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Shoot Don't Shoot by J. A. Jance

Shoot Don't Shoot (1995)

by J. A. Jance

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Joanna Brady novel — New Mexico sheriff

Set against Arizona's parched landscape, the new mystery starring Sheriff Joanna Brady delivers the breakneck plot, genuine characters and unceasing Brady style that Jance's readers have come to expect. When a peeping Tom serial killer stalks the campus of the Arizona Police Academy, Joanna is drawn into a chilling, emotional investigation.
  christinejoseph | Sep 16, 2016 |
Newly elected Cochise County, Arizona, sheriff Joanna Brady reluctantly leaves her 13-year-old daughter and comfortable hometown of Bisbee for Phoenix, where she enrolls in a recommended law-enforcement course. Recently Phoenix has been besieged by several brutal domestic-violence crimes, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer. Joanna finds herself drawn into the case of a suspect she believes has been falsely accused.

Shoot/Don't Shoot has a very convoluted structure, and there are several plot lines running in parallel.
The mysteries in the book aren't that complex. There are also some odd details about the Police Training Facility that seemed fairly obvious but the author does a fairly good job using them to enhance the suspense. In her last adventure, Joanna's balance of toughness and vulnerability was utterly believable, as were her struggles with her domineering mother and troubled daughter. But Jance goes a little overboard here with a couple of the personal plot lines.

This tale is a little different since it takes place in Phoenix, Arizona instead of Bisbee. I live in the Phoenix area and have to say that Jance's descriptions were extremely accurate. This wasn't my favorite of the three Joanna Brady books I've read but I enjoyed it and plan to continue the series.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Joanna Brady has been sheriff for two weeks and she is in Phoenix for a six week crash course in police procedures. Before leaving for the course Joanna is asked to look into a local man who was arrested for killing his wife in Phoenix. Joanna begins to wonder if this death is connected to other deaths in the area. A good addition to the series. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Newly sworn in Sheriff Joanna Brady, heads off to academy training to learn how to be a cop and be better able to do her job. Just before leaving she’s requested to look into the murder of a woman’s ex-daughter-in-law. Her son is in jail, being accused of the murder which took place near the area where Joanna will be going for training, and of course his mother doesn’t believe he’s guilty.

Did she make a mistake going to the academy? That’s her thought on her first day. There’s only one other female in the class and the instructor, while well thought of by veteran officers, is a boring, condescending-to-women jerk. And it appears he’s going to do everything he can to make them look bad.

While asking around about the murder, it becomes apparent to Joanna that he didn’t do it. A number of women have been killed recently via domestic violence and it’s not until Joanna sees commonality between them that she and the local police understand that they’re looking at a serial killer who picks victims whose deaths could be blamed on others.

We’re not missing too many series characters in this out-of-town story. The academy training starts just before Thanksgiving and the elder Brady’s are bringing Jenny so they can spend the long weekend together. And what’s a story without Joanna’s mother, who decides to come along at the last minute, bringing a surprise with her. It’s a surprise all right. And Joanna keeps in touch with what’s going on at the station, so we also get what’s going on in Bisbee, adding some humor to the story.

Interesting story and characters. Not only do we get more on police procedure and philosophy, but domestic violence as seen thru the eyes of the cops.

Joanna is no superhero and she still as a great deal to learn. But she’s capable and determined. She and Jenny are still dealing with the death of Andy; it’s only been 2 months. The problems and scenarios both are facing because of it are realistic. And due to a threat near the end of the story, expect to need some tissues. ( )
  dearheart | Apr 19, 2014 |
Joanna is in her law enforcement training course in Phoenix when she becomes aware of a serial killer on the prowl and coming dangerously close to her.
I didn't care for this book as much as the previous two. Joanna came across as a spoiled and ungracious brat at the holiday season. As far as the mystery, again, it isn't so much a mystery as a blank reveal at the end. I felt cheated out of a better thought out villain. However, where Jance shines is her characters, which were very interesting and make me want to keep reading. I must say, the hullabaloo in the hotel lobby was very distracting to me, a hotel worker. All I could think about were the poor hotel agents who would be blamed for everything and have to hand out discounts left and right even though it was in no way their fault. I can just hear the guest's complaining. ( )
  MrsLee | Dec 30, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380765489, Mass Market Paperback)

An assassin's bullet shattered Joanna Brady's world, leaving herpoliceman husband to die in the Arizona desert. But the young widowfought back the only way she knew how: by bringing the killers tojustice...and winning herself a job as Cochise County Sheriff.

Shoot/Don't Shoot

Still mourning her loss, Joanna Brady needs to be strongand supportive for her nine-year-old daughter, Jenny. She also hasresponsibilities to the people who elected her Sheriff. Joanna has thehead and instinct for her new job, but not the experience--whichis what brings her to Phoenix for a pre-Thanksgiving crash course inpolice training...and into the mystery of an imprisoned husbandher gut tells her did not murder his estranged wife. SuddenlySheriff Brady has a lot more to worry about than classes and thevisiting family pre-holiday chaos. For her impromptu investigationis drawing a serial killer too close for comfort--and closer, worse still, to Joanna's little girl.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Enrolling in the Arizona Police Officer Academy, newly elected sheriff Joanna Brady becomes embroiled in an investigation involving a serial killer who is stalking the women on campus.

» see all 6 descriptions

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