Morrow, Aug 2002, 24.95, 370 pp.
In Bisbee, Arizona someone murders artist Rochelle Baxter just after her works go on display. The Cochise County Sheriff's Department led by Joanna Brady investigates the homicide only to learn that the victim's on record next of kin is the Washington State Attorney General's Office.
Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont travels to Bisbee to learn if someone leaked Baxter's identity. Baxter was actually Latisha Wall, placed in the state's witness protection program for whistle blowing. Now the star witness is dead just before she was to testify at a trial. However, Brady does not welcome the intrusion from the northwest into her jurisdiction. Beaumont is also uncomfortable as Bisbee provides nightmarish memories for him. When a second murder occurs, the two investigators begin to cooperate as respect and romance surface leading to a pooling of their talents to ferret out a killer.
Readers of either J.A. Jance's two long running series will enjoy the partnering of the duet in a solid police procedural. The novel alternates chapters between the stars. Beaumont provides a first-person account that shows his disdain for the area yet brilliantly describes this part of Arizona. Brady's chapters are written in the third case narrating much of how the sheriff and her office work the case. The romance between the stars seems unnecessary and unreal, and the use of a seemingly available chemical as the murder weapon makes this reviewer uncomfortable. Still, series fans will enjoy the merging of the two fine law enforcement officials in an engaging police procedural.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner