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Deadly Stakes: A Novel (Ali Reynolds) Hardcover – February 5, 2013

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Deadly Stakes: A Novel (Ali Reynolds) + Second Watch: A J. P. Beaumont Novel + Ring In the Dead: A J. P. Beaumont Novella
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Product Details

  • Series: Ali Reynolds
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451628684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451628685
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Former reporter turned media consultant for the Yavapai County, Arizona, police, Ali Reynolds angers her law-enforcement colleagues when she agrees to help Lynn Martinson and her boyfriend, Chip Ralston, both accused of murdering Chip’s gold-digging ex-wife, Gemma. Gemma’s body, with Lynn’s cell phone lying near it, was found in the desert by teen A. J. Sanders. After a second body is found in the same area, A. J. becomes a suspect, and Ali becomes involved sorting out his troubles, too. Are the two cases connected? When Ali gets close to finding the real killer, she is kidnapped, and her boyfriend and his colleague must race to find her by illegally hacking into phone records. Fast pacing, multiple plotlines, a fascinating look at online research, and sympathetic characters all provide appeal in Jance’s suspenseful story. The eighth in the series. --Sue OBrien


"Jance delivers a devilish page-turner." (People)

"Heart-stopping...Jance deftly brings the desert, people, and towns of southeastern Arizona to life." (Publishers Weekly)

"An intriguing plot, colorful characters." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Characters so real you want to reach out and hug--or strangle--them. Her dialogue always rings true." (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

"J.A. Jance is addictive because of moments that just rise up and make things so real you'll swear you are a part of the book...Jance will charm you into reading everything by her you can find." (Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon))

“Engaging. . . Ali charms the locals into giving valuable if inadvertent clues.”
(Publishers Weekly)

"Entertaining on all counts." (Booklist)

“Loyal fans and newcomers alike will be glad to join feisty Ali in her latest adventure.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A truly thrilling case with red herrings, characters coming out of the woodwork, back stories that will make you gasp, and a conclusion that you will not see coming!” (Suspense Magazine)

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed.
Pat Oso
I have read most every book J.A. Jance has written, but I most enjoy the Ali Reynolds series.
This book is full of twists and turns and keeps the reader in suspense until the very end!!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Judith Lindenau on February 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a long-time reader of J A Jance. I've always felt she created interesting characters, addressed some culturally relevant issues, and devised a suspenseful plot. I couldn't wait until her next Brady or Beaumont novels appeared! So "Deadly Stakes" was a real find, I thought: A new Jance novel!

What a disappointment. Not only is the Ali Reynolds heroine a little flat and uninteresting to begin with, she exists in a totally unreal environment of private helicopters, multiple houses, and apparently unlimited funds. Ali herself is Amazonian: she can be drugged, bound up, and crammed in the back of a car and still pop out of the trunk and run barefoot through broken glass. After it all, she can walk into a classy restaurant without her shoes (she's been pretty cut up during that glass encounter), and find a diamond engagement ring in her cheesecake, while her wealthy fiance-to-be looks fondly at her. And in the end, everyone comes out rich and happy--though at great sacrifice to the reader's sense of credibility.

It's a bore. This novel is formulaic, over-plotted, and thinly developed as far as characters and setting are concerned. Read the early Jance novels instead. They're much more fun.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By SherriLee on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
J.A. Jance writes fabulous books...Brady and Beaumont are rich, interesting characters and the storylines usually sound, complex and believable. The Ali Reynold's series has always been a little weak but this book is awful. The plot is nonsense, Ali is ridiculous and there are pages and pages of inane conversations or pointless descriptions that I suppose are there to pad the book, since they serve no other purpose. Do I really need the life history of the BK Waitress? What is it exactly that Ali does for a living because she obviously has unlimited funds and is free 24/7 to do what she wants.This story was flat, insipid, ridiculous and pointless at various times, sometimes all at once. And spoiler---early on a woman's phone is found at a crime scene, then the victim's blood and a knife are found in the trunk of the same woman's car and her only alibi is her boyfriend, the victim's ex. While sure, this doesn't convict her, it is evidence and pretty damning at that yet Ali et al keep saying that the county attorney is jumping the gun, that they need to find evidence and imply that he is somehow picking on this woman (she of the phone and trunk). Huh?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The author of four popular mystery series, J. A. Jance opens DEADLY STAKES with a prologue detailing the life of Gemma Ralston, newly divorced and looking for a makeover at Video Glam. Gemma is the product of a drug-addicted mother, removed from her care and raised by her grandparents starting at the age of two. A hint of her mother's problems comes out when her grandmother offers this advice upon Gemma's entrance into college: "find yourself some dependable young man, preferably a pre-med student, and marry him....a surgeon...the guys who make the big bucks." Gemma did precisely that, marrying Chip Ralston but divorcing him when her financial expectations were not reached.

Jance fills the pages with numerous characters and multiple plot lines, so many that the reader has to take an occasional deep breath. But her story is well-crafted and keeps one's interest to its final word. We meet several major players before police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds comes onto the scene. Ali learns about Gemma's death from her good friend, Detective Dave Holman, at her mother's election-night defeat party. He tells her that the main evidence at the crime scene is a cell phone, lost by its owner the night before. The individual is Lynn Martinson, Chip's current girlfriend, who has spent the entire morning looking for it.

When Gemma's body is identified, Lynn and Chip find themselves in deep trouble. Beatrice Hart, Lynn's mother, contacts Ali to help her when they are arrested. The cell phone found near Gemma's body points to them as chief suspects, though there is still the mystery of the male caller who texted the 911 call about the injured woman but was not at the scene when emergency help arrived.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Northrup on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have all of Ms Jance's Hardbacks in my library and this one I could not even finish. First, the details about some of the minor characters was way to much detail and had me putting down the book several times before finally giving up. Also Ali, who had become one of my favorite characters, is rather vapid, ie, kind of shallow and lacking direction. She seems to come thru each of the early plot scenes as an aristocratic empty female.

While I admit these criticisms may well be my own lack of interest in the many plot lines which needed development, I hope the next books on pre-order still will restore my love of her great past work.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Newton on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance continues the "Ali Reynolds" mystery series, making for the eighth book in the series. Fans of the series will love Ali's investigation techniques, and close calls throughout the book.

Deadly Stakes features the lovely Ali Reynolds, a "police academy-trained former reporter." She is the type of character who can go through just about anything, and still come out looking fabulous, oh and solve the crime or mystery before the police do.

The characters are a bit unbelievable, so is the plot and subplots of the story, but who really cares? It is fiction and an escape from reality. It is a fun read and continues the Ali Reynolds mystery series. Fans of the series will likely love it, and I think newcomers to the series will enjoy it as well. Just don't expect it to be very realistic.

* Thank you to the publisher of Deadly Stakes, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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More About the Author

J.A. Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

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