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Monday, June 11, 2012

Audio Book Review and Giveaway: Web of Evil by J.A. Jance

This is not the best J.A. Jance I have ever read; entertaining but with parts that make you roll your eyes.
Web of Evil: A Novel of Suspense (Ali Reynolds Mysteries) J.A. Jance (Author) Karen Ziemba (Reader) 

Simon & Schuster Audio, December 2008
Abridged Compact Disk, 5 disks
ISBN-10: 0743576136
ISBN-13: 9780743576130

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
My Rating: 3.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: January 9, 2007 | Series: Ali Reynolds Mysteries

J.A. Jance's new series, begun in the New York Times bestseller Edge of Evil, continues with a powerhouse tale of suspense.

The highway from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs desert is parched, unforgiving, and deadly. In the suffocating stillness of a car trunk, a man -- his mouth and hands bound with tape -- awaits his fate. What possible enemy could be bitter enough to commit such a heinous crime? And when will the monster make another move?
Ali Reynolds is traveling that same blistering, lonesome highway, looking forward to putting her past behind her. But her cheating husband is in a hurry for a divorce, and the television network who wrongfully dismissed Ali for the sole sin of being over forty will face her in court as well. So Ali must return to the scene of these crimes. As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, she thanks goodness it's no longer her job to report the news. Until she finds out the news is her own. . . . For the victim is Ali's cheating husband, and soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.

A twisted and lethal drama of heart-pounding suspense, Web of Evil asks the question: If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, just what punishment could that fury unleash?

This thriller starts off well but sadly moves into incredulity by mid-book.

Ali Reynolds is suing her previous employer, a network television, for wrongful dismissal after they let her go to hire a younger woman. She is also struggling with a divorce from her husband who found a younger model. Ali has been spending time blogging about her work situation and upcoming divorce from “Fang,” the cheating husband.

Ali travels from Sedona to Palm Springs for her final divorce hearing and a deposition in her wrongful dismissal case. Problems arise when her husband, who plans to marry his pregnant mistress the next day, fails to appear for the final hearing. Within 24 hours he is discovered murdered at an accident site that Ali drove past on her way into town.

Ali is a prime suspect because of the acrimonious relationship, her motive for gain as the surviving spouse, and her opportunity being in the wrong place at the right time. Her high powered divorce attorney quickly engages another firm attorney who specializes in criminal law. Her mother comes into town to give support and an old high school friend and local deputy, Dave, who is on vacation also arrives. Since none of them trust the local police department they team together to find the true killer on their own.

The protagonist, Ali Reynolds is a bright career woman but an irrational suspect and sleuth. She does everything she is told not to do such as getting into a patrol car with two police officers without calling her attorney, talking about her estranged husband’s murder on her blog, entering crime scenes, running off to investigate without letting anyone know where she is going. Her mother does much of the same.

Although the twists and turns of the story are good, the actions of the amateur sleuths are very exasperating. Even a police sting operation was startlingly inept and put innocent people in danger which made no sense.  It made my husband and me roll our eyes and want to shout at the audio: “Are you crazy? How stupid can you be!!”

Also, there is a good bit of telling through the use of Ali’s blog which slowed the pace of the mystery without contributing much besides some compassion. Being a blogger, I don’t think I minded that as much as my husband did. Keep in mind too that this was the abridged version so I doubt that a full version would help in this area.

Having read and enjoyed other J.A. Jance titles, I have to say that this one is a bit disappointing. My final summary is this had some good thriller/mystery twists but got dragged down by the blogging and the stumbling method of investigating.

This was a CD audiobook I picked up one day so it is from my own TBR.
This story is set in Los Angeles/Palm Springs, CA, for my Where are you Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my TBR and Audio challenge lists.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the Audiobook Copy:
1. Share a comment on how you feel about books that disappoint you when you have read better from the author.  This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on June 15, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. If an author's book disappoints me, I just move on to another book by another author.

    I follow via email.


  2. I feel very disappointed with the author but it doesn't mean I won't give the author another chance and try to read another one of their books. No one is perfect and the author can't write perfect books all the time. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  3. If I really love the author's previous work, I will give s/he another chance. I feel this lately with Sophie Kinsella, her work used to be hilarious...but her latest few works are just missing that spark. But I am still her fan and will still keep devouring her work.

    email subscriber/ GFC follower: Lilian Cheng

  4. I don't expect to love absolutely everything an author's ever written. Dean Koontz is one of my favourite authors, and I was shocked when I read "Breathless." Where did Koontz go?? I didn't like the book very much, and it didn't even read like Koontz. Still, I won't stop picking up his books because I love him!! I expect every author will have a couple duds :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

    Following on Networked Blogs (Darlene's Book Nook) and GFC (Darlene)


Your comments are always appreciated!


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