Morrow, Aug 2001, 25.00, 371 pp.
In Cochise County, Arizona twelve-year-old Jenny Brady and her friend Dora Matthews sneak out of the Girl Scout's camp after lights are out to smoke cigarettes. However, the two mischievous girls soon find a corpse. Though she has a homicide to investigate, Jenny's mother Joanna, the county sheriff, is livid with her daughter, not only for sneaking out but for smoking as well.
However, Joanna revises her concern when a hit and run driver kills Dora. Not believing in coincidences, Joanna worries that someone wants to eliminate the witnesses to the first killing, which makes her beloved daughter a potential next victim. Joanna uses all her police skills to uncover the identity of the culprit before Jenny becomes the next casualty.
As expected from JA Jance (see the Beaumont mysteries as well as other novels in this series), PARADISE LOST is paradise found by fans of police procedurals. An intense personal side to Joanna leads to a taut story line that enhances the who-done-it. Both subplots converge on the heroine as her personal life and professional lives collide. Whether it is Seattle or Arizona, Ms. Jance always provides a powerhouse of entertainment.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner