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Deadly Stakes    by J. A. Jance order for
Deadly Stakes
by J. A. Jance
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Prolific author J.A. Jance has once again presented her readers with a very good read. It is so easy to get caught up in her very clever plots, that one can take actual umbrage at how a favorite character is being treated. Or hold one's breath when the heroine is in danger.

With Deadly Stakes, a teenager is scared out of his wits when he discovers a dying woman in Arizona's Camp Verde desert. He makes a 911 call and hightails it out of there, not wanting to divulge why he is in the area. Ali Reynolds is approached to help when the police suspect the now dead woman's ex and his girlfriend of murdering the woman.

Ali is a police academy-trained former reporter and truly doesn't want to get involved. But, having gotten this far in the book, we all want her to do her best to clear the two accused people of a crime they claim they did not do.

Back to the teenager. He wants advice from Ali. He doesn't want his mother to know he is in any way involved with that woman's death. He has finally met his father never even knowing the man's name his whole life. His Dad gave him a quest that he is afraid to carry out but feels he must to relieve financial burdens on his mother. There might be gold at the end of the rainbow!

Another body is found fairly near where the first was discovered. What does this portend? Phoenix's social elite, grasping socialites, antagonistic parents and, believe it or not, counterfeiters all find a place in this tale.

Deadly Stakes is the eighth in the Ali Reynolds series. Jance is the author of several other series, each as good as the last. I attended an author signing of Jance's and was impressed with the woman. She obviously loves what she does and does so well. If you know her work, you will enjoy this book very much. If you don't know her work, why not? Get in the program, obtain a copy and enjoy. Well worth the effort.

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