Rattlesnake Crossing (Joanna Brady Series #6)

( 35 )

Overview

A gun dealer is the first to die, his entire stock ofweapons cleaned out. But the killer isn’t finished yet, as aseries of brutal, blood-chilling murders paralyzes the smallSouthwestern community the maniac has chosen to feed upon.Every stranger is suspect, every house the possible sanctuaryof a monster who skillfully eludes each move of his pursuers.With fear electric and crackling in the bone-dry Arizona air,Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County knows that she isthe one who must protect the town she was chosen...

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Rattlesnake Crossing (Joanna Brady Series #6)

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Overview

A gun dealer is the first to die, his entire stock ofweapons cleaned out. But the killer isn’t finished yet, as aseries of brutal, blood-chilling murders paralyzes the smallSouthwestern community the maniac has chosen to feed upon.Every stranger is suspect, every house the possible sanctuaryof a monster who skillfully eludes each move of his pursuers.With fear electric and crackling in the bone-dry Arizona air,Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County knows that she isthe one who must protect the town she was chosen to serve.But her desperate hunt for a murderer is leading her intoterrifying places . . . and it threatens to take a terriblepersonal toll on the people she most dearly loves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Yes, indeed, folks is droppin' like flies," a crotchety witness says to Sheriff Joanna Brady. "I don't remember us havin' this kind of murder problem back when we had a man for sheriff." A killer is loose in Cochise County, Ariz., and Brady is under pressure to stop the carnage. Her sixth adventure (following Skeleton Canyon, 1997) begins with the discovery of a gun dealer's body. His stock of high-powered weapons has disappeared, and some of the later murder victims appear to have been shot with big guns. They are also scalped, throwing suspicion on visitors at a quasi-dude ranch for Apache wannabes from Europe, who dress in Indian garb and live outdoors. Then an FBI profiler tells Brady that the scalping may provide trophies for a possible serial killer. On the personal front, the widowed sheriff finds her relationship deepening with Phoenix bar owner Butch Dixon, and she suffers with her dear friend, minister Marianne Maculyea, whose faith is tested when her adopted daughter falls gravely ill. Although Joanna's private life is central to this series and is, as usual, movingly portrayed, the sheer number of bodies piling up in this case gives her professional efforts considerably more dramatic impact than her personal considerations. Author tour. (July)
Library Journal
The sixth Joanna Brady novel begins with a red herring and ends with a serial killer. Despite the gory details and the piling up of corpses, the mystery retains its human proportions, as Sheriff Brady contends with staff, friends, her love life, and her daughter. A satisfying entry.
Kirkus Reviews
The longer Joanna Brady's cases get, the less there seems to be to them. This time, the killer whose first homicide was just a warm-up for a spree that runs from Pomerene gun dealer Clyde Philips (beaten and smothered) to anti-oleander activist Ashley Brittany (shot and scalped) to dude ranch paper-shuffler Katrina Berridge (ditto and ditto) sounds like a meaty meal for the sheriff of Arizona's Cochise County. But the hints of survivalist hysteria go nowhere; the rumors of a small-scale range war between rancher Alton Hosfield and transplanted insurance exec Martin Scorsby go nowhere; even the war signals between Joanna and substitute medical examiner Dr. Fran Daly go nowhere. There are more killings, but Jance (Skeleton Canyon, 1997, etc.) seems less interested in them, certainly less interested in the killer behind them, than in Joanna's romance with restauranteur Butch Dixon or her friend Rev. Marianne Maculyea's medical tribulations with her adopted daughter. The result is less a police procedural, still less a mystery or suspenser than a novel of manners about a heroine whose career happens to be in law enforcement, and whose idea of bonding with the bereaved is to tell them that since she's a widow herself, she knows how they feel. All of which would be fine if Joanna and her intimates were interesting enough to make up for what's missing. As it is, Jance makes you appreciate how hard the best Faye Kellermans work to integrate her characters' domestic and professional lives, instead of simply serving them up on the same plate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061998966
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Joanna Brady Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 118,461
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

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:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

High on a cliff, the shooter panned the nightscope back and forth across the San Pedro Valley. It took a while for him to locate his chosen target across almost a mile of in tervening desert. At last, though, he found it. After first put ting on his ear protection, he pulled the trigger. In his hands the fifty-caliber sniper rifle roared to life. He felt certain he had nailed the pump, but there was no way to tell for sure. The pump didn't collapse. It just stood there, hit perhaps and with its interior guts shattered, but outwardly the ma chinery remained unfazed.

Frustrated, the shooter looked around for some other possibility. That was when he saw the cattle. Taking a bead on a dozing cow, he pulled the trigger again and was gratified to see her legs collapse under her. The shooter smiled in satisfaction. There was something god like in being able to kill from that far away, to be able to strike without warning, like a thunderbolt. The other cat tle, alarmed and frightened, milled abouti trying to escape from this unseen threat. Laughing in the face of their stupidity and panic, he dropped another one, just to prove he could.

Letting the others go, he pulled off his ear protection and was starting to take down the tripod when he heard some one shouting at him, screaming up at him in fear and out rage. "What are you, crazy? Stop it before someone gets hurt!"

The shooter could barely believe his ears. Someone was out there in the desert, a woman, standing somewhere be tween him and the dead cattle. Someone who had heard him shooting.

"Sorry," he called back. He was just doing some target practice. I didn't know anyone washere. Where are you?"

He ducked back down to the tripod. Once again he sent the nightscope scanning across the desert floor. A minute or two passed before he caught sight of the green-hued figure. Moving determinedly, she was trotting away from him, heading toward the river. It stunned him to realize that she must have been on the mountain the whole time he was. Maybe she had seen him and could even identify him. Reaching a spot of fairly open desert, she darted forward with all the grace of a panic-stricken deer. The green image in the high-powered night-vision scope smeared as she accelerated.

Without pausing to consider, the shooter covered his ears once more and placed a firm finger back inside the trigger guard. The woman was much closer than the cattle had been, so he had some difficulty adjusting his aim. The first shot caused her to trip and duck. As she limped forward, he realized he had winged her, but it wasn't enough to stop her. The second shot did, at least momentarily. She dropped to the ground, but even then, desperate to get away, she scrambled to her feet once more and staggered forward, cradling one arm.

"Damnf" the shooter exclaimed. "Missed again."

His third shot did the job. The bullet caught her in the middle of the back. She pikhed forward and plummeted facedown on the rocky ground. This time she stayed down. He watched for the better part of a minute, but there was no sign of movement. None at all.

Up on the mountain, the shooter was barely able to con tain his glee as he gathered his equipment and shell casings. Killing people did something for him that killing animals didn't. It made him feel all-powerful and all-knowing.

He didn't rush, though He took his time. After all, there was no reason to worry that she'd somehow get up on her hands and knees and crawl away from him. No, people shot with fifty-caliber shells weren't mobile enough for that. He had no doubt that by the time he found her—by the time he and his trusty knife arrived on the scenc the woman would still be there, waiting for him.

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

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    EXCELLENT

    Another great book from J.A. Jance. Loved all her books of Brady, JP beaumount and Ali Reynolds,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Action packed!

    Another great novel in the Joanna Brady series by J.A. Jance. Great plot and plenty of action. Highly recommended. I plan on reading all of her books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    I've read all but the first few of the Joanna Brady series (as w

    I've read all but the first few of the Joanna Brady series (as well as all of the Beaumonth series) over the past few years. For a trip, I bought books 2 through 5 (Rattlesnake Crossing) that I'd missed. All excellent, though when reading in order you do have to work through the sections of the novels that bring you up to date (easy skim there).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Great read as usual

    Rattlesnake Canyon is a great addition to the Johanna Brady series. It was very engaging to the point of being hard to put down. This time we read not only a well-written mystery, but also an emotional story as well. I can't wait to read the next installment. Stephanie Clanahan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Obsidianflame

    Nods. Goes to the camp. ((No! Dont quit Owlpaw!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Lionsroar

    I just did i say

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Enderfur

    Shrugged

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Python

    It lasts for a day.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Aspen

    Cunfuzzled...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Moonheart

    She lay with her kits.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Heeeeeeehaaaaaaa

    IM SICO AND MY NAME IS FROSTBITE!!! $****@$$%'&*'*%&%%&&*$#

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    This the freshkill pile

    The gathring area

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    Amazing book.....A must read

    Once again this series never seems to disappoint me. A great book from start to finish. Try as I maight I am still always amazed at who the killer is. Another great book in this great series. A must read for anyone who is a fan not only of J.A. Jance, but also the Joanna Brady series.

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

    Posted February 12, 2002

    J.A. Jance's Characters Make You Feel Like Family!

    I love mysteries set in the southwestern part of the United States, and J.A. Jance is one of the best. Her main characters make you feel like part of the family. You wouldn't mind being related to these people. Jance pulls you right into her books, and you don't want to leave. She's a very special writer.

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

    Posted August 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

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