Day of the Dead Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Day of the Dead

Morrow, Jul 2004, 23.95, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0688138233

Elderly Tohono O'odham Indian, Emma Orozco, visits former sheriff Brandon Walker to ask if he will investigate the vicious murder of her daughter, Roseanne. Having a connection to the Indian tribe through his beloved adopted daughter and unable to refuse a client unable to pay his expenses, Brandon agrees to make inquiries into a cold case homicide that occurred over three decades ago. Solving a killing that happened during the Nixon Administration is doubtful.
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Brandon turns to the privately funded The Last Chance, a group that investigates unsolved crimes for assistance including money. As he makes inquiries into the Roseanne murder, he notices a pattern of eerily similar deaths. He postulates that a serial killer or multiple culprits have left dismembered bodies by isolated Southwest roads with no other clues. He begins to close in on the amoral killer(s) who have no compunction in eliminating the sleuth, his family, and friends.

The fast-paced third Walker mystery is an exciting crime thriller that contains a lot more sexual violence (especially by an unscrupulous couple) than normally seen in a J.A. Jance tale (see J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady novels). Walker is a fabulous protagonist who reveres Native American customs and mysticism, but uses old fashion investigative techniques to try to uncover the culprit(s). The secondary cast are his wife Diana (major player in (see HOUR OF THE HUNTER and KISS OF THE BEES), a close dying friend Fat Crack Ortiz, his adopted daughter Lani and several other Indians.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Day of the Dead

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   no powwow with Indian killers Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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J.A. Jance Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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