Monday, August 11, 2008

Damage Control by J.A. Jance

This is the newest Joanna Brady mystery by J.A. Jance. I'm using it for the A to Z Challenge and the In the Pub Challenge. In this book, Joanna is a new mom recently married to Butch and still the Sheriff of Cochise County. Joanna's department is mired in three separate suspicious deaths which she juggles with her home and family commitments. Butch has written his first novel and is finishing his second.

STRENGTHS OF DAMAGE CONTROL: As part of a series, it is a comfortable read. The characters have not changed much in this story and act in predictable, familiar ways. The multiple plot lines are interesting. The daughters of the elderly couple who drove off a cliff are entertaining, and Jance creates a plausible murder mystery out of the deaths. I also liked that one of Joanna's detectives, Jaime, got to be more involved in this story. Butch continues to be an interesting character, though he was underused in this one.

WEAKNESSES OF DAMAGE CONTROL: One of its strengths is also a weakness. The series is to the point where something needs to change to stir up the characters. I like the fact that Jance previewed some upcoming changes in Joanna's department and home life which might add some tension to the next book. I also felt like Jance introduced a side plot where Joanna and Butch were being investigated for wrongdoing but never went anywhere with it. That might have given Butch more to do in the story.

Overall, I'd still give it four stars because it was a fun summer read. Let me know what you thought of it.

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

I used to be on top of this series, but I've fallen behind. I think I'm only two behind though--so that's not too bad. :-)

Thanks for the great review. I like how you list the strengths and weaknesses of the book. I should consider doing something like that with my reviews.