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Trial by Fury (J. P. Beaumont Series #3)

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Trial By FuryThe body lying naked and dead in a Seattle Dumpster was a shock. But even more shocking was the manner in which he died. The victim, a high school coach, was lynched — a grim echo from a dark past — leaving behind a very pregnant wife with a very dangerous secret. And a sixth sense developed over twenty years on the job tells Homicide detective J.P. Beamont that this investigation is going to the lethal extremes — of passion, lies and hatred. . . of the wrong kind ...
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Trial by Fury (J. P. Beaumont Series #3)

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Overview

Trial By FuryThe body lying naked and dead in a Seattle Dumpster was a shock. But even more shocking was the manner in which he died. The victim, a high school coach, was lynched — a grim echo from a dark past — leaving behind a very pregnant wife with a very dangerous secret. And a sixth sense developed over twenty years on the job tells Homicide detective J.P. Beamont that this investigation is going to the lethal extremes — of passion, lies and hatred. . . of the wrong kind of love and the worst kind of justice.

Author Biography: J.A. Jance is the American Mystery Award-winning author of the popular J.P. Beaumont mystery series as well as eight mysteries featuring Joanna Brady. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.

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Editorial Reviews

West Coast Review of Books
Believable And Intense.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380751389
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/1986
  • Series: J. P. Beaumont Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (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



I was hung over as hell when Detective Ron Peters and I hit the crime scene at ten after eight on a gray and rainy Seattle Monday morning. Peters, my partner on Seattle P.D.'s homicide squad, was quick to point out that it could have been worse. At least I had some hope of getting better. The black man lying behind the dumpster at the Lower Queen Anne Bailey's Foods didn't.

He was dead. Had been for some time. The sickish odor of decaying flesh was thick in the air.

Partially wrapped in a tarp, he lay propped against the loading dock, the whole weight of his body resting on his shoulders, his broad head twisted unnaturally to one side.

The human neck is engineered to turn back and forth and up and down in a multitude of combinations. This wasn't one of them. I didn't need the medical examiner's officer to tell me his neck was broken' but it would require an autopsy to determine if a broken neck was actually the cause of death.

Fortunately, the medical examiner wasn't far behind us. Old Doc Baker, his fall head of white hair wet and plastered flat on his head, turned up with a squad of youthful technicians. Baker supervises departmental picturetaking and oversees the initial handling of the corpse.

Crime-scene etiquette comes with its own peculiar pecking order. In phase one, the medical examiner reigns supreme. Baker barked orders that sent people scurrying in all directions while Peters and I stood in the doorway of the loading dock trying to keep out of both the way and the rain.

The store manager, with a name tag identifying him as Curt, came to stand beside us. He chewed vigorously on ahangnail. "This is real bad for business," he said to no one in particular, although Peters and I were the only people within earshot. "Corporate isn't going to like it at all!"

I turned to him, snapping open my departmental ID. "Detective J.P. Beaumont," I told him. "Homicide, Seattle P.D. Is this man anyone you recognize?" I motioned in the direction of the dead man.

It was a long shot, checking to see if Curt recognized the victim, but it didn't hurt to ask. Every once in a while we get lucky. Someone says sure, he knows the victim, and provides us with a complete name and address. Having that kind of information gives us a big leg up at the beginning of an investigation, but it doesn't happen often. And it didn't happen then.

Curt shook his head mournfully. "No. Never saw him before. But it's still bad for business. Just wait till this hits the papers."

"Optimist," Peters muttered to me under his breath. To Curt, he said, "Who found him?"

"Produce boy. He's upstairs in my office."

"Can we talk to him?"

"He's still pretty shook up. Just a kid, you know."

We followed Curt through the store, deserted except for a few anxious employees who watched our progress down an aisle stacked high with canned goods. At the front of the store, he led us through a door and up a steep flight of steps to a messy cubbyhole that served as Curt's office. From the debris and litter scattered on the table, it was clear the room doubled as an employee lunchroom.

The produce boy was just exactly that, a boy, a kid barely out of high school to look at him. He sat by a scarred wooden desk with his tie loosened and his head resting on his arms. When he raised his head to look at us, a distinctly greenish pallor colored his face. The name tag on his blue apron pocket said Frank.

"How's it going, Frank?" I asked, flashing my ID.

He shook his head. "Not so good. I've never seen anybody dead before."

"How'd you find him?"

"The lettuce," he said.

"Lettuce?"

"Not lettuce exactly. The produce trimmings. I was taking them out to the dumpster in a lettuce crate. That's when I saw him."

"What time?"

"After seven sometime. Don't know exactly. I don't wear a watch."

"And you didn't move him or touch him in any way?"

"Are you kidding? I dropped the crate and lost my cookies. Right there on the loading dock. Then I ran like hell."

"What time?" Peters asked, turning to the manager.

"Twenty after seven. I checked when I dialed 911."

We asked the full quota of questions, but there was nothing either Frank or his boss could add to what they'd already told us. Finally, thanking them for their help, we left the office and returned to where Doc Baker was still throwing his considerable weight around.

"What's it look like?" I asked when he heaved himself to his feet, motioned the techs to pack up the body, and came over to where Peters and I were standing.

"Death by hanging from the looks of it," he said. "Rope burns around his neck. That's probably how it got broken. I'll be able to tell you for sure after the autopsy."

"When will you do it?" Peters asked.

Baker scowled. "Don't rush me. This afternoon, probably. We have another one scheduled for this morning. What was it, a full moon over the weekend?"

Peters shook his head. "You've got it wrong, Doc. According to what I read, rapes and robberies go up during a full moon, not murders."

Baker gave Peters another sour look. They never really hit it off. Baker didn't have much patience with Peters' photographic memory for everything he'd read, and Peters regarded Baker as a pretentious old fart. Young detectives who hang around long enough, however, eventually figure out that Howard Baker is a very wise old fart...

Trial By Fury. 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
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 1, 2013

    A realistic "Police Procedural" set in Seattle.

    to A well designed story that leaves few clues as how the story will unfold.
    The perversity of human nature carries through the whole story and the reader is seldom expecting the next development.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2012

    Love all the J. P. Beaumont Books

    I really got hooked on this series!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Quick and Fun Read!!

    I love this series. J.P. Beaumont is the kind of real character that I love. He is certainly not all good, but very human. I will continue to read the entire series. My problem is that once I begin a book, I can not put it down and I read it in one or two sittings! Keep 'um coming J.A.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    highly recommend

    I am totally hooked on the J.P. Beaumont Series . . . can't wait to get to #4! I have really gotten to know this character and those around him. I like the references to previous cases and life moments.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    good

    It held my interest for most of the book. Don't need the sex scenes, and the cursing is unnecessary. Although these books have less of that than most. It is a good read and I downloaded more of this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Another great read from the J.P.Beaumont series

    Like all the other J.P. Beaumont books by J.A. Jance I have read so far this is a fabulous read for fans of suspenseful detective stories. Mrs. Jance has a way of describing her characters that is both insightful and detailed, leaving you on the edge of your seat until the last few pages and at the end of the book you can't wait to read the next one. I love them !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Sea Snake's pearl.

    Journey to the depths of the ocean blue as you try to steal the mythical Sea serpents pearl. But hey.. the serpent part is just a myth... right?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Unknown Girl

    Goes to result one instead.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Should it, very easy read

    none

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Too much money for short story

    Only getting this author for family friend. However since i am the one paying 8.99 for her short stories, have decided to move on to someone else to get my monies worth!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Good read! Highly recommended!

    Love this series! I was able to get book 1 in this series for $0.99 downloaded to my nook! Glad I decided to give the series a try! They are great books with captivating story lines! Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Recommend

    Read these in sequence for best experience

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    J.A. Jance

    She has me hooked on the " J. P. Beaumont " series

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Above abh re above avg read

    Flow was good.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    M

    Cool awesome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    I love the JP Beaumont series. Would reccomend them to any mystery lover.

    JA Jance wirtes great mystery/suspense. I am particularly fond of the JP Beaumont series. Somehow I missed this one and got a good background.

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    Posted May 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2011

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