Excerpt from Exit Wounds by J.A. Jance, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Exit Wounds

by J.A. Jance

Exit Wounds
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2003, 384 pages
    Aug 2004, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Weakened by loss of blood, she dropped onto the orange shag carpet and didn't move again. Hours passed. Some time later, with her overheated dogs still hovering anxiously around her, the woman died. All through the day, the temperature in the closed mobile home continued to soar. And, with their mistress dead, one after another, the dogs, too, slowly succumbed to the heat.

Chapter One

Late on Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Joanna Brady sat at her desk, stared at the pages of her calendar, and knew that Butch Dixon, her husband, was absolutely right. She was overbooked. When he had mentioned it at breakfast that morning, she had done the only reasonable thing and denied it completely.

Coffeepot in hand, Butch had stood looking at the week's worth of calendar he had finally convinced Joanna to copy and tape to the refrigerator door in a vain attempt at keeping track of her comings and goings.

"Two parades on Friday?" he had demanded, studying the two pages of copied calendar entries she had just finished posting. "According to this, the parades are followed by appearances at two community picnics." Butch shook his head. "And you still think you'll be at the fairgrounds in time for Jenny's barrel-racing event, which will probably start right around four? You're nuts, Joey," he concluded after a pause. "Totally round the bend. Or else you've picked up a clone without telling me about it."

"Don't worry," she told him. "I'll be fine."

Butch had poured coffee and said nothing more. Now, though, late in the afternoon and after putting in a full day's work, Joanna studied her marathon schedule and worried that maybe Butch was right. How would she cover all those bases?

The Fourth of July had always been one of Joanna's favorite holidays. She loved going to the parade, hosting or attending a backyard barbecue, and then ending the evening in town watching Bisbee's community fireworks display.

But this wasn't a typical Fourth of July. This was an election year, and Joanna Brady was an active-duty sheriff trying to do her job in the midst of a stiffly contested reelection campaign. Rather than watching a single parade, she was scheduled to participate in two of them -- driving her Crown Victoria in Bisbee's parade starting at eleven and in Sierra Vista's, twenty-five miles away, starting at twelve-thirty. She was also slated to appear briefly at two community picnics that day -- in Benson and St. David. The day would end with her making a few introductory remarks prior to the annual fireworks display eighty miles from home in Willcox. Stuffed in among all her official duties, she needed to be at the Cochise County fairgrounds outside of Douglas at the stroke of four o'clock.

After years of practicing around a set of barrels positioned around the corral at High Lonesome Ranch, Jennifer Ann Brady had declared that she and her sorrel quarter horse, Kiddo, were ready for their public barrel-racing debut. That Fourth of July would mark Jenny's first-ever competition on the junior rodeo circuit. Joanna's showing up for the barrel-race rodeo had nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with motherhood.

Be there or be square, Joanna told herself grimly.

Looking away from her calendar, Joanna walked across to the dorm-sized refrigerator Butch had brought back from Costco in Tucson and installed in her office. She retrieved a bottle of water. Taking a thoughtful drink, she stared out the window at the parched hills surrounding the Cochise County Justice Center. The thermometer perched in the shade under the roof of a covered parking stall just outside her office door still hovered around 103 degrees. Summertime temperatures in and around Bisbee seldom exceeded the low nineties, so having the temperature still that hot so late in the afternoon was bound to be a record breaker.

The foregoing is excerpted from Exit Wounds by J. A. Jance. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.