In the latest installment of the Joanna Brady series, Field of Bones, we find the sheriff on maternity leave. Having won the latest go round of elections by the slimmest of margins, she goes into labor on election night and makes it to the hospital just in time to give birth. Now who hasn’t have that happen to them, not the election win, but making it to the delivery room just in time? (This reviewer for one actually.)
But Joanna being Joanna, maternity leave is not her style. Yet, she needs to be there for her children, especially with her writer husband, Butch Dixon, out on a publicity tour for his latest book. In the meantime, still recovering from the terrible shock of loosing her mother and stepfather to a homicide, she is simultaneously in mourning and trying to figure out who her parents really were and what that means in her world. Her father, a former sheriff, has left some journals that are lined up in Butch’s study. Ready, waiting for her to read into the past in order to try to figure out her future.
But then, a teen comes into the police station accompanied by his mom, with a head in a bowling bag. Just thinking it was cool, and maybe something he and his friend could sell on the web, he had hidden the artifact in his closet. Mom is none too pleased with her child, but that doesn’t mean this mamabear is going to let anyone hurt her cub. Lucky for them, the department isn’t really interested in the teen at the moment. What they are more interested in, is where the head came from.
So, in an agreement mama and offspring, take the Bisbee police to the area where the head was found. Only, when they get there they find another body, and possibly more homicide victims. They realize that without question they have a serial killer living amongst them.
JoAnna, stuck at home, does all she can to help her second in command get the help and support needed for her officers. But this investigation is out of her hands, and we get a glimpse of the lives of many of the deputies in her department. New characters have been added to the mix of the world of Bisbee, Arizona. And it is an interesting amalgamation of individuals and their experiences that makes this series so entertaining.
Meanwhile, we are also not only privy to the mind of a serial killer, but we see inside the world of his victims. What they go through and the strength it takes to survive. And what happens when there is a break for freedom….
This book, as with all the books, in this series can stand alone as a police procedural.
The book is available now.