Day of the Dead
By J. A. Jance
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780688138233, 384pp.)
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
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For more than thirty years, the case has remained stone cold -- the brutal murder of a local Papago girl, her butchered body found stuffed into a large cooler that was left on the side of Highway 86. No one ever paid for the horrific crime ... except, that is, the victim's loved ones, who suffer to this day.
Brandon Walker, once the sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, no longer feels he has purpose. A reluctant retiree living in the long shadow of his wife, Diana Ladd, a successful author of true-crime books, he is bored with golf, and more so with life. Salvation, though, comes with an invitation to join the ranks of The Last Chance, an exclusive nationwide fraternity of former cops and forensic experts who look into unsolved murders that have baffled local law enforcement agencies. And one such case is staring Brandon in the face with cold, dead, entreating eyes -- a murder investigation that may have been mishandled by his department when he was a young lawman.
The trail of a sadistic, calculating, and blood-chillinglyefficient killer soon leads Brandon into a strange world at the unlikely border between forensic science and tribal mysticism: a place where evil hides behind a perfect facade. Now the seeds of terror sown three decades earlier have bloomed and are bearing awful fruit. A forgotten homicide in the Arizona desert is only the beginning of the nightmare that is about to ensnare a diligent ex-cop and his family, for Brandon Walker is the only one still alive who can unravel a blood knot of terror and obsession that will free a dark truth more frightening than he ever imagined.
A novel that bristles with electrifying intensity and is alive with the breathtaking atmosphere and rich characterizations that have become J. A. Jance trademarks, Day of the Dead is a gripping and extraordinary journey into the darkness -- a welcome return to the shadow world of the sensational New York Times bestseller Kiss of the Bees -- and the author's most spellbinding and powerfully resonant thriller to date.