Long Time Gone

J. A. Jance, Author . Morrow $24.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-688-13824-0

Two family tragedies 50 years apart challenge J.P. Beaumont, Seattle investigator for the Washington Special Homicide Investigation Team, in bestseller Jance's taut, colorful 17th entry in a series that started 20 years ago with Until Proven Guilty . The state attorney general assigns Beaumont a cold case after a nun, Sister Mary Katherine, reports horrific dreams that indicate a long-repressed memory of witnessing a murder. But he's distracted when the former wife of his best friend, Ron Peters, is killed and suspicion falls on Ron's family, causing havoc. Jance is smart enough not to combine the two disparate cases in anything but locale, but she forces Beaumont to choose between friendship and duty—his relationship with the distraught Peters family forbids him from working their case, but he aches to help. The clever and complex plot line involving the nun shows Jance at her best, revealing a coverup that still threatens after many decades. The Peters plot is a frightening lesson in miscommunication, and though the reader may suspect the murderer early on, the stunning motive is only slowly revealed. While Jance writes without the humor of an Ed McBain or Robert B. Parker, fans of those authors will appreciate Beaumont. Agent, Alice Volpe at Northwest Literary Agency. 15-city author tour. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/20/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
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