Remains of Innocence

Remains of Innocence

Book - 2014
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While investigating two separate cases, Sheriff Joanna Brady must discover if the death of a family friend whose body was found in a limestone cavern is linked to the discovery of a fortune in $100 bills hidden in the house of a hoarder.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, c2014
ISBN: 9780062134707
Branch Call Number: FIC Janc
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 24 cm


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Feb 24, 2016

I liked this instalment in the Joanna Brady series by Jance. Two different plotlines woven together throughout the book make it quite entertaining and a very fast read

Jan 13, 2016

I think this is the first Jance mystery I've read. It's our book for the mystery book club at the library tomorrow evening, so I thought I'd give myself a couple of days to get it read - but I read it straight through, took me about 7 hours yesterday afternoon through evening. So that should tell you I liked it! It's a real page-turner.

It starts with a young woman, Liza, steeling herself to enter her dying mother's house. Her mother was a lifelong abusive alcoholic and hoarder, and Liza left home the minute she graduated from high school, and though she lived in the nearby small town she hadn't seen her mother for many years. What she finds in the house turns her life upside down in very short order: Over a hundred thousand dollars in cash, hidden in the thousands of books and magazines mixed among the filth and debris in that nightmarish house. She doesn't realize it's tied to her father who abandoned the family when she was an infant; she knows almost nothing about him.

She uses some of the money to hire locals to empty and clean out, and refurbish the house for sale, while her mother is in hospice. A stranger approaches her with a dire, one-sentence, obscure warning at her mother's funeral, and before that day is over the house is burned to the ground, and her innocent, elderly landlady is brutally murdered. Within 24 hours Liza is on the run from whoever is looking for her - heading for her long-estranged brother in Bisbee, Arizona who is the only person on earth she has left.

In the meantime (as the old movies liked to say), Arizona’s Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has a brutal murder of a locally-loved developmentally disabled man to deal with, and she has to call the ME back from his scheduled getaway weekend. He agrees, resentfully, but then he never shows up for the autopsy. The first murder involved disturbing evidence of a potential Beginner Serial Killer's work, but the second murder is out-and-out torture and murder. Short-handed, Brady juggles all the inter-jurisdictional and budgetary burdens her office is plagued with as well as trying to do her own family justice.

I had only one complaint about this book and it was about an increasingly annoying habit of Liza's that finally went away when she left her home town. But I almost gave up on the book because of it.

HOWEVER, that said, I really like the characters and the story and the descriptions, and that she sprinkled real surprises throughout the plot. I will definitely recommend this to mystery readers, and I'll be reading more Jance in the future!

Nov 18, 2015

Two threads here, one in Bisbee with Joanna Brady's dept. and one beginning in small town MA with Liza, a waitress in a diner who eventually sets out for Bisbee in a dangerous, suspenseful journey. The murders pile up in MA, and are related, in the end to two in Bisbee. Only LIza and one of the Bisbee victims are who they appear. One of the things I love about this series is the humanity of Joanna and her crew--in this one she shows she's capable of rage, and for better reasons than because Marliss is impeding her investigation. The intertwining plots mean a few threads get lost--like why Jenny leaves the rodeo early, and some more important things as well. Very instructive, too, and on some timely topics. One of the best in the series.

Jul 24, 2015

I have been reading this series as they came out, and enjoyed them all. This is not a stand alone book, and the sections about Joanna Brady's part of the story would fall flat had you not already come to know the characters. The ending was a surprise, but that is often what happens in Jance's books--that little bit of catching you off guard. The Matchett sections are the best part of the book, and provides an interesting new character--hope she stays.

Feb 03, 2015


Jan 22, 2015

Jance is always excellent. This is a Joanna series book, and the perky sheriff isn't as perky as usual. Mothering a teen and a tot can be tiring, plus the ME is getting to be too big for his britches, and no one has run over Marless with a steamroller yet...

We lose a beloved character in this episode, but I think we are gaining a new one. I had a hard time putting this one down. Not as suspenseful as some of her books, but because it is someone I have come to care about, I just had to keep reading!

Jance manages, again, to touch on topics that are so vital and in the forefront of the news without becoming mired in the ugliness. This is a timely book, and I suspect a classic story of our times as well.

Dec 09, 2014

Very involving story lines that can keep you guessing. The Joanna Brady series have become somewhat formulaic over the years. Good read to pass the time.

LaughingOne Oct 05, 2014

I think I read a different Joanna Brady mystery than the other two reviewers. What I read was another excellent mystery; this time some of it was set in Massachusetts and not just Arizona, but the stories connected well in the book. "Coffee bills" was totally new to me; I loved learning about them. Two sets of crimes, both rather horrible; both solved in the end. Well done, JA Jance.

karcoldelharvic5 Sep 07, 2014

based on old crimes for the most part. intertwined several murders. A good Joanna Brady book.

Aug 05, 2014

Why did the bad guys burn down Selma's house? Why didn't Jenny stay for the entire rodeo?


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