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Publisher's Summary

Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady returns in this outstanding new mystery set in the beautiful desert country of the Southwest.

With a baby on the way, sudden deaths in the family from which to recover, a reelection campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full when a puzzling new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal.

Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What's the connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide, or is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another victim?

©2016 J. A. Jance (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-25-16

J.A. Jance at her best.

It is great to have another Joanna Brady story after such a long break. This series was my introduction to the writings of J. A. Jance and I like this series more so than her other three series. Brady has suffered the death of her mother and step-father. They were killed by a freeway sniper. Their funeral has not been held yet and Joanna faced the double homicide of two young women at the base of Geronimo Peak near Bisbee. Joanna investigates these deaths to determine cause and find out whodunit. She uncovers a kidnapping, a pedophile and domestic abuse during her investigation. Then another murder occurs on the golf course; Joanna has her hands full. The last part of the book was impossible to stop reading until the end, the suspense had me on the edge of the chair.

It is great to have Frank Montoya back. In earlier books he was Joanna’s right- hand man. He quit to become the Chief of Police of Sierra Vista. Now Joanna and Frank are working together because they are sharing jurisdiction also with the FBI. We have a new character, FBI special agent Robin Watkins. I am enjoying the new Cochise County Medical Examiner, Dr. Kendra Baldwin. With all the murder investigations going on Joanna’s life goes on. She is pregnant, running for re-election as Sheriff and has the usual family and Sheriff department problems.

The book is well written. The pace is fast. The plot twists and turns. Jance is superb at capturing human emotions from humor to fear, as well as sorrow and anger. The suspense builds throughout the story as Joanna questions everyone and finds maybe the trust of longtime friends are in question also. Jance is a master story teller. I cannot wait for the next Brady story.

Hillary Huber does an excellent job narrating the book. She is an award winning audiobook narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Whew!

Just finished listening, and I have to admit, I pretty much cried through the whole thing. No spoilers, but we lose one of the most colorful of the standard characters -- more than one, actually. And that was sad enough -- funny how you get attached to these fictional people, after living with them through what, 17 books? But they have come to seem like real people, or at least they do, when the author is someone as talented as J. A. Jance.

And sad though it was to lose them, what compounded it all was the amount of reflection other characters did, about them, their impact on their lives, and many little re-telling of stories we remember about them from books past. Much of it was heartbreaking, especially as you get to see some of them in a new light.

As far as the basic plot is concerned, it's one ripped out of the headlines. So realistically speaking, it not only COULD happen, it did. Many times over. True, this tale has a more dramatic conclusion than those real-life stories, but still, a worthy subject to be addressed in fiction.

I loved this book -- even the narrator, Hillary Huber, didn't drive me as nuts as she sometimes has. Once you get over the idea that she's not really going to fall asleep at the mike, she's tolerable. Still -- wish the combined forces of publisher and Miz Jance would put all these books in the steady hands of narrator Stephanie Brush. She was the best by far, in terms of being the voice of Joanna -- and I keep hoping she'll reappear.

A great book, by any standard. How does she do it, J.A. Jance? Keep making this series better and better?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Strong Role Models

In addition to writing exceptional police dramas, J.A. Jance has an incredible gift for creating strong, mature and realistic role models in Joanna and Butch.

While Joanna is an intriguing character (dedicated public servant, mother and wife), I think Butch is possibly the perfect man, smart, caring and NOT threatened by assertive, successful women. Butch is quietly supportive and respectful of Joaana's difficult career, demonstrating his absolute affection by being patient & understanding rather than controlling and selfish.

I also like how Joanna is a work in progress, definitely flawed but striving to learn & grow both personally & professionally. She is tough enough to thrive in the male dominated law enforcement field without being becoming a bitch and savvy enough to solve complicated crimes. And best of all, Joanna doesn't do stupid, helpless or submissive; she kicks ass!

I find this entire series highly entertaining because of the well defined and varied cast of characters, even more than the first class mystery/suspense plots. Goodl job!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Book

Was sucked into this book right away. What's worst then staying up all night to read a book - staying up all night to listen to a book. So many twists and turns.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack
  • GAINESVILLE, FL, United States
  • 09-25-16

Downfall--poorly narrated

I am a Joanna Brady fan and this was a good story though somewhat predictable. It was a bit hard to believe it took the cops so long to figure it out. However the story was engaging enough to keep me going even with the terrible performance of the narrator. Joanna Brady is an autonomous, and strong woman. The narration made her sound whiny--very whiny. This narrator should never be used for a book with a strong female character. Never.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Still enjoying this series

J. A. Jance is still writing wonderful books. She manages to write original stories. As always, there are many unexpected twists and turns. Her characters continue to grow. I highly recommend the entire series.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Tragedy strikes Joanna

What aspect of Hillary Huber’s performance would you have changed?

I sometimes feel that Ms. Huber hits the wrong tone with Joanna. Also, Ms. Huber makes Marliss Shackelford too repellent.

Any additional comments?

The ending is very nice. I am glad Joanna was able to look beyond her emotions and show compassion to Mona. Very nice touch indeed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love reading about the places I have visited

J.A. Jance tells a colorful and timely story involving places in southern AZ which pique my curiosity. Now have to go visit Geronimo near Bisbee.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great read...

Where does Downfall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best of all the audio books I've read!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sheriff Joanna Brady because she a very strong women.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favorite scene. The whole book is full of surprises.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Joanna was rescued and the police dog was shot.

Any additional comments?

Joanna Brady is my favorite character of J. A. Jance's characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New story JA Jance

Overall story was good, but reader was not up to speed. The reader was just reading, somewhat stilted and not much emotional inflection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful