Joanna Brady and Brandon Walker: Book 1
Publication Date: September 19, 2023
From J. A. Jance’s New York Times bestselling Brady and Walker novels, federal investigator Dan Pardee, Brandon Walker’s son-in-law, crosses paths with Sheriff Joanna Brady as he traces the bloody path of a merciless serial killer across the Southwest in this intense thriller.
Driven by a compulsion that challenges his self-control, the man calling himself Charles Milton prowls the rodeo circuit, hunting young women. He chooses those he believes are the most vulnerable, wandering alone and distracted, before he strikes. For years, he has been meticulous in his methods, abducting, murdering, and disposing of his victims while leaving no evidence of his crimes—or their identities—behind. Indigenous women have become his target of choice, knowing law enforcement’s history of ignoring their disappearances.
A cold case has just been assigned to Dan Pardee, a field officer with the newly formed Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Task Force. Rosa Rios, a young woman of Apache descent and one-time rodeo star, vanished three years ago. Human remains, a homicide victim burned beyond recognition, were discovered in Cochise County around the time she went missing. They have finally been confirmed to be Rosa. With Sheriff Joanna Brady’s help, Dan is determined to reopen the case and bring long-awaited justice to Rosa’s family. As the orphaned son of a murdered indigenous woman, he feels an even greater, personal obligation to capture this killer.
Joanna’s daughter Jennifer is also taking a personal interest in this case, having known Rosa from her own amateur rodeo days. Now a criminal justice major, she’s unofficially joining the investigation. And as it becomes clear that Rosa was just one victim of a serial killer, both Jennifer and Dan know they’re running out of time to catch an elusive predator who’s proven capable of getting away with murder.
Author J.A. Jance’s newest thriller showcases an under-reported population impacted by a serial killer.
In Blessing of the Lost Girls, a Brady and Walker novel, a dental match to a set of remains turns up after three years. Daniel Pardee launches a federal investigation through a new agency dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
Thanks to a series of clues, a breakthrough comes courtesy of Sheriff Joanna Brady’s daughter, who is studying criminal justice. There’s plenty of action and intrigue as the focus shifts to a man determined to elude capture.
Along with the investigative storyline, the author incorporates fascinating tales from Tohono O’odham storytellers. Having Indian heroes makes this story unique, highlighting a culture that has lived too long in the shadows. There’s also a relatable dilemma about an aging parent.
Regardless of whether this is the first or 15th book you’ve read from this author, there’s always plenty of information to ensure a solid introduction to the characters and their roles.
The title, Blessing of the Lost Girls, packs a powerful meaning revealed at the end of the story that will leave readers with a solid sense of satisfaction.
J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, five interrelated thrillers about the Walker Family, and one volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, she lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.