Shoot Don't Shoot (Joanna Brady Series #3)

( 33 )

Overview

A prisoner languishes in a Phoenix jail cell, accused of brutally slaying his estranged wife. No one believes the man is innocent, except the new female sheriff of Cochise County, in town for a crash course in police training. Joanna Brady is out of her jurisdiction—and possibly in over her head. For a human monster is on the prowl, hiding the grisly evidence of his horrific crimes in the vast emptiness of the Arizona desert. And an impromptu investigation, with no official sanction and no back up, is drawing a ...

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Shoot Don't Shoot (Joanna Brady Series #3)

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Overview

A prisoner languishes in a Phoenix jail cell, accused of brutally slaying his estranged wife. No one believes the man is innocent, except the new female sheriff of Cochise County, in town for a crash course in police training. Joanna Brady is out of her jurisdiction—and possibly in over her head. For a human monster is on the prowl, hiding the grisly evidence of his horrific crimes in the vast emptiness of the Arizona desert. And an impromptu investigation, with no official sanction and no back up, is drawing a cold, ingenious serial killer much too close to Brady for comfort—and, worse still, closer to her little girl.

Determined to learn her trade, newly-elected Sheriff Joanna Brady enlists at a Phoenix-based police academy for training. But when a vicious serial killer murders Joanna's female classmate, Joanna becomes embroiled in the desperate hunt to find him. National ads/media.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Third installment in Jance's Joanna Brady series. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Sheriff Joanna Brady chases a serial killer in this latest from the popular author of Lying in Wait (Morrow, 1994).
School Library Journal
YA-Jance, as usual, has written a good mystery while maintaining her strong sense of characterization. Joanna Brady, newly elected sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, is the single mother of a nine-year-old daughter. Her husband, a policeman, was killed in the line of duty. In this latest story, Joanna goes to Phoenix for a training session at the Police Academy, where she becomes involved with a series of murders of abused women. When her suitemate becomes a victim, Joanna becomes more than just professionally involved. Joanna Brady is a strong female model for YAs. She has doubts, but in the end she resolves them to the best of her ability.-Susan B. McFaden, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061774805
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Series: Joanna Brady Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 145,725
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (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. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle and Tucson.

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

Shoot Don't Shoot

Chapter One

"You never should have gone out with him in the first place," Lael Weaver Gastone told her thirty-year-old daughter, Rhonda. "You should have figured out from the very beginning that a guy like that would be trouble, and you certainly shouldn't have married him."

Holding her hands in her lap, Rhonda Norton examined her tender fingertips. She was so on edge that she had chewed the nails off all the way down to the quick. "How was I supposed to know that?" she asked, trying her best not to cry.

Lael looked up from the thumbnail sketch she was working on. The bar of pastel stopped scratching on the rough surface of the Sabertooth paper.

"Oh, for God's sake, Rhonda. How dumb can you be?" Lael demanded. "If a married professor starts dating an unmarried undergraduate, you can pretty well figure the man's a jackass. And so's the girl for that matter."

Rhonda Weaver Norton's cheeks reddened with anger. The tears retreated. "Thanks, Mom," she said. "I always know I can count on you for sympathy."

"You can always count on me for a straight answer," Lael corrected. "Now tell me, why exactly are you here?"

Rhonda looked around the spacious, well-lit studio her stepfather, Jean Paul Gastone, had built as a place for his lovely new wife to pursue her artistic endeavors. Rhonda interpreted that cluttered but isolated work space as an act of self-serving generosity on Jean Paul's part. Lael had always been messy. If nothing else, the physical separation of the studio from the main house would help keep most of that mess localized. That way the main -house-a breathtakingly canti-levered mountaintopmansion-could continue to look picture-perfect, as if the photographers from House Beautiful or Architectural Digest were due at any moment.

The place where Lael and Jean Paul lived now was a far cry from the way Rhonda and her mother had lived when Rhonda was a child. She and the free-spirited, starving artist Lael Weaver had lived a nomadic existence that took them from place to place, from drafty furnished rooms to countless roach-infested apartments. This million-dollar-plus architectural wonder was perched on a steep hillside overlooking one of Sedona, Arizona's, most photographed red-rocked cliffs. The fourteen-foot floor-to-ceiling windows offered a clear and unobstructed view.

All the furnishings in both the -house and studio had been tastefully chosen by someone with an eye for beauty. Rhonda didn't have to look at any of the labels to know that all the assembled pieces -were name brand, as -were the clothes on her mother's back. That was far different from the past as well. Rhonda had spent her school years living with the daily humiliation of wearing the secondhand clothing her mother had bought at thrift stores and rummage sales. She had endured the steady taunts from other children who somehow knew she ate the free lunches offered at school. And she recalled all too well how embarrassed she had been every time her mother sent her to the grocery store with a fistful of food stamps instead of money.

Lael's life had taken a definite turn for the better. In the last few years, her oddball pastels had finally started to sell. She had met Jean Paul Gastone at a gallery opening when he had stopped by to say how much he admired her work. Now they -were married-seemingly happily-and living a gracious and beautiful life together. Rhonda -couldn't help envying the idea of her mother living happily ever after. Too bad things hadn't worked out nearly that well for Lael's daughter.

In the course of a long, lingering silence, Lael returned to her sketch. With nothing more to say, Rhonda once more examined the room. She realized with a start that her mother's studio-that one room, not counting either the private bath or the con-ve-nient kitchenette that had been built off to one side-was larger than her entire studio apartment.

She had moved into that god-awful, low-life complex only two days earlier. Already she hated it. But she had come face-to-face with stark economic reality. Rhonda Norton was a newly separated, unemployed woman, with no recent work history and only marginally salable skills. Her university work was sixteen credits shy of a bachelor's degree with a major in American history, a curriculum that didn't have much going for it in the world of business. As a consequence, that tiny upstairs apartment facing directly into the afternoon sun was all she could afford. In fact, it was more than she could afford.

Confronted with the obvious dichotomy between her mother's newfound wealth and her own newfound poverty, Rhonda Norton felt doubly impoverished. And defeated. It would have been easy to give up, to make like Chief Joseph, leader of the Nez Percé, and say to all the world, "I will fight no more forever."

"Well?" Lael prompted impatiently, dragging Rhonda back to the present and to the real issue at hand.

She dropped her eyes once more. "I'm afraid," she said softly.

"Afraid of what?"

Rhonda dreaded saying the words aloud, especially since she didn't think her mother had ever been afraid of anything in her -whole life. As far as Rhonda was concerned, Lael had always seemed as brave and daring as the brilliant greens, blues, and reds she was swiftly daubing onto the paper.

"Afraid of what?" Lael asked again.

"Of him," Rhonda answered. "Of Dean. He threatened me. He told me that if I went through with the divorce, he'd see me in hell before he'd pay me a single dime of alimony or give me a property settlement."

"Oh, hell," Lael said. "The man's just pissed because he got passed over for department head and then they shipped him off to that other campus, wherever that is."

"The ASU West campus is on Thunderbird, Mom," Rhonda returned quietly. "But he's not bluffing. He means it. He won't give me a dime."

Lael Weaver Gastone was incensed. "If it's the money, don't worry about it. He's bluffing. Jean Paul and I could always help out if it came to that, but it won't. You'll see. The courts will make him pay."

But Rhonda was no longer looking at her mother. She had dropped her gaze once more. "It's not just the money, Mom. I don't care about that." She took a deep breath. "I'm afraid he'll kill me, Mom." She paused and bit her lip. "He hits me sometimes," she added almost in a whisper.

"He what?" Lael asked. "I -can't hear you if you don't speak up."

"He hits me," Rhonda repeated raggedly. "Hard." A single tear leaked from her eye and slipped down her cheek. "And he told me the other day when I was packing that he'd kill me if I go through with it-with getting a divorce."

Slowly, without looking directly at her mother's face, Rhonda Weaver Norton unbuttoned the top three buttons of her cardigan sweater; then she slipped the soft knit material down over her shoulder. Under the sweater her bare shoulder and back were discolored by a mass of green-and-purple bruises. Lael gasped when she saw them.

Shoot Don't Shoot
. 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
( 33 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2008

    Another great book

    They seem to get better and better. At first Joanna Brady wasn't much to me, I was only reading the series because of where it took place. I am no really starting to appreciate her and liking her as a character. I love her personality and attitude. This book, although not in Bisbee, takes place mostly in Peoria. The murder plot is pretty creeapy, especially when on of the APOA students is caught up in it. I appeciated the friendship with her and Butch Dixon, and I'm hoping that will turn into something else. Overall, this was a good book and it continued the series along just fine. Can't wait to read the next ones!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Very good read.

    Another good story in the Joanna Brady series by J.A. Jance. I thoroughly enjoyed the premise and am really learn to like the characters. I plan on reading the whole series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    To ss

    K be there in sec

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Ss

    Yes Bckshadow. I'll see ya there.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Love Joanna Brady

    I am going to work my way through all her Joanna Brady series. Also if you have never read the JP Beaumont series which take place in Seattle start now with #1. This is my favorite character of all.
    Also recommended is all the Deborah Crombie series.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Love Jance's writing

    As always J A Jance spins a great tale. I have been looking for this third novel In the Brady series so I can get on with reading the others .

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    Posted June 4, 2012

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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