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Desert Heat (1993)

Desert Heat (1993)
3.98 of 5 Votes: 5
0380765454 (ISBN13: 9780380765454)
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Desert Heat (1993)
Desert Heat (1993)

About book: The first book in the Joanna Brady series, we start off with Joanna waiting on their tenth anniversary for her husband to come home. The Cochise County Deputy—who is running for Sheriff—had special plans for them that night, but he’s hours late. Becoming worried, Joanna heads out in her car looking for him after finding out he’d left the station hours ago. She finds him. He’d been shot and is barely alive just off the road. What doesn’t make any sense to her is that the police are convinced that this is a suicide and he’d not only been involved with drug running, but believe he killed another and she’s being looked at as some kind of accomplice. Joanna isn’t buying any of it and is determined to find the killer.What’s cool about this story is that the reader is aware of who the killer is in the prologue with the mystery being how Joanna will discover the truth and how she’ll get evidence to prove her husband is innocent even with so many things pointing to his guilt.I’d been able to read books 13 and 16 in this series for free, and liked them so much I had to go back and start at the beginning. So in some ways this review reflects the series and not just this story. Joanna is a very likeable character. She’s tough and determined, but also vulnerable and must balance what she needs to do with her home life. In this case a nine year old daughter who is lost with the sudden death of her dad. She’s ever conscious of being as honest and level-headed as she can be with her daughter, especially considering how Joanna was raised by a still-nagging mother.The personality of the characters are interesting, some of whom I recognize from the later books, and I thought the mystery angle was well done. I zipped right through this story. We know from the series that she becomes the Sheriff, so it’s no surprise by the end of the story that people approach her and ask her to run. But what we get with this first story is a great understanding of who Joanna is, what her abilities are, and why becoming Sheriff would be good for the county.Already knowing what her character is like with book 16, I can’t wait to read the progression of events and her own growth that I know will take place through the rest of the books.Read as a library book. 4.5 stars

from another revewier:This is the book that introduces us to Joanna Brady (subsequently Sheriff Joanna Brady). Joanna works for an insurance company and has a really good life with her husband, Andy, a deputy sheriff and her 9 year old daughter Jenny. Andy is a deputy sheriff for Cohise County Arizona. He is also running for Cochise County sheriff.On the night of their 10th wedding anniversary, Joanna finds her husband, Andy, shot and lying dying in the Arizona desert. Andy's subsequent suspicious death in the hospital, is only the beginning of the destruction of the comfortable world of Joanna and her daughter.The police decide that Andy tried to commit suicide, which Joanna knows is not right. He is further implicated as the hit man in a mob rub-out and fingered as a crooked cop with drug-cartel connections. Even as his personal life is dragged through the mud, and allegations of an extramarital affair surface, Joanna knows in her heart that something is definitely wrong and vows to get to the bottom of it.Neither mother nor daughter is spared from the brutality of the accusations: the DEA comes after Joanna, while schoolmates taunt Jenny. All the while, Jance cross-cuts to the contract killer who shot Andy and realizes that that same killer gave Andy a fatal dose of drugs that took his life away, just as the doctors thought Andy was going to make it.This book shows the steps a person will go through to protect her daughter, and to find out why her husband was killed. The flight of Angie Kellogg was particularly thrilling and ends in a parallel course with Joanna in which the two become friends. I really felt awful for Andy's parents. Thankfully, Joanna has a nice support group which includes her best friend who is a minister.
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This was a brand new series to me, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Joanna is an interesting character. Younger than you would expect, strong-willed, smart, and dedicated to her family. They rally around her, even though they're grieving too. The mystery is compelling, though there are a lot of pieces that have to be woven together. The reader knows rather early who actually killed Andy Brady, but what we don't really get until the end is the why. The end is a nice lead-in to the rest of the series.
I'm not going to give this any stars, because it was the reading of this audio book that really turned me off. The audio quality was horrible & the reader just didn't do a thing for me. I listened to another by this publisher, Books In Motion, & it wasn't great either. That reader was much better. This one sounded like Martin's secretary (his sister IRL) in "Gross Pointe Blank" talking with a cheap microphone in an echoing tunnel. A fun voice for short bits ONLY.From what I did hear of the story, it wasn't really sucking me in, anyway. Lots of words for very little payoff.
M.M. Silva
On the night of their tenth wedding anniversary, Joanna Brady finds herself worried about her husband, Andy, when he's hours late for their planned celebratory dinner. (Bear in mind, this book was written in 1993. People didn't just call each other on cell phones back in the "old days" like we do now). When she goes out to look for him, she finds him in a ditch, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound. Andy is running for sheriff of Cochise County, and Joanna immediately becomes concerned that his opponents had something to do with the shooting. As Andy is fighting for his life in the hospital, Joanna is informed that it was a suicide attempt on his part. She knows that's preposterous and fights to clear his name against some very dangerous people.Desert Heat was a really fast read, which I love, and kept me guessing until the end. Love that, too. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series and will keep you posted. 'Til next time, happy reading! :-)
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