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 by J.A. Jance
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


After Oscar emerged, the woman glanced inside the gloomy shed to see if she had missed anyone. She didn't remember having seen Shadow, Mopsy's eight-week-old pup, but she was sure he must have come out with the others. Shutting the door while the dogs wandered off to relieve themselves, the woman turned resolutely toward the pump.

When she first moved in, she had cursed her grandfather for stubbornly continuing to use an old-fashioned rope-pull gasoline-powered pump on the well rather than switching over to an electric one that would have operated automatically or with nothing more than the touch of a switch. But now that same rope-pull pump, hard as it might be to start sometimes, was a blessing rather than a curse because it continued to work without benefit of electricity. The woman hoped that maybe, after she took care of the dogs, there'd be enough money left over to make up those months of unpaid bills and have her power restored.

The mobile home was parked on three acres just east of the San Pedro River. Sheltered on three sides by mesquite and brush and on the river side by a grove of cottonwoods, it was so isolated that, once the noisy pump had water flowing into the storage tank, the woman had no qualms about bathing outside under an outdoor showerhead her grandfather had installed between the tank and the house. She had finished and was toweling off when the dogs began barking and racing toward the gate.

The woman's heart pounded in sudden panic. Most people weren't pushy enough to drive past the bullet-riddled No Trespassing sign wired to the gate. And, although the two reporters weren't due until eleven--she had told them not to come any sooner than that--she was dismayed to think they might have decided to arrive early.

Dreading seeing them and hoping vaguely for some other stray visitor, she grabbed up her discarded clothing and raced toward the back door, calling to the dogs as she went. Hearing the distress in her voice, the dogs came as one. She stood just inside the door and pulled on her shorts and T-shirt as they bounded past her. Once Oscar, always the slowest, had lunged his way up the wooden steps and into the house, she slammed the door shut behind them.

Even though it was still early, the inside of the house had never cooled off overnight and was already terribly hot. The woman knew that neither she nor the dogs could stay there very long. In order to keep vermin away from the place, she always fed the dogs inside the mobile. Milling around her in the kitchen, that's what they expected now - breakfast. She had planned to feed the dogs and then return them to the relative cool of the treeshaded shed while she met with the reporters.

But the dogs were oblivious to her uncertainty and concern. They simply wanted to eat, and so she fed them. At first her quaking hands fumbled clumsily as she grabbed for dog dishes and filled them with food, but gradually that simple task had a calming effect. By the time all the dogs were happily munching through their dry food, she rushed into the bathroom to peer at her reflection in the mirror.

She looked at herself so seldom that she was shocked by what she saw. Her face seemed gaunt and pale. There were deep shadows under her eyes from lack of sleep. Her lank, uncombed hair flopped in wet tangles around her face. In other words, she looked like hell. She had desperately wanted to make a good impression on her visitors. Since they had mentioned videotaping the interview, she had hoped to sit in the sun long enough to dry her hair. She had even planned on putting on some makeup, if she still had any, that is.

Now, though, by arriving early--while the dogs were still underfoot and before she could make herself presentable--her visitors had ruined everything. No one would take her seriously if they thought she was nothing more than a madwoman living in a house overrun by a pack of unruly dogs. The reporters would probably take one look at her and write her off as a hopeless nutcase.

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Blind
    The Blind
    by A.F. Brady
    In The Blind, A. F. Brady, a licensed psychotherapist, takes readers inside a residential ...
  • Book Jacket: The Rules of Magic
    The Rules of Magic
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's Rules of Magic is the long-awaited prequel to one of her most cherished novels,...
  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

This love story set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower is "vibrant and transportive." (Bustle)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.