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A Dead Daughter (Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Book 3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Bones Don't Lie" by Melinda Leigh
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The book jolts into action on the very first page, as a mentally unstable young woman holds Jessica at gunpoint on the precipice of a cliff. The suspense continues throughout the book, driven by unsolved mysteries and repeated attempts on Jessica’s life. Fortunately, Jessica and her friends have serious skills of their own, but are they enough to elude these relentless assassins?
It’s a pleasure to see Jessica Huntington’s character mature and grow. She devotes a lot less time to self-pity and “retail therapy” and a lot more to family and friends, a new career, and even some spiritual pursuits. Fortunately, she also retains those good qualities she already had in the earlier books: her fighting spirit, resourcefulness, intelligence, wit, and generosity.
Equally delightful is her warm circle of friends/associates--the “Cat Pack”—which has picked up a couple of intriguing new members they discovered along the way during previous escapades. At the heart of the pack is everyone’s favorite mother figure, the nurturing, funny, and feisty Bernadette. What reader of this series has NOT said “I need a Bernadette in my life!” (If you’re one of those, I highly recommend Love a Foot Above the Ground, the prequel about Bernadette as a young girl in Mexico and later a happy young newlywed working hard to educate herself; the story is so touching and the characters so real that the pages practically come to life in your hands.
Although the struggles of Jessica’s mother with illness and drug addiction add a somber note to the book, the warm and funny circle of the Cat Pack provide refuge from that sadness as well as from the threats looming outside the circle. Overall, the book is hopeful and uplifting.
The series is set in the beautiful and quirky desert cities area (near Palm Springs). Given how effortless these stories are to read, they might seem effortless to write, but I’m quite sure they were not. In addition to the thoughtful development of the characters and plot, a great deal of careful research must have gone into every interesting detail about the geographic setting, legal system, health care system, substance abuse, and even the luxuries that Jessica’s wealth allows her to shower on herself and her friends.
Every minute of reading these books is a delightful and well-spent one.
Another nonstop adventure that will keep you turning the pages as you try to keep up with Jessica and the rest of the crew. The writing flow is so smooth that you are at the end of the book before you realize. The characters are amazingly down to earth and realistic. The murder plot is a twisted tangle that will keep you on edge until the last bad guy bites the dust.
Jessica Huntington has a knack for what some call meddling and placing herself in sticky situations but she just can’t control her compulsion to make things right. Nick and Nora Van Der Woert are her clients and their daughter, Libby, is a 30-something woman whose life was in tatters and is trying to destroy her parents lives. Even though Jessica doesn’t represent Libby, she responds to her request for a private meeting at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that ends with both women being hospitalized and Dr. Carr, Libby’s Beverly Hills psychiatrist, dying. During their time on the mountain, Libby reveals secrets about her life and her doctor. Through further investigation, Jessica learns that young women from wealthy families are missing and have been misguided and exploited, with money being used as manipulation that morphed from sexploitation to extortion. Jessica has her hands and mind full with the investigation and still trying to work through her parent’s divorce many years ago and her recent one, her shopping addiction, and the secrets her mother reveals to her about her life and illness. Jessica has a wonderful support system, the Cat Pack, which is an intriguing group of friends who help with her investigations and provide support and shelter from threats.