KISS OF THE BEES by J.A. Jance

KISS OF THE BEES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This convoluted sequel to veteran Jance’s long-ago debut, the melodramatic Hour of the Hunter (1991), kicks off with incarcerated, AIDS-stricken, serial killer Andrew Carlisle instructing his cellmate, Mitch Johnson, how to torture Diana Ladd Walker, his nemesis, once he’s released. Mitch is more than happy to oblige: Diana’s second husband, Brandon, is the ex-sheriff who had him jailed for killing two and paralyzing one. Together, the cons plan the abduction of the Walkers— adopted daughter Lani, who, once waylaid by Mitch, harks back to her granny’s Tohono O’othham chants, parables, and native folk tales to survive powerful drugs, obscene fondling, breast mutilation, and a spell in a limestone cavern where she is helped out by the spirit of Betraying Woman and the wing of a Nanakumal (—little bat—). Meanwhile, her parents are distraught, one of her stepbrothers has premonitions about her woes while another, fresh from the penitentary himself, joins up with Mitch in stealing native artifacts, and there’s a double-cross, an intercession by a tribal chief, and a final confrontation with the malevolent ohb (evil spirit) before things calm down in the Arizona desert. If you believe Diana’s won a Pulitzer for collaborating on a book with Carlisle about their past before this new carnage begins, you—re just the audience for Jance’s ill-advised excursion into Hillerman country, which is no more successful than her borrowing from Hannibal Lecter’s prison lucubrations.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2000
ISBN: 0-380-97747-8
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999




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