Ali Reynolds, ex-TV anchor and part-time murder maven, forgoes her amateur status.
Who’d be more of a natural for detective work than a former TV journalist? Ali (Cruel Intent, 2008, etc.) is smarter, more perceptive and nosier than the norm—characteristics that have burnished her reputation in the months after she returns to her hometown of Sedona, Ariz. So it’s no surprise when Sheriff Maxwell comes knocking at her door with a proposition. He wants her to go legit and handle media relations for the cops to help with what he describes as a temporary departmental situation. Nor is it a surprise when this “bit of a rough patch” lands Ali smack dab in the middle of mayhem and murder. A mysterious fire has left a woman terribly burned. Who is she? Was she a deliberately chosen victim? She’s comatose when Ali first sees her, and when she begins her feeble attempts to communicate, it turns out she has amnesia. Watching over her is the redoubtable Sister Anselm, a nun whose dark family history makes her a natural guardian. Convinced that evil continues to stalk her charge, she says as much to Ali. They team up, and though evil does land some heavyweight punches, it’s overmatched in the end.
Jance’s 38th—meticulously formulaic, mostly for the base.