The other book Mary had left for us was a J. A. Jance book, Fatal Error. This Jance book features Ali Reynolds, former LA news reader and a wanna be cop now living in Arizona on a pile of money she inherited from her late husband. (There's a Jance theme: Reynolds and the star of the Jance book I finished not long ago, J. P. Beaumont, are both rich as Croesus because of what they were left by now-dead spouses.)
The Beaumont book, Betrayal of Trust was a great one for me.
This Ali Reynolds book was nearly as great. I did decide to award it one Heart of Gold for improbabilities and I almost gave it a Green Lantern for superheroics.
But, the stories that Jance tells in this book flow so well and are so integrated, that I enjoyed reading it. It even kept me up past my bedtime last night so I could finish it.
The story begins with a former LA rival of Ali's who was also "let go" by a television station becsause mature women don't attract the right audiences for newscasts. Ali's "friend" starts drinking too much, eating too much, and chasing the wrong men too much.
One of the men she "chases" is online, and when she discovers that the online boyfriend is stringing several women along, she decides to expose the guy and begins interviewing the women he's been virtually involved with. The problem is that one of the names on the list she finds is his employer in a scheme to build and sell drone bombers to really bad guys.
The employer is a no-nonsense, heartless crook who begins offing the people involved with the scheme when they're no longer needed. Ali's friend is down the list, but she is on the list.
The murders involve city and county cops all over east LA and central California, so lots of cops get involved. (I did have fun looking at Salton City in Google Earth since that was one of the settings in the book. Man, what a dump -- even from satellite photos!)
Ali, who has finished police academy training, but is not a cop, works with lots of real cops who are suspicious -- especially when she drops a few thou on a private jet to get an off duty homicide detective from one crime scene to another.
There are lots of complicaitons and lots of nooks and crannies in this story, but they fit together so well. (That is what earns the Heart of Gold award for too many coincidences.) Jance tells the stories well, both through dialogue and narration.
J. A. Jance talks about the origins of two of the stories in Fatal Error.
It's such pure entertainment, that I almost feel guilty enjoying the reading so much.
So, have you read Fatal Error by J. A. Jance? or another of Jance's 43 novels? Write and tell this little bit of the world what you thought of it (them).
- The publisher's web site
- A review from Kirkus Book Reviews
- Andy Plonka's review from The Mystery Reader
- Liz Nichols' review from The Mystery Maven Blog