cover image Downfall: A Brady Novel of Suspense

Downfall: A Brady Novel of Suspense

J.A. Jance. Morrow, $26.99 (360p) ISBN 978-0-06-229771-6

In bestseller Jance’s engrossing 17th novel featuring Cochise County, Ariz., sheriff Joanna Brady (after 2014’s Remains of Innocence), the pregnant Joanna, who’s facing an election campaign and has just lost her mother and stepfather in a road accident, must also cope with the discovery of two women’s bodies at the base of a peak the locals refer to as Geronimo. The victims have no apparent connection to each other and either jumped or were pushed to their deaths. One is immediately identified as Desirée Wilburton, a graduate student who was studying cacti in the area; the other turns out to be teacher Susan Marie Nelson, the wife of a preacher, Drexel Nelson, who displays no grief when Joanna tells him the news of Susan’s death. The pressure on Joanna increases when a domestic assault becomes a murder, and a relentless reporter, Mariss Shackleford, needles local officials, especially Joanna, about the unsolved crimes. The action races to a dramatic confrontation between Joanna and the killer, who has been hiding in plain sight. Agent: Alice Volpe, Northwest Literary Agency. (Sept.)