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

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

by J. A. Jance

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“Jance paints a vibrant picture, creating characters so real you want to reach out and hug—or strangle—them.”Cleveland Plain Dealer

With Trial by Fury, classic crime fiction featuring Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont, fans of the author’s enormously popular Sheriff Joanna Brady books can discover another side to the incomparable Jance. This masterful tale of murder, passion, race, and rage, plunges the intrepid Beau into an investigation where the secrets uncovered may be more terrible than the crime. Read Trial by Fury, now in a Premium Plus edition, and discover why the Chattanooga Times calls Jance, “One of the best—if not the best.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061958533
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/29/2009
Series: J. P. Beaumont Series , #3
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 83,024
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.


Bellevue, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 27, 1944

Place of Birth:

Watertown, South Dakota


B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970

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.


"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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Trial by Fury 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Patarma6 More than 1 year ago
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.
sequim More than 1 year ago
I really got hooked on this series!
Dit More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
terpOK More than 1 year ago
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.
NookloverNM More than 1 year ago
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 !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Lots of action and suspense. Cannot wait to read the next J.A. Jance book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting good read! I could not read the last six chapters fast enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much...$9.99! Someone else paid $8.99. Why the increase...still no paper or binding, just words.
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