Once again the remarkable J.A. Jance-the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Kiss of the Bees" and "Devil's Claw"--returns us to a world of desolate beauty and lonely terror in an extraordinary new novel as heartbreaking and real as it is grippingly intense.
Dora Matthews and Jennifer Brady, both thirteen, couldn't be less alike-yet the luck of the draw has made them tent mates at a Girl Scout Memorial Day weekend camping trip at Apache Pass.Dora is a wild child, a pregnant, fatherless waif with a missing junkie mother. Jennifer is the innocent daughter of Joanna Brady, the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona. In the cool blackness of the high desert night, they slip away at Dora's prodding. What they find on their unauthorized hike will change their lives forever: the body of a murdered Phoenix heiress, abandoned to scavengers and the elements.
Sheriff Brady fears the traumatic damage that her daughter's grim discovery may have inflicted on the frightened teenager. Right now, however Joanna's foremost concern is the job she was elected to do, and she sets out on the trial of the dead woman's lowlife husband who cleaned out their accounts before he vanished himself.
The stakes get drastically higher in very short order when something happens to poor damaged and neglected Doran Matthews that hits Joanna like a runaway truck. Someone believes that the two girls who were where they shouldn't' have been two nights earlier are now loose ends that need to be tied up. And Joanna's own Jenny may very well be the next item on a killer's bloody agenda.
But one killer could turn out to be two-or perhaps even three. Suddenly terror has invaded Sheriff Joanna Brady's world in a form too awful to contemplate. As the nightmares of her professional and personal lives interweave-as a disturbing cloud of suspicion darkens the joy of her on barely one-month-old marriage-she knows that there are answers out in the wilderness that must be uncovered before time runs out. With everything she loves in jeopardy, one dedicated mother, wife, and law officer must piece together a deadly puzzle in which nothing seems to fit-as the clues and her keen instinct point her toward a place of secrets and bizarre cultlike obsession that some call "Paradise."
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Judith Jance has published nine novels in her bestselling Sheriff JoannaBrady series and is the American Mystery Award-winning author of the J. P. Beaumont series as well. She was born in South Dakota, brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, and now lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.
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