Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Double double toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble." Shakespeare

Special Investigator J. P. Beaumont has been assigned to the new Special Homicide Investigation Team. He returns from vacation and goes to the autopsy of the sixth victim who has recently been murdered and dumped in the Seattle, Washington area. All the victims were young, Spanish women. They had been wrapped in tarps and burned so that what remained was just ashes and bones. All of the prior victims had their teeth removed to prevent identity but Beaumont is told that the latest victim still had her teeth.
While this is happening, in Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Joanna Brady is told of a homicide in her jurisdiction. The manager of an ATV park is found dead, run over countless times by ATVs, his body being guarded by his dog.
Brady and Beaumont have a history together. They worked on a case years ago and both felt some spark between them. However, Brady was married and neither pursued it.
Beaumont's investigation starts to move forward. Through dental records, the last victim is identified. The nearest kin turns out to be Jaime Carbajal, a detective in Joanna Brady's homicide department. Beaumont discovers that the woman had been living in a mobile home and had a quantity of money. Connections are made to a Miguel Rios, who makes money from helping poor people cross the border from Mexico for a fee. Then, if the young women couldn't pay the fee, Rios forces them into prostitution.
It is interesting to see the two protagonists of Jance's many novels work together. It is also worthy of note that the many illegal emigrants face so many obstacles and being forced into prostitution is just one of them.
A pleasant read that moved from the investigation in the state of Washington to Arizona, by the Mexican border. However, jumping from one investigation to the other without chapter breaks was sometimes confusing. Still, the author knows how to tell a story and this was a pleasant read.

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