What makes a good mystery? First and foremost, there must be a cast of believable characters and plausible clues. Characters and clues must come together in a plot that keeps the action moving forward without long pauses. The reader should be moved along with enough clues revealed between beginning and end to hazard a guess, with enjoyment at the end of finding out if your guess is the right one.
In all these respects, Left For Dead is an excellent mystery. The latest in the Ali Reynolds Mysteries series by New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Left For Dead explores the dark underworld of the drug cartel and trafficking across Arizona’s border with Mexico.
Jance’s heroine Ali Reynolds is a former cop who has a passion for doing the right thing. Called to the hospital ICU when a former colleague from her police academy days is shot, Ali also learns of a Jane Doe in the bed next to her friend who was found in the Arizona desert. Both victims, her former colleague and the young woman, were left in the desert for dead. For Ali, a major part of doing the right thing is helping out however she can, and that help includes using all her resources and contacts as an heiress to a foundation. Ali is assisted in her good deeds by her friend, Sister Anselm, an elderly Taser-packing nun, a patient advocate for the Jane Doe case next to Ali’s police officer friend. These two seemingly unrelated cases come together; Ali and Sister Anselm work brilliantly together to solve these cases in a climax that is as exciting as it is satisfying for the mystery reader.
Jance deftly paints each of her characters in full detail without stopping the action for long descriptions. Her flowing writing style makes the reading easy and fun; she pulls no punches in her language either, honestly depicting the tragedy of prostitution and the illegal drug trade. Jance brilliantly lifts the mask off the bad guys, those who make themselves look important in their community but instead hide deep-seated evil, intent on revenge.
If you enjoy mysteries, J.A. Jance’s Left For Dead should be next on your reading list! If you have never read a mystery before, Left For Dead is action-packed fiction at its best, weaving mystery into the exciting plot.
Other titles in J. A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds Mysteries series: Edge of Evil, Trial by Fire: A Novel of Suspense, J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds Mysteries 3-Book Boxed Set, Volume 1, J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds Mysteries 3-Book Boxed Set, Volume 2.