels and is at the height of her craft. In addition to this series, the Walker Famly Mysteries, she has series named Joanna Brady Mysteries, J.P. Beaumont Mysteries and Ali Reynolds mysteries. This book is recommended for mystery readers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    boring

    not the best J.Jance I ever read......scale of 1 to 10 ......a 6

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2013

    Queen of the Night: A Novel of Suspense: murder rampages, the bo

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    I don't understand...

    Why a person would want to pay almost $9.00 for an ebook when a hardcopy can be purchased on Amazon for $5.00

    ???

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Love the series

    This is a great book. The 4 book series has been exceptional. Can hardly wait to see what comes next!

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    I expected more

    I normally love J.A. Jance, but I just felt like I was left wanting MORE out of this novel. A nice read, but disappointing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2011

    Don't bother with this, unless you like Russian novels

    This book has way too many characters, introduced way too early. Unless you like Russian novels, don't buy this. I got to page 72, then quit. Is she trying to bring back Tony Hillerman? If so, she's failed.

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