cover image Web of Evil

Web of Evil

J. A. Jance, . . Touchstone, $25.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-3707-6

At the start of bestseller Jance's uninspired second Ali Reynolds thriller (after Edge of Evil ), Ali's husband, Paul Grayson, is killed on the eve of their divorce—by a train that hits the car where he's tied up in the trunk somewhere near Palm Springs, Calif. Ali, Paul's legal beneficiary, becomes the chief murder suspect. A popular blogger and former Los Angeles TV news anchor who's suing the station where she used to work for wrongful dismissal, Ali initiates her own investigation, enlisting the help of her mother, grown son Chris and high school friend Dave Holman, a homicide detective in Sedona, Ariz., where Ali now lives. In a series of clumsy plot developments involving Paul's fiancée, April Gaddis, and April's greedy mother, Monique Ragsdale, Ali learns that Paul was financing a performance variety of the sumo sudoku puzzle fad. Full of endless blogs and superficial characters, this one will disappoint fans of Jance's expertly written and paced Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont mysteries. (Jan.)