‘Fire and Ice’ is a thriller suspense novel written by J.A. Jance, New York Times bestselling author. This 338-page novel was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2009. As author to both the Beaumont series and the Brady series, Ms. Jance combines official investigative skills of both characters together as several different crimes crossing state lines appear to become somewhat connected.
Washington’s Seattle Investigator J. P. Beaumont becomes involved in several murders within different counties where six young women were brutally murdered using the same method. They were bound and wrapped in tarps, covered with gasoline, and ignited. However, this pattern is finally broken when the sixth victim is found with her teeth intact, providing the first clue to a victim’s identify; a break in the case to pursue additional leads.
Arizona’s Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady becomes involved with a homicide case of an old man that was run over more than once by an ATV in the desert. He was the caretaker for the ATV park where he resided. Although looking like an accident, it was determined to be murder. Unfortunately, the only witness to the caretaker’s death is his dog and indecipherable surveillance tapes.
In the search for the truth, the investigation of Beaumont’s case eventually takes him into Brady’s terrain. They keep their investigations within their own jurisdictions keeping each other informed of their progress. As their cases become more and more connected, taking them into unexpected territory, echoes of sparks from a past joint investigation must be dealt with while putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
Their joint investigation leads them into unfortunate circumstances where they must stand down while ensuring the safety of all parties involved, especially their loved ones.
This reader enjoyed Beaumont’s character far more so than Brady’s character. Beaumont appeared to be alright with his surroundings and his world, while Brady lacked characteristics to make her as likeable; she comes across as a negative person. One feels more in sync with Beaumont and his life.
The previous relationship between Beaumont and Brady could have been left out. Why all the wonder and worry about their relationship? It was unnecessary filler as they only met again towards the end.
The story was hard to embrace at the beginning as the pace was slow-moving. It was too drawn out to maintain interest. Basically, there was no connection at all between the characters in each chapter; it jumped back and forth between their stories. It took time to become engaged in the story, approximately midway through. But once the story began to unfold, it became exciting and had one constantly guessing how things would actually marry up.
This reader was quite impressed with how the author brought both of the cases together; however, the reader felt somewhat cheated as the ending fizzled out without an actual conclusion. Was justice actually served by the guilty parties? Maybe that was the author’s intent all along. All-in-all, it was a good read. Not averse to reading additional novels by this author.
Other books written by J.A. Jance can be found at her web site. Go to http://www.jajance.com/jajance.com/Welcome.html. You can purchase or order this book through Barnes & Noble at Northpark Mall on E. Kimberly Road, Davenport, www.barnesandnoble.com, or Borders on 53rd Street, Davenport, www.borders.com.
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