Random Acts (A Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds Novella) by J.A. Jance
ISBN: 9780062499059 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062499042 (eBook)
ASIN: B019MMUAXS (Kindle version)
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Witness Impulse
From New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance comes an all- new novella, in which Sheriff Joanna Brady and investigator Ali Reynolds join forces to solve a crime that has hit dangerously close to home. Sheriff Joanna Brady has a lot on her plate—she is up for re-election as sheriff, pregnant with her third child, and her eldest is packing up to leave for college. Then Joanna is woken in the middle of the night by a call reporting a motor vehicle accident. Her mother and stepfather’s RV ran off the road at high speed and hit the pillar of an overpass.
Something about the accident seems suspicious, though, and when Joanna gets a call from Ali Reynolds, a journalist turned investigator, she accepts her offer to help. They come up with a plan to find out who was responsible…even if that person is not the villain they’d expected.
Read an excerpt:
“Mom,” Jennifer Ann Brady said, “what if you lose?”
Sheriff Joanna Brady and her daughter, Jenny, were seated at a booth in the Triple T Truck Stop where they’d stopped for deep dish apple pie on their way home to Bisbee from a shopping expedition in Tucson. Jenny would be leaving for her first semester at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in a matter of days. Because Tucson was a hundred miles one way from Bisbee, both of them had taken the day off work—Jenny from her job at a local veterinarian’s office and Joanna from work as well as pre-election campaigning.
Since there had been no panicky phone calls or texts from Tom Hadlock, her chief deputy, or from her campaign manager, either, it seemed likely that things on that end must be fairly well under control.
Somewhere between Wal-Mart—towels, bedding, pillows, sheets, a tiny microwave, and a one-cup coffeemaker—T.J. Maxx—clothing that would have caused Joanna’s mother, Eleanor, to have a conniption fit—and Western Wearhouse—boots, shirts, jeans, and a new hat—it had occurred to Joanna that kids needed lots of goods to head off to college these days. That was especially true for Jenny. After being awarded a full-ride athletic scholarship to join NAU’s recently reinstated rodeo team, she would also be going off to school with a pickup truck loaded with tack and a horse trailer hauling her relatively new quarter horse, Maggie.
Jenny had insisted that for this shopping trip it should be just the two of them—”like the old days,” she had said. The old days in question were the years between the death of Joanna’s first husband, Deputy Sheriff Andrew Roy Brady, and the arrival of her second husband, Butch Dixon. During that difficult interval after Andy’s murder and before Butch’s making his way into Joanna’s heart, Jenny had been the only star in her firmament. It had been just the two of them back then…well, three really—Jenny, Joanna, and a single dog. Now there was Butch; Jenny’s younger half brother, Dennis; and a menagerie of dogs, horses, and cattle, to say nothing of the growing baby bump at her expanding waistline, who was just then pummeling the inside of Jonna’s ribs with a series of field-goal worthy kicks.
All in all, it had been a lovely day, but Jenny’s question left a somber note lingering in the air over the Formica table in the bustling and noisy truck stop dining room.
“I’m not planning on losing,” Joanna said quietly.
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