Morrow, August 2003, 24.95, 384pp.
Though she is pregnant and struggling with morning sickness, Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady feels she still can campaign for reelection. Though stuffing her face makes her more nauseous, she runs from one hot dog event to another as she seeks votes while constituents celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.
However, her reelection bid goes on the backburner when Joanna learns that a homicide occurred. Someone shot and killed Carol Mossman in a mobile home amidst seventeen dead dogs that were victims of the cruel summer heat. Later ballistics proves the weapon used in the Mossman murder was also used in the killing of two females in New Mexico. Joanna begins to look into the life of the victim in her jurisdiction and she finds a link that ties Carol's father to the Brethren cult that is under investigation because of allegations made by the Lobo State victims.
This is a strong entry in one of the better police procedural series on the market today. In many ways, the tale will remind the audience of Fargo, but with the added issue of running for office. The who-done-it is cleverly designed and Joanna is learning the hard way how difficult it is to work while throwing up. J.A. Jance further humanizes one of the better-fictionalized law enforcement officials in this top rate tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner