Saturday, June 6, 2009, 11:00 A.M.
Brandon Walker knew he was running away. He had the excuse of running to something, but he understood that he was really escaping from something else, something he didn’t want to face. He would face it eventually because he had to, but not yet. He wasn’t ready.
Not that going to see G.T. Farrell was light duty by any means. Stopping by to see someone who was on his way to hospice care wasn’t Brandon’s idea of fun. Sue, Geet’s wife, had called with the bad news. Her husband’s lung cancer had been held at bay for far longer than anyone had thought possible, but now it was back. And winning.
“He’s got a set of files that he had me bring out of storage,” Sue had said in her phone call. “He made me promise that I’d see to it that you got them - you and nobody else.”
Brandon didn’t have to ask which file because he already knew. Every homicide cop has a case like that, the one that haunts him and won’t let him go, the one where the bad guy got away with murder. For Geet Farrell that case had been the 1959 murder of Ursula Brinker, a twenty-one-year-old coed who had died while on a spring-break trip to San Diego.
Geet had been a newbie ASU campus cop at the time of her death. Even though the crime had occurred in California, it had rocked the entire university community. Geet had been involved in interviewing Ursula’s friends and relations, including her grieving parents. The case had stayed with him, haunting him the whole time he’d worked as a homicide detective for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, and through his years of retirement as well. Now that Geet knew it was curtains for him, he wanted to hand Ursula’s unsolved case off to someone else and let his problem be Brandon’s problem.
Fir enough, Brandon thought. If I’m dealing with Geet Farrell’s difficulties, I won’t have to face up to my own.
Geet was a good five years older than Brandon. They had met for the first time as fellow cops decades earlier. In 1975, Brandon Walker had been working Homicide for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, and G.T. Farrell had been his Homicide counterpart in neighboring Pinal. Between them they had helped bring down a serial killer named Andrew Philip Carlisle. Partially due to their efforts, Carlisle had been sentenced to life in prison. He had lived out his remaining years in the state prison in Florence, Arizona, where he had finally died.
Brandon Walker had also received a lifelong sentence as a result of that case, only his had been much different. One of Carlisle’s intended victims, the fiercely independent Diana Ladd, had gone against type and consented to become Brandon Walker’s wife. They had been married now for thirty-plus years.
It was hard for Brandon to imagine what his life would have been life if Andrew Carlisle had succeeded in murdering Diana. How would he have survived for all those years if he hadn’t been married to that amazing woman?
From the book QUEEN OF THE NIGHT: A Novel of Suspense by J.A. Jance. Copyright © 2010 by J.A. Jance. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
The peaceful Tohono O’odham—the Desert People of southern Arizona—tell a story about an old woman who risked her life to bring her infant grandson home, and, as a reward for her bravery, was changed into the Cereus—a plant that blooms in the desert just once a year and only at night. This magnificent blossom stands at the center of J.A. Jance’s Queen of the Night. A multilayered thriller that deftly weaves Native American folklore, mystery and suspense, it pulls retired homicide detective Brandon Walker and his family—wife Diana, “accidental” son Brian Fellows and physician daughter Lani—into the wake of a murderous rampage.
It’s the eve of the annual Cereus party, and Abigail Tennant and her husband are missing the occasion to celebrate their fifth anniversary…by spending the night in the desert, watching the flowers bloom. What they don’t know is that a cold-blooded killer is on the loose, someone who will carve a swath of murder in his path. Dan Pardee, an Apache tracker and Iraq war vet who works border patrol on the Tohono O’odham reservation, joins with Pima County homicide investigator Brian Fellows to hunt down the killer—a man more dangerous because he has nothing left to lose.
Hardcover Book : 368 pages
Publisher: Morrow ( July 27, 2010 )
Item #: 13-116349
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.813inches
Product Weight: 14.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This series is more dependent than most of Jance's on reading the series from the first book, which I luckily was my introduction to the author. The plots, especially in the first two books, are complemented with Tohono O'Odham legends. Some of the adults in this later book are small children when introduced in earlier books, so there is quite a span of time covered. So even if you weren't thrilled by this book, go back to the first two (my favorites in the series). They made me a Jance fan.
I enjoy all of J. A. Jance's book. I will admit I enjoy Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont books more, but having read the other Walker/Ladd books in order, I thought this one entertaining also. I think reading the others first makes a difference.
Reviewer: maggie s
I really did not enjoy this book.When I see a new book by this author,usually I would buy it without reading a review,never again.It was hard to finish.Give me a Joanna Brady or a J.P. Beaumont storyline again.
I have read many books by this author. I agree with the readers who comment on how many characters there are and how slowly the book proceeds. I felt like making a list of the numerous characters just to see how many there are. Usually I read a mystery book in one or two afternoons. I just keep starting to read this and then put it down when the author introduces ANOTHER CHARACTER.When I get interested in a character, she immediately introduces a new character or jumps back to a previously introduced character. After this experience, I doubt if I would read anything other than a Beaumont or Brady book by this author. I wish I had my time back. This has been very unrewarding. I wonder how much respect the author has for those reading her books.
Someone recommended I read books by J A Jance, so I bought this one. Although I live in AZ and am enjoying the information about the Queen of the Night, I am finding all these characters way too hard to follow... each section within a chapter jumps all around to characters I just can't seem to follow. Several times now I've wanted to just chuck the book, but I'm up to page 120+ finally and it is just getting into a storyline!