Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out" 

My Thoughts:

Remains of Innocence is one of those books that captured my interest based off of the synopsis alone.  The idea of finding hidden money had me instantly intrigued so that I just couldn't wait to figure out where it had all come from.  It was just that easy for me to fall into the pages of this book.  I feel like this has been the year of mystery reading for me, and books like this are what keep me coming back for more.  Although I haven't read the previous books in this series, I never felt like that detracted from my reading experience.  Instead, the author took the time to really allow for me to get to know these characters.  What made this book so great for me was the details.  The author used all of these different details to really build up two different storylines in a way that allowed for them to come together at the end perfectly.  Joanna has two separate investigations that she is focusing all of her efforts on, and the author does a great job of showing her struggle to balance them both equally.  Because we were able to see the investigation from the very beginning, it almost felt like I was a part of it.  The author did an amazing job of adding some unexpected twists and turns that kept me glued to the pages.  The ending itself was very well done as it managed to tie everything up but in a realistic manner (considering there was so much going on I was quite impressed).

This isn't a fast paced book per say but instead it is one of those books that slowly builds until you just can't put it down.  The intensity came from not only the twists and turns but also from the way that I was drawn into this book.  Partly this came from how easily I connected to the characters.  And partly it was the fact that I just felt immersed in the investigation thanks to the author's writing style.  It is what turned this book into a great read for me compared to just good or average.  I can't wait to read more from this author!

Overall, I am very excited to have found a new to me mystery author with so many books to look forward to.  I loved both the setting and the characters that are a part of this series so I know that I will be visiting them with again in future reads.  This books reminds me a bit of Still Life by Louise Penny as they both have such a strong focus on characters which I love.  This book is easily one that I would recommend but especially to other mystery fans!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that built up slowly to a page turning finish!  I couldn't get enough!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a Partners in Crime book tour.  Thoughts are my own!




  1. Thanks so much for sharing your review on this mystery with us. Glad you found a new author! It will definitely be a treat for you to start at the beginning of the series and work your way through these generally excellent crime novels.

  2. Sounds like a good mystery, glad you enjoyed it even though you hadn't read the rest in the series.

  3. I adore J.A. Jance and am so glad you've finally discovered her! I am behind in all her series, but I've been reading her books for years. She's a family favorite, actually. :-)

  4. I'm only discovering that series but it looks good, thanks for sharing :)

  5. I don't think I've read anything by this author. This looks like a great mystery to me!


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