Book Review of Skeleton Canyon (Joanna Brady, Bk 5)

Skeleton Canyon (Joanna Brady, Bk 5)
reviewed on + 657 more book reviews "Although J.A. Jance and Tony Hillerman (Coyote Waits, The Fallen Man) are in many ways poles apart as mystery writers, they are united on at least two fronts: their appreciation of the hypnotically arid beauty of the American Southwest; and their sense that this landscape is peculiarly capable of engendering horrific violence. In Skeleton Canyon Jance writes: "Overhead, the stars shone like glittering diamonds against a velvet sky. The starlight was so bright that the mountains, rocks, and trees around her emerged from the gloom. Sitting there in the half-lit dark of Skeleton Canyon, it was easy for Brianna to sense time falling away from her. This rugged, almost empty corner of the Arizona desert had changed so little that even now an occasional jaguar, roaming north from the mountains of Mexico, had been spotted by a solitary rancher. And if the wild canyons of the Peloncillos still played host to an assortment of wildlife, it wasn't so far off to imagine that human outlaws still ranged that same habitat as well."
Brianna O'Brien never returns from Skeleton Canyon, where she had waited under cover of darkness to rendezvous, à la Juliet and Romeo, with her boyfriend, Ignacio Ybarra. In investigating Brianna's murder, Sheriff Joanna Brady must confront both the blatant racism of the O'Brien family--horrified to discover that their daughter could have been involved with a Mexican boy--and the family's dark past. There are skeletons in canyons, and skeletons as well locked behind the doors of the sprawling O'Brien compound. Home is where the heart is--but home is also host to a lethal nest of lies, greed, and secrets. --Kelly Flynn "