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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LISTENERS ARE HELD IN THIS READER'S SPELL
Sometimes even the passage of half a century cannot bury the secrets of a horrific crime. That's what J.P. "Beau" Beaumont learns in this thriller from the estimable J.A. Jance.

Readers will remember that Beau has put in 20 years with the Seattle Police Department. He's now with the Washington State Attorney's Special Homicide Investigation Team, and finds...
Published on July 29, 2005 by Gail Cooke

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars J.P. Beaumont's Cold Case
I had been reading Jance's Joanna Brady series for a while before I discovered her Seattle detective J. P. Beaumont. It took a bit though for Beaumont to grow on me; now I like him almost as much as Brady.

How many fictional detectives are recovering alcholics? It seems to me there are quite a few, and Beaumont is yet another AA member in good standing. He has...
Published on January 29, 2011 by Barbara J. Mitchell


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LISTENERS ARE HELD IN THIS READER'S SPELL, July 29, 2005
Sometimes even the passage of half a century cannot bury the secrets of a horrific crime. That's what J.P. "Beau" Beaumont learns in this thriller from the estimable J.A. Jance.

Readers will remember that Beau has put in 20 years with the Seattle Police Department. He's now with the Washington State Attorney's Special Homicide Investigation Team, and finds himself dubbed to track a cold case, a very cold case. A nun, Sister Mary Katherine, has undergone hypnotherapy during which she recalled a heinous crime, a murder, that she witnessed when she was a child. Evidently fear had kept this memory from surfacing, and fearful she should be because while the victim is long dead the complex plot behind the killing is not.

As if that weren't enough to keep Beau busy the former wife of his best friend, Ron Peters, is killed and the Peters family seems to be emerging as prime subjects.

Jance is at the peak of her powers with the seventeenth in this series, and Harry Chase is a sterling reader. His calm, distinct voice ranges easily from sincere to sinister holding listeners in his spell.

- Gail Cooke
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Jance at her best!, July 31, 2005
By 
Karen Potts (Lake Jackson, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
J.A. Jance masterfully weaves two plot lines in this, her latest J.P. Beaumont book. The first plot has to do with a nun who is beginning to remember that she was the witness to a murder when she was a 5-year-old girl. Her memory is being encouraged by a hypnotherapist who comes to Beau for his help on the police aspects of the case. The second plot has to do with Beau's old friend and former partner Ron Peters, whose ex-wife has just been killed. Both Ron and his daughter Heather are implicated in the murder, and Beau is determined to find the real killer. Mercifully these two plots never intersect, but instead run as two separate stories which are skillfully told in one book. Many of Beau's friends and some of his enemies show up in the novel, along with a relatively new character whose presence promises some romance for the aging lawman. Jance fans will be pleased by this entry in the series.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plotting and altogether good mystery, December 2, 2005
By 
M. C. Crammer (Lawrenceville, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I listened to the unabridged CD version and found the reader a bit distracting -- strange accents on some of the characters (Peters, for some reason, sounded Irish, and Lars was over the top -- like a caricature -- Scandanavian). The voice he puts to J.P. is just too John Wayne for my taste -- when I read the books in the series, I have in my head someone less gruff and more polished.

Oh yes, the book. I thought it was consistent with the quality I've come to expect from Jance. The story begins when special homicide investigator Beaumont is asked to speak to a woman who has a memory uncovered in hypnosis of a murder she observed as a child. Beaumont is at first skeptical until he watches the videotapes, and then he begins to believe she really did see something. Before you know it, he's investigating this fifty year old murder. At the same time, Beaumont's best friend/former partner is under investigation for murder -- the man's ex-wife -- with whom he is having a custody fight -- is murdered and the crime is linked to him in ways beyond the obvious motive. Beaumont's special investigation division is investigating this murder because Peters, the former partner, is a police officer. Beaumont butts heads with various people in the course of both investigations. And oh yes, there's a budding romance for Beaumont.

J.P. Beaumont fans will really like this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another change in the life of J.P. Beaumont, August 7, 2005
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
Long Time Gone is another J.P. Beaumont mystery by J.A. Jance. Set in Seattle (one of the series' draws for me), Beaumont has gone from police detective to part of the Special Homicide Investigation Team (with an unfortunate acronym which gets brought up quite often) for the state of Washington. For some reason, the Jance books I have read always seem to be the ones where Beaumont makes a monumental change in his life, and this one is no different. That's another draw for me, as I like it when characters change, circumstances are adjusted, and nobody remains static. Thus, Long Time Gone is another great entry in this series, and I greatly enjoyed it.

Beaumont gets involved in two cases this time, one by assignment and one by friendship. A middle-aged nun unexpectedly recalls what happened fifty years ago that traumatized her to this day. She witnessed a neighbour's murder and she hasn't been able to remember anything about this until now. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, because most of the participants are almost dead (and some are dead already), but the coconspirators happen to be prominent members of the Seattle community, and they will go to any effort to cover up their crime, no matter how long ago it was. Secondly, Beaumont's former partner, Ron Peters, is the prime suspect in the murder of his ex-wife, and a lot of the evidence points against him. Beaumont cannot help getting involved, despite being ordered not to, because the ties of friendship are very tight. Beau has to tap dance very carefully in both of these cases, and if he makes one misstep, it may be his last.

One of the things I loved about Long Time Gone is that, while the events of the two cases do end up intertwining, they are unrelated. In a lot of clichéd mysteries, Ron's wife would have ended up stumbling upon something to do with the murders the nun saw, and thus the two cases would end up being related. That isn't the case this time. Characters do become involved in both (the nun comes with Beau to Ron's house and helps deal with one of Ron's daughters, and the female detective that Beau starts falling for, who is investigating Ron, ends up helping with the nun's case), but they remain separate issues. I get so tired of that cliché, and I loved how Jance avoids that.

Another thing I liked about the book, and the series in general, is the way that Jance draws the characters. Beau, being the hero, is the most three-dimensional. He's still coming to terms with his wife's death, even though it happened a long time ago. He finds his growing attraction to Melanie very hard to deal with, as he still feels the ties to his wife. The fact that they work very well together just makes it harder, and there are the typical bumps in the road in their growing relationship. The story is told in Beau's first person, but Melanie is still three-dimensional, with Jance giving us little touches like her addiction to talk radio. And given that addiction, it was nice to see Jance avoid the stereotype of the typical "conservative." Mel is actually quite a likable character, and I loved seeing the developing relationship between the two of them. They are mature individuals, who don't hop in the sack at the first sign of attraction, and that was nice too.

The other characters are given as much depth as they deserve, with some (Ron's family) getting a lot, and others, who are only in the book for a couple of scenes, getting just enough so they're not cardboard. The various suspects and those involved in the cases are also well-done, giving us enough information that we can make our own conclusions about whether they would be capable of committing the murders. In fact, I don't think there is a character misstep in the book at all. They're all interesting in one way or another. The only minor annoyance was Beau's old boss at the Seattle Police Department, who was just a bit over the top in his antagonism toward Beau (and everybody else). That is a long-standing character trait for him, so it's fruitless to hope that it would change here, but he has always been my least favourite character.

The mysteries are both intriguing, and Jance hops between them with a lot of skill. It's interesting how the fifty-year-old murder trail is pretty cold, but things start to heat up when it's discovered that somebody is trying to open it again. When people start dying again, it positively burns. Jance does touch briefly on Beau reflecting on the fact that these people's deaths are directly caused by his meddling in the case, as a long-dormant hornet's nest is stirred once again. Meanwhile, Jance handles Ron's case well too, showcasing the close relationship Beau has with Ron's daughters, almost as a treasured uncle. What really happens in Ron's case is very tragic, and shows the effects that family strife can have on young girls (or young people in general). The final revelation about the killer's past is a little bit "yeah right," but it's not too bad. Once you know, you can see how Jance has laid the clues for it, so at least it doesn't come out of the blue. Both are interesting, though, and I never wanted Jance to move back to the one when the other was "on screen."

All in all, Long Time Gone was a great mystery with surprising depth of character. It holds your attention and doesn't let go. It doesn't deal with deep philosophical issues (do many mysteries?), but it does give the reader an interesting plot with intriguing characters to read about. It's a nice way to spend your reading time. And if you're from Seattle, or familiar with it, the location is just an added bonus.

David Roy
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done!, July 31, 2005
Jance has given Beaumont two, distinct cases to be solved and it's done cleanly and without confusion. Favorite characters from the past are there and I particularly like the way Jance handles the passage of time in their lives. The cases are interesting with good suspense and twists along the way. I would like the dialogue to have been a bit more crisp, but that's a small complaint. I've missed J.P. and am glad to see him back. If you've not read the series, definitely start with the first. If, as I am, you're a fan, you'll definitely enjoy this new entry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A re-opened cold case precipitates other murders, July 16, 2006
By 
Cory D. Slipman (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
J.A. Jance's latest mystery "Long Time Gone" involves her long time protagonist J.P. Beaumont's investigation of an unsolved murder committed more than 50 years ago. Beaumont an ex-Seattle homicide detective, now an investigator for the Special Homicide Investigative Team, had been assigned the cold case at the behest of his boss, the state attorney general.

More than 50 years ago a 5 year old girl Bonnie Dunleavy, home alone, observed the brutal stabbing murder of her kindly neighbor Mimi. Mimi or Madeleine Marchbank was related to the Marchbank Foundation, a powerful Seattle philanthropy. The young girl had repressed the horrific experience from her memory. Recent hypnotherapy with a former Beaumont high school classmate and friend of the attorney general, Fred MacKinzie had allowed her experiences come to the surface. Young Bonnie had evolved into Sister Mary Katherine, the Mother Superior of a small convent on remote Whidbey Island.

The introduction of Sister Mary Katherine into the inquest had spawned additonal murders of those close to the case of many years ago.

If that wasn't enough on his plate Beaumont's ex-partner and best friend Ron Peters, currently working in the Internal Affairs division was up to his eyeballs in controversy. The hemipalegic Peter's drug addled ex-wife Rosemary who was trying to regain custody of their daughters was found murdered. Peters was the prime suspect and Beaumont was ordered to stay away from the case.

Jance's novel was a fairly entertaining bit of beach reading which was easily digestable in large chunks. This being my initial read of her work, I found the characters were a bit thinly developed but "Long Time Gone", certainly had its merits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the top of her game, December 15, 2006
By 
Many many years ago, I frequented a mystery bookstore in Long Beach. The owner and clerks used to recommend books to me, and at one point one of the clerks insisted I try these books by an author named J.A.Jance. At the time I think there were only three, and if I'm correct they were paperback originals--essentially pulps. If they did have hardbacked editions, those had very low print runs. She insisted that I read them, and in order, and so I did, and frankly I've never regretted the decision. The stories are at times a bit melodramatic, but the author does very well with character development, and (as with any good detective novel) the city J.P.Beaumont inhabits (Seattle) is a character, and you almost feel like you've visited every time you read one of the books. Believe me, it was a shock when the fourth or fifth book came out, with a picture of a *woman* in the back. Until then, since she'd used initials (and so did her main character, Beaumont) everyone had assumed she was male.

In the current entry, Beaumont has finally retired from the Seattle Police Department. The author's been toying with what to have him do next, but for the moment he works as an investigator for the State Attorney General, as part of the Special Homicide Investigation Team. I'll let you work out the acronym on your own. This is a family website. Needless to say the book is replete with jokes about this, and it's pretty fun. Two mysteries run through the plot, not exactly connecting but crossing one another in "Beau" Beaumont's mind. On the one hand there's the case he's supposed to be investigating, involving a middle-aged nun who thinks now that she saw, and suppressed the memory of, a murder fifty years ago. On the other hand, there's the case he's *not* supposed to be investigating, in which his friend, wheelchair-bound Ron Peters, is suspected of killing his ex-wife in a custody dispute involving their 15-year old daughter.

I enjoyed this book a great deal. Beau's getting another partner (hopefully this one will live for a while) and the plot has enough twists and turns to be interesting. "Mysteries" in the conventional sense have never been Jance's strong suit--she's not Michael Connelly--but her characters and dialog are very good, and as I said she makes Seattle shine. I would recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another satisfying J.P. Beaumont mystery, August 28, 2006
By 
DRob (Arlington, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Long Time Gone (J. P. Beaumont Novel) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have always liked J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont series much more than her Joanna Brady series, and Long Time Gone is no exception. In this book, Beau is working for the Special Homicide Investigation Team, a branch of the Washington Attorney General's office that investigates crimes involving police officers and other politically sensitive homicides. Upon returning from his son's wedding in Hawaii, Beau is handed a case involving a nun who, while under hypnosis, has remembered details of a brutal homicide from her childhood. At first Beau is skeptical but as he begins to check into the nun's story, he realizes he has an unsolved murder from many years in the past on his hands.

At the same time, Beau's best friend, Ron Peters, gets involved in his own mess- his ex-wife is shot and killed after she decides to seek custody of their younger daughter, Heather. At first Ron is the chief suspect, but the investigation quickly moves to focus on Heather, herself as the possible killer. This case is also being investigated out of Beau's office, but because of his relationship with Ron, he is warned to stay out of it.

Beau being Beau, however, when his friend needs him, he can't stay away. While he tries to maintain his focus on the unsolved homicide, he continually gets drawn into the investigation surrounding Ron and his family. He also still has to deal with officers from his old investigative unit, including Captain Kramer, who, newly elevated to captain, enjoys holding his position of authority and tromping over everyone he meets.

Jance does a masterful job of drawing all of the characters in her book. They change and grow in a realistic fashion, and move on to new stages of their lives. If the resolution to both of the murders is a little stretched, it can be forgiven in light of the other strengths of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars J. P. Beaumont is back and better than ever, October 28, 2005
Special Homicide Detective J. P. Beaumont is asked as a favor by his high school friend Frederick Mackenzie to listen to Bonnie Jean's story. She went to high school with them, too. She recently remembered witnessing a homicide of her neighbor when she was five years old.

Beau explains that he only handles cases that are assigned to him by Attorney General Connors. Before Beau knows what has happened, this case is assigned to him. He wonders who Freddy Mac knows.

Bonnie Jean is now Sister Mary Katherine. She explains to him what she remembers about the homicide. Freddy Mac lets him watch the videos of his hypnotherapy sessions with her. Beau begins investigating the cold case. This doesn't win him friends in the Seattle Police Department, but that isn't anything new.

Also, Beau's old partner Ron has troubles of his own and even though Beau is not supposed to be involved in the investigation, he can't turn his back on Ron and his family.

Can Beau solve the cold case or is someone determined that it shouldn't be solved? Can Beau help Ron and his family without anyone getting hurt?

Beau is a great character. I think I've read every book in this series. I can't wait for the next one. The fact that it's set in my old stomping grounds of Washington State helps, but that's not all. The characters are fabulous. You just want to keep picking up the book to find out what happens next. J. A. Jance is a terrific story teller and weaves all the parts together beautifully.

I highly recommend this book!

(...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a rainy Seattle day, February 3, 2006
Since I just moved to Seattle last August, I was motivated to learn more about Beaumont and his locale! I'm not a regular Beaumont fan so I enjoyed getting to meet him. As other readers have said, the story is plot-driven and, I would add, setting-driven.

The best part of the book was recognizing Seattle locations, especially Queen Anne and Belltown. The restaurants and landmarks are real.

I give the book 4 stars because it held my interest for the first 200-250 pages. Not bad: these days I often give up after fifty pages -- sometimes ten. But after that I had a pretty good idea of what would happen and I really didn't much care about how we'd get there. There were a couple of twists but alas, no real surprises. And somehow learning everyone's life history didn't make me feel closer to the characters, such as coworker Mel and Katherine the nun.

And frankly I prefer the Sheriff Joanna Brady series.

But on a cold rainy Seattle winter day, when you wake up in a bad mood after too many of those days, you could do worse. A lot worse.
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Long Time Gone (J. P. Beaumont Novel)
Long Time Gone (J. P. Beaumont Novel) by J. A. Jance (Mass Market Paperback - July 25, 2006)
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