Missing and Endangered is a recent mystery novel written by J.A. Jance and features Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County, Arizona.
Joanna Brady has been married to her second husband for a while and has two young children while her oldest daughter has just started college. She is facing staff shortages and budget concerns in her department. She is happy at home despite the recent death of her mother and step-father. but there are plenty of other pressures of her job that keep her on edge. Her professional and personal lives crash together here. One of her deputies is seriously wounded in a shoot-out. Two young children may be in danger from their unstable mother who may have been plotting a murder. Jennifer Brady has a very young roommate who has fallen victim to a very dangerous cyber predator. Although she has picked up some of her mother’s courage and fierce protectiveness, she is sharp enough to know that she is going to need some help from the elder Brady.
It is interesting to have some of the spotlight on the sheriff’s daughter. All of the regulars remain as likeable as ever. The readers may be saying good-bye to one of the more stalwart of supporting character. I have enjoyed seeing Joanna Brady grow into the profession that was somewhat thrust upon her after the murder of her first husband. She has a somewhat complicated blended family these days, but Jance makes it work since she has such likeable yet authentic characters. There are times when things seem to work out a little too pat in this series, but it’s nice to see some growth in the characters. Many times, writers put through protagonists through all manner of hellish situations, however Jance likes to share some joy with her readers as well.
I liked that there were essentially two plotlines to follow, and Joanna ended up being important to both. This was no literary masterpiece, however it provided a solidly enjoyable diversion.
Moving on from the perils of Arizona, the next reading indulgence will take place in the wilds of Alaska with Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone.