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Exit Wounds by J. A. Jance

Exit Wounds

by J. A. Jance

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Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full with an election campaign, unexpected pregnancy, and her house-husband Butch's frustrating career as a novelist. But when a woman is killed and her seventeen dogs die in the woman's non-air-conditioned trailer, Brady is plunged into mystery. The first murder is followed by two more--with the same weapon signature. But the deeper Brady digs, the uglier she things look. The dead woman was already a victim--of child abuse so severe it made her incapable of holding a steady job and turned her into a hoarder for dogs. Brady swears she'll find the killer, but can any punishment be enough for what has happened?

An ulterior motive with this book is to describe a mental illness called "hoarding", in which usually an unbalanced loner starts accumulating far more animals than they can begin to feed or care for properly. Using the ploy that the county Animal Control operation has recently been turned over to the sheriff to manage, she and we learn about the difficulty in placing animals for adoption and the surprising number being put to sleep every week. Pictured on the back cover with two dogs, it's clear Jance makes a compelling case for more awareness of the issues and the funding such shelters really need.

A hard book for animal lovers to read but a message that was clearly conveyed. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Carol Mossman, a dog hoarder, is shot through her locked trailer door. Unfortunately she has no electricity, so the seventeen dogs trapped in there with her die of the overwhelming heat before she’s found later that day. Two other women are found dead in another county and what ties them together are that the bullets were all made in 1917. Sharing info with other agencies is needed to solve not only these murders, but right wrongs connected to them.

Lots of stuff is going on at the home front as well. Joanna’s period is one week late and she’s not only doing her job as sheriff, but is also spending quite a bit of time campaigning for reelection. It’s going to be an interesting campaign as her opponent sets the Sheriff up for bad, unjustified publicity; although that just might work in Joanna’s favor in the long run. Some expect her to drop out due to the pregnancy and others are thrilled that she’s staying with it.

We’re faced with some uncomfortable truths in a number of areas. As someone who lives in the Midwest and not nearly as familiar with challenges due to illegal aliens crossing the border, what we learn is kind of disturbing on a number of fronts. The topic of dog hoarding and why is addressed, as is incest and polygamy.

The mystery itself is interesting and the whodunit was somewhat surprising, although it makes sense. I love that with Joanna we find not only a tough, effective sheriff who isn’t afraid to fill in when her detectives need help, but also makes decisions based on compassion, even knowing it could come back and bite her in the butt later. The supporting cast of characters is a great deal more than frames that bring Joanna’s character to life. Each is interesting and adds their own personalities to the stories. ( )
  dearheart | May 1, 2014 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
The prologue was a good opener and no hints given at all as to who or why for several chapters.Joanna is the headstrong and focused lady sheriff of a southern Arizona town. She investigates three murders performed on the same day. I was mislead by events until the “ah-hah” revelation surfaced more than three-quarters into the book. There was one major plot with one aside plot that ended with vague assumptions. All in all, the major storyline was solidly finished.It was refreshing to read about a character such as Joanna. Any personal drama was kept to a minimum and true-to-life. Butch is her fussbudget author husband with too much time on his hands. But, I suppose the author planned it this way. This was the first book I’ve read by J.A. Jance and I enjoyed it and recommend it. ( )
  catmommie | Jun 11, 2011 |
  whyteb | May 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380804719, Mass Market Paperback)

Top ten New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance returns with a powerful tale that explores the darkest corners of human nature.

The heat is a killer in Cochise County, Arizona, with temperatures over 100 degrees. In the suffocating stillness of an airless trailer, a woman is lying dead, a bullet hole in her chest. Why someone would murder a harmless loner with a soft spot for strays is only one of the questions nagging at the local police; another is why the killer used an eighty-five-year-old bullet, fired from the same weapon that slaughtered two other women who were discovered bound, naked, and gruesomely posed on the remote edge of a rancher′s land. The slayings are as oppressive as the blistering heat for Sheriff Joanna Brady, who must shoulder the added double burden of a brutal re-election campaign and major developments on the home front. With more on her plate suddenly than many big city law officers have to contend with, she must put marital distractions and an opponent′s dirty tricks in the background and deal with the terrifying reality that now threatens everyone in her jurisdiction: a serial killer in their midst. Sheriff Brady must pursue this sadistic murderer into the shadows of the past to get to the roots of a monstrous obsession and expose the permanent wounds of a crime far worse than homicide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The intense desert heat has brought horror to a small corner of the Southwest. A body lies lifeless in an airless trailer, surrounded by seventeen others. It is a crime unspeakable in its conception and execution--a nightmare strangely connected to a grisly slaughter in a neighboring state, where the corpses of two women are found tied up, naked, and gruesomely posed on a rancher's land. A day that started out hot has already turned blistering for Joanna Brady, the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, for terror has moved into her small town to stay. And the nightmare will not end until she uncovers the roots of a monstrous obsession buried somewhere in the most frightening dark shadows of the past.… (more)

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