I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Moving Target by J.A. Jance
Series: Ali Reynolds #9
Published by Touchstone on February 18, 2014
In this high-stakes thriller from New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds spans continents to solve a cold case murder and to figure out who wants a young juvenile offender dead.
Lance Tucker, an incarcerated juvenile offender and talented hacker in his own right, is set on fire one night and severely burned while hanging Christmas decorations in a lockup rec room. B. Simpson, Ali Reynolds's fiancé and the man who helped put Lance in jail, feels obliged to get to the bottom of what happened. With Ali off in England to help Leland Brooks at a reunion with his long-estranged family, B. turns to someone else to help out: Ali's good friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm.
Meanwhile, in Bournemouth, Leland's hometown, Ali begins to investigate the decades-old murder of Leland's father, which Leland himself was once suspected of committing. With unsolved murders on both sides of the Atlantic, Ali, B., and Sister Anselm are united by their search for answers and the jeopardy they get into as a result.
From the author praised for her "inimitable, take-no-prisoners style" (Kirkus Reviews), Moving Target sends Ali on a trans-Atlantic adventure and straight into the path of a deadly killer.
I could easily slip into both Ali’s realm and it’s cast of characters smoothly and without confusion. In other words, I was able to catch up to speed without too much reiteration. Getting to know Ali’s wing persons was also a snap, B. Simpson, Sister Anselm, as well as Lance’s family were well-developed as was the plot. Both were vibrant and could sadly picture the burns on Lance and felt the heartbreak of his mother. As for outsiders of this tragedy the determination of these bystanders was reflected in the strong actions to help solve the crime.
The second crime was of Leland’s father who died decades earlier and remains unsolved. Even though it was now cold it was an interesting side plot and showed how far technology has come. Unlike Sister Anselm who while a pretty cool nun the characters in Lance’s case were more serious, where as Ireland held more eccentric persons such Leland’s auntwho I found to be reminiscent of Miss. Patty from The Gilmore Girls, only much less likable. I felt Leland’s side of the story was interesting but there was so much going on the other side of the pond that I sometimes forgot about it. I was a little disappointed by this because I really enjoyed reading about this unsolved crime and felt it could have been its own book.
My only complaint about the novel is the death of Lowell Dunn. It felt first hand and well paced, and gave me a nervous thrill, but the next forty or so pages I felt like I was playing the telephone game with Ali telling every Tom, Dick and Harry about the supposed accidental death and just grew tired of hearing it. Fortunately this was short-lived and the reader was allowed to move on through the plot.
Overall, I thought Moving Target was a great thriller and the writing of Lance’s case was well paced, filled with the unexpected. I could see myself reading the rest of the Ali Reynolds series and recommend it to readers who like thrillers with a twist.