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Publisher's Summary

In the heat of the Arizona desert, a raging fire pushes temperatures to a deadly degree, and one woman is left to burn. Pulled naked and barely breathing from the fire, the victim has no idea who she is, let alone who would do this to her -- or why. In her hospital bed she drifts in and out of consciousness, her only means of communicating a blink of the eye. And then an angel appears. Misguidedly known around town as the "Angel of Death," Sister Anselm has devoted her life to working as an advocate for unidentified patients. To her burn patient, she is a savior. But to this Jane Doe's would-be killer, Sister Anselm's efforts pose a serious threat. Ali Reynolds is on the scene as the new media relations consultant for the Yavapai County Police Department, keeping reporters at bay and circumventing questions about arson and a link to a domestic terrorist group called Earth Liberation Front. But her job quickly becomes much more. As Ali struggles to help Sister Anselm uncover the helpless woman's identity, they realize that by locating the missing relatives they may be exposing the victim once more to a remorseless killer determined to finish the job. Faced with the possibility of putting all three of their lives in jeopardy, Ali fearlessly pursues justice -- and what she discovers is a secret even darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined.

With unerring skill, Jance delivers relentless suspense in what is surely her finest novel yet in this riveting and addictive series.

©2009 J.A. Jance (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    77
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    20
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
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    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    14
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    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-26-10

Trial By Fire

I had listened to other Ali Reynolds stories by J.A.Jance and each time I thought I might not listen to her next book in the series. I am very glad I went ahead and listen to this one as it was the best one she has done in this series. I had felt in the other books that Ali was lost but this book got her a new job and purpose for the story. Lots of nail biting suspense and still the calm of the family interaction. Great characters in the story. You will enjoy it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Crisp writing - Jance is just getting better

I am a long-time Jance fan so expected a good read, but realized part way through that this is some of her best work so far. The writing is absolutely crisp so things unfold at a steady pace while also providing excellent character development and a solid story line. Multiple characters and story threads can be confusing sometimes & I think the audiobook format may accentuate that problem, however, in Trial By Fire, Jance draws the characters and outlines the story threads so distinctly that this is not a problem at all. If you like a good puzzle as well as emotional context, then you will find Trail By Fire right down you alley. I suggest this is a good novel to start with if you are new to Jance's work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brent
  • Springville, CA, United States
  • 11-30-11

Enjoyable Listen

Well crafted story, interesting characters, though some of the action is a bit "super-human" style, but enjoyable nonetheless. Typical well-thought-out story line, and character development.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JanetNAZ
  • YUMA, AZ, United States
  • 08-16-12

Vintage J.A. Jance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend the whole Ali Reynolds Series. Being in the upper middle age bracket I like reading a story with the main character being in the same general age of life. The mystery and twists that Jance puts in her books are good and make me think harder to try to figure out the end game.

Who was your favorite character and why?

In this book I liked Sister Anselm because she made positive things come from negative situations in her life and others.

What about Karen Ziemba’s performance did you like?

Not as good as I would like. Sometimes she seemed to have problems catching the "voice" of each of the characters. Sometimes it seemed she didn't know how to pronounce some words and was too slow in her speech.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily. If I would have been able to I would have, but I liked having the break to think about what I had listened to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • Sister Bay, WI, USA
  • 02-11-10

Ok if you enjoy rambling

The prologue is engaging. Unfortunately we don't get back to the plot until part 2 of 2 and then it quickly falters.
The story and narrator made all men gruff and curt.
Many of the random characters introduced in first half had a grab-bag of social-economic-medical-political maladies who were never involved in the plot and and simply just forgotten.
Congratulations if you made it to the end as you show incredible perseverance.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

J.A. Jance's builds characters!

What did you love best about Trial by Fire?

Character development for even obscure characters.

What other book might you compare Trial by Fire to and why?

Jance's Edge of Evil had the same type of well developed characters.

What aspect of Karen Ziemba’s performance would you have changed?

More emotion in the reading.

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

The main character, Ali Reynolds defies all of the authorities during the conclusion because of her loyality to other characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MJ
  • 12-02-17

book with heart and mystery

Well-crafted story line, along with good well thought-out characterizations, and enjoyable book to read. This definitely invites you to read the next Jance book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Suspense? Umm, no.

One of the most boring, pedestrian books I've ever read. Amounted to little more than a boring dinner story by a family member who blathers on with the most mundane of details.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

I love this series. It always hooks me and I can't put it down. Can't wait to start on the next one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book marred by wooden narration

Where does Trial by Fire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is pretty average for audiobooks compared to others I've listened to.

What other book might you compare Trial by Fire to and why?

Other JA Jance books - most of them have the same strengths and weaknesses

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Nothing stood out about the performance, but the distractions are terrible pronunciations of local features. I'm from Seattle, but even I know that those big cacti are pronounced Sa-wah-roh, not Sag-wah-roh. The Seattle based ones have similar pronunciation fax pas too. Does nobody do any research or provide pronunciation guides for local areas? It really takes you out of the story when you hear something jarring like that.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really, it was a good solid read.

Any additional comments?

I've read many, many Jance books as paperbacks, so her writing style and stories aren't big surprises. The transition to audiobooks has two big challenges - the performer's connection to the characters and the pronunciation. The first is OK here, the latter distractingly bad at times.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful