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Devil's Claw (Joanna Brady Mysteries, Book…

Devil's Claw (Joanna Brady Mysteries, Book 8) (2000)

by J. A. Jance

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Lucy, a teenage girl whose only friend is a red-tailed hawk, knows her life is in danger after witnessing her mother’s death. She’s got what the killer is looking for. Not knowing who to trust, she’s on the run. Sheriff Joanna Brady has a lot on her plate. She’s looking for the missing teen and it’s suspected that the girl had killed her mother. It requires digging into the past and learning more about the circumstances around Lucy’s father’s death to catch the killer.

There’s great deal going on in her personal life as well. She’s getting married within the week and her overbearing mother is driving her nuts with details. The sudden death of her neighbor who has been taking care of the animals on Joanna’s ranch hits her hard, especially when Clayton’s estranged daughter breezes into town making accusations that Joanna killed him. Now she adds an interesting element! Joanna is about to meet her in-laws and just knows her house won’t be clean enough, and Jenny, while she loves Butch, does have some fears about what the change in relationship will mean to her.

The fast-moving story is packed with events and emotions. It contains all of the twists and twerks of the prior stories but I was really sorry to see what I believe was a missed opportunity. Lucy is friendless due to not only her heritage, but the fact that her mother had been in jail for the murder of Lucy’s father. Jenny and Lucy never get to meet and it would have been nice to see a non-adult accept her as she is which Jenny would have easily done. But, these stories are always realistic and the two had no reason to meet, especially since they don’t live close by. The hawk does add a nice touch. ( )
  dearheart | Apr 28, 2014 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
I've loved J. A. Jance's books for years and this 12 year old paperback given to me by a friend is certainly no disappointment. It's part of the series starring Sheriff Joanna Brady of Bisbee, AZ. In this one Brady and her boyfriend Butch are nearing their wedding date when a 15 year old part Apache girl, Lucy, and her pet red-tailed hawk disappear. That same night Lucy's mother is murdered just after being released from prison where she had been because she confessed to killing Lucy's father.

As if that isn't enough, neighbor Clayton Rhodes is found dead and Brady learns to her surprise that he has left her his large ranch, and his only surviving child is a woman who is a handful to say the least.

Lucy is a sympathetic character. She loved her father and after his murder she was sent to live with her grandmother. She has no friends other than her hawk and so she leads a lonely life as she suffers bullying from her classmates. She is also a very brave girl whose journey in this book is something not many 15 year old girls could accomplish.

Joanna's extremely critical mother is a character you would just like to smack around, but in this book she actually does some nice things, and Butch's mother turns out to be made of the same cloth. Oh boy, Joanna is in for quite a wedding! All the regular characters are part of the story making Devil's Claw a suspenseful but also fun read. ( )
  bjmitch | Jun 19, 2012 |
Set in Arizona, this time Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County is working two cases in the weeks before her wedding to Butch Dixon. lj ( )
  eduscapes | Apr 15, 2011 |
Another episode in the continuing adventures of Joanna Brady, the first (and only) female sheriff in Arizona. Joanna is eagerly anticipating her wedding in a few weeks, although not eager about meeting her fiance's parents. In the meantime, she's trying to solve a murder, locate a missing teenage who happens to be the daughter of the murder victim, deal with the unexpected death of her beloved next-door neighbor, and keep her feet on the ground, and her mother off her back.

I was a bit confused about the ending at first, I really had to sit down and almost draw myself a diagram to see how the pieces fit so nicely together. Jance's explanation may have wrapped it all up a bit too neatly, and left me saying 'Huh?' When I finally understood what had happened and why, it made sense, but I think the resolution of the main crime (the murder) case could have been a bit more carefully explained as far as who all the players were and how they were involved. ( )
  tututhefirst | Oct 12, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380792494, Mass Market Paperback)

A missing teenager and an octogenarian found dead of apparently natural causes are pretty run-of-the-mill cases in Bisbee, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is focusing on the last-minute details of her upcoming wedding. In this latest outing in Judith Jance's Brady series, the connection between the two events is a thin one. In the author's capable hands, however, it's enough to drive this well-plotted mystery to a credible conclusion.

Fifteen-year-old Lucy Ridder dreads her mother's release from prison, eight years after she was convicted of killing Lucy's beloved father. Lucy is aware that her mother's priority is not a family reunion but the retrieval of a mysterious diskette entrusted to Lucy by her dad shortly before his death. After inadvertently witnessing her mother's brutal slaying by a stranger who's also hot after the diskette, Lucy vanishes. It takes most of the novel for Joanna to figure out that Lucy's disappearance is tied to her mother's murder, and for good reasons. Besides the distraction of her pending nuptials, the sheriff has been accused of killing her elderly, beloved neighbor for financial gain. Because the reader knows the truth of both situations very early in the game, Joanna's delayed awareness doesn't pack as much wallop as it might. The greater mystery is whether she'll strangle her wedding-obsessed mother before she and her too-good-to-be-true fiancé make it to the altar. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the night-still canyons of the Arizona desert, a girl is on the run. Alone but for her beloved red-tailed hawk, she flees from the dark shadows of her young life, the horror she has witnessed and the terror that now stalks her.

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