Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review - Deadly Stakes

Title: Deadly Stakes
Author: JA Jance
Publisher: Touchstone (February 5, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 304
Genre: Suspense
Source: Library
Series:Alison Reynolds #8

The reader is expected to dig back in their memory to recall the storyline where Ali was dealing with a cyber-stalker. This book moves forward from that time when Ali meets up again with Lynn Martinson. Once again, Lynn is involved with a questionable man. This time, Chip Ralston’s wife is found stabbed to death in the desert. When both Lynn and Chip are arrested for the murder, Lynn’s mother proposes to Ali that she checks things out under the guise of being an investigative reporter.

There are two narratives going on in this book, the first presented involves a teen out in the desert looking for a hidden treasure that his ex-con father had buried for him. If it had not been for A.J. being in the same place as the stabbed woman, the body would never have been found. Then during the investigation, the body of James Sanders’ (the ex-con father) is found in the same area. Now things are getting a bit twisty. The second storyline involves Chip’s mother who is battling Alzheimer’s and a sister that refuses to allow Chip near, even though Chip is a renowned Alzheimer’s specialist.

Did one storyline help the other or was it just a coincidence that helped to fill in the holes I will never know. What the story does reveal is that if it were not for cyber experts in the name of B. Simpson and his trusty sidekick. Ali could have very well been the next body found in the desert. Then what would the very handy and gun toting Leland Brooks do about his upcoming family reunion.

I know that last part made you say “what”. I do hope that JA Jance uses that opportunity to make her next book about Leland and his upcoming trip back home. He is my favorite character of the series and I wish that we could see more of his humor.

I have come this far with the Allison Reynolds series, but I cannot say that I love the books. They are simplistic and predictable and tend to fall into the beach read category for me. Others may not see it that way, but there really is no depth or thought provoking moments in her books.

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