Hand of Evil by J.A. Jance

I have been told by several people that I am a fast reader.  Considering this book took me about twenty four hours to read, I suppose that could be an accurate assessment.  I like to read, though, so it does not matter to me how fast the pages turn.

One thing I dislike in reading is when I realize I have started a book that is actually part of a series, but not the first book.  Some do fine as stand alone novels.  This one is an example of that, which I was thankful for.  I would be rather annoyed if I had stumbled into the middle of a series similar to Harry Potter.  In order to know everything that is going on, one has to go back and read the previous books.  While I may decide eventually to track down the previous books in this series, it does not seem to be required to understand the storyline.

I am a big fan of J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont mysteries.  Then again, I might be a little biased considering I am from the Seattle area, and that is where the setting of the series is.  Anyway, when I saw this book on the shelf at the store, I bought it because I thought I might benefit from expanding into the author's other series.  There are two other series.  This book is part of one the one that features Ali Reynolds.

The book starts off with a man being dragged by a car (which reminded me of a few recent stories in the news).  He is left for dead on an abandoned road.  As police begin to investigate this murder, the story shifts to the main character Ali Reynolds, a one time news reporter who is mourning the loss of her job and husband (even though the latter was not faithful and they were in the midst of a divorce).  The main plot lines come to play fairly quickly.  A man who worked for Ali's father has disappeared after standing up for his girlfriend in front of a trio of harassing underaged students.  A woman who played part in a scholarship that allowed Ali to go to college decades before requests a meeting with her out of the blue.  Her detective friend calls to tell her his teenaged daughter is missing.

Several different themes echo throughout the story.  Standing up for loved ones, forgiving those who have wronged you, parenting and listening to your children, and getting help when you cannot drive depression away alone.  Some parents may find the story hair raising as it deals with sexual predators and the damage the harm they cause their victims, and the damage their victims may do in retaliation or in desperation to escape the abuse.

All in all, I thought it was a good book.  I will probably eventually track down the rest of the series to catch up on the hints of the previous storylines, but I am satisfied for now.  Time to find the next book.

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About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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