‘Deadly Stakes’ Brings J.A. Jance Back to the Masses

J.A. Jance, as any fan knows, is synonymous with ‘great’ suspense fiction, and this is no exception.Deadly Stakes

Ali Reynolds is back! A trained police officer, she finds herself working against authorities in this new tale in order to clear a suspect who’s been caught up in a deadly game…

Gemma Ralston, a bit of a gold-digger to put it mildly, wakes up in the middle of the Arizona desert not knowing where she is or how she got there. She’s also completely  unaware that she’ll soon be dead. Just a few hours ago, Gemma was making an audio/video of herself for an internet dating site. Recently single, she was on the hunt for a rich ‘sugar daddy’ to help fill her days and nights – as well as her pocketbook.

A.J. Sanders is a teenager who’s near the site of Gemma’s soon-to-be demise looking for a ‘treasure’ that his father has sent him to find. When he comes upon Gemma, she gasps the word “Dennis” right before she dies and, completely petrified, A.J. flees.

The only clue left at the crime scene for the police to follow is a cell phone belonging to a woman named Lynn Martinson; a woman who just happens to be dating Gemma’s ex-husband. Now, Ali knows Lynn and does not refuse her request for help when Lynn is immediately accused of the crime.

Shortly after Lynn is arrested another body magically turns up in the desert and Ali sees similar clues in both murders, sending her off on the hunt for a viable suspect. Getting in the way of the authorities, Ali refuses to stop – especially seeing as that the next body in the desert will be hers if she can’t discover the predator in time.

Considering we’re talking about J.A. Jance, it is no surprise that the plot is intriguing, the characters are compelling and the mystery is perfectly written. (Well…maybe it is a surprise. I mean, even Stephen King has had some clinkers.) Keep it up, Jance – all this time and you haven’t missed a beat!