What a great read! Ms. Jance's talents for research and storytelling coalesce into a timely tale of murder, greed, and history. She utilizes her suspense storytelling skills to deliver a stellar murder mystery by uniting the talents of two outstanding detectives, J.P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker, in a 40-year-old murder that netted Walker a murderer: Big Bad John Lassister.
Brandon Walker is a retired cop whose detective career started with the story of a missing prospector, Amos Warren. The case stalls until years later when his bones are found in the desert. Walker quickly arrests Big Bad John Lassister who is convicted and languishes for forty years in prison. Lassister tells all he is innocent, but it isn't until his daughter is able to convince TLC (The Last Chance: a group of retired cops, district attorneys, medical examiners, etc. who look into cold cases to try to solve them) to look into the case.
Brandon does his best, but realizes he needs some help, so with the help of a friend he contacts J.P. Beaumont. Beaumont is again at loose ends when his group, Special Homicide Investigation Team, disbands and his wife is out of town. So when Brandon Walker contacts J.P., Beaumont is willing and able to assist in determining whether or not Big Bad John Lassister is innocent.
This is a timely story as today's media is peppered with stories about The Innocence Project, people who aid convicted murderers by looking into their claims, now very popular with the advent of DNA testing. Ms. Jance creates an excellent read with familiar characters, using a plausible plot, and knowledge about the human psyche. This is one J.A. Jance novel you won't want to miss.
*Reviewed as a hardback. Now available in mass market paperback.
J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker, two of New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s most acclaimed series characters, join forces for the first time in one of the most suspenseful works of her career.
Years ago, Amos Warren, a prospector, was gunned down out in the desert and Sheriff Brandon Walker made the arrest in the case. Now, the retired Walker is called in when the alleged killer, John Lassiter, refuses to accept a plea deal that would release him from prison with time served. Lassiter wants Brandon and The Last Chance to find Amos's "real" killer and clear his name.
Sixteen hundred miles to the north in Seattle, J.P. Beaumont is at loose ends after the Special Homicide Investigation Team, affectionately known as S.H.I.T., has been unexpectedly and completely disbanded. When Brandon discovers that there are links between Lassiter’s case and an unsolved case in Seattle, he comes to Beau for help.
Those two cases suddenly become hot when two young boys from the reservation, one of them with close ties to the Walker family, go missing. Can two seasoned cops, working together, decipher the missing pieces in time to keep them alive?