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Downfall: A Brady Novel of Suspense    by J. A. Jance order for
by J. A. Jance
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

What can be better than to have some free time, a comfortable chair to curl up in, with a book by one of your most favorite authors in your hot, little hands? That's how felt when I opened the first page of J. A. Jance's Downfall. That woman seems incapable of putting out anything but the very best writing for our edification.

Downfall is oozing with suspense and good characterizations. Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full. She is gearing up for a re-election bid. She is also close to the delivery of her third child. She has a college-age daughter as well as a five year-old boy with her second husband. Finding time to be a loving wife and mother is not an easy task while trying to police the community. When she is told of a double homicide at a local state park, she has almost reached the breaking point.

Two women, one on top of the other, lie at the bottom of a sheer-faced cliff. Investigation shows that the two did not know each other. What could have happened? Murder/suicide? Accident? Argument? Sheriff Brady finds it's not easy climbing steep hills when one cannot see one's feet. But she does her job.

Finding out that a local, well-thought of teacher is a pedophile is almost the last straw. The teacher spread her dubious charms among many of her students. What more could happen? Oh, yes. Did I mention that the Sheriff's mother and stepfather were victims of a roadside sniper and she has a funeral to plan as her daughter leaves home for her first year in college?

Believe me when I say that if you read the first page you will carry this mystery around with you to read every spare moment you get. Jance not only writes the popular Joanna Brady series but also the J. P. Beaumont mysteries, as well as the Walker Family and the Ali Reynolds novels. My word, where does she get the time to breath? I was able at one point to attend one of her author appearances. What a very lovely woman.

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