Monday, March 9, 2015

Cold Betrayal

Title: Cold Betrayal
Author: J. A. Jance
Expected Publication: March 10th 2015 by Touchstone
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Genre: Suspense
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Touchstone for an opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.
Series: Ali Reynolds #10

If you give up on this book too soon you will be disappointed. I admit that the book started much too slow for me and when I ran into the paragraphs that completely recapped that horrible novella ”The Last Good-bye", I was ready to close the book and totally write it off.

Yet, there was something that drew me back. Maybe it was Betsy, the grandmother of Ali Reynolds’s daughter-in-law, and someone messing with her independence – think elder abuse, but as soon as polygamy and Colorado City was brought in as a second plot line, I was hooked. I know that sounds voyeuristic, but it did spice the book up.

Though Leland will always be my favorite character in these books, Sister Anselm is a close second. When she is called in to be a patient advocate of a young girl and her newborn daughter, she has no idea the can of worms she has opened when it turns out that Enid is a runaway from The Family. Sitting by her bedside, Sister Anselm is reminded of another girl, that looked very similar, that died more than a decade before. Not sure if the two situations could be related, she calls in her friend Ali Reynolds to help.

Betsy’s problems are put on the back burner with Stu and the remainder of High Noon Enterprises team while B. Simpson and Ali race around Arizona trying to get the bottom the illegal activities on the compound before more women and children are put in harm’s way.

I am not sure why two very different stories were told in the same book. Neither story relates to the other and when the reader is thoroughly enmeshed in the brutal-ness of the cult, suddenly Betsy’s problems are thrown back in and you lose your pace.

There is no real depth to Jance’s books so the reader can easily pick them up and put them down as life gets in the way, but without being too disparaging, I will admit that there is still an entertaining cord and memorable characters running through and that is what keeps me reading them.

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