Book Review: Beaumont’s Nose For Trouble Hasn’t Retired Along With The Rest Of Him

Sins of the Father is a mystery novel written by J.A. Jance and features retired Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont. Beaumont works as a private investigator these days, and an acquaintance from the past shows up at his door. Alan Dale wants Beaumont’s help to find his drug-addicted daughter so he can have legal guardianship of his granddaughter. The case takes on a new wrinkle when Beaumont recalls that he had a one-night stand with Dale’s wife before their marriage. Beaumont suspects that he has a closer family connection to the wayward daughter and the baby than he wants to admit. Beaumont also learns that the daughter, Naomi, is not the only missing person here. It does not take long before he realizes that murder plays a part in this latest family drama as well. Murder is something that J.P. Beaumont will also find to be familiar territory.

Somehow, these latest family revelations that Jance introduces does not appear that shocking. The story is fairly interesting, but it’s hard to really care about the murder victim since the reader never really meets the guy. Beaumont is a man still trying to atone from his days as an active alcoholic and is in a pretty good place in life. The character is still pretty likeable but still a bit predictable. He has married again, and his latest wife, a police chief, is nice enough. The last few novels seem to have Beaumont revisiting aspects of his past. I wouldn’t mind if a whole new client shows up with whole new circumstances.

Anyway, the novel is a competently presented as is typical of Jance. My chief complaint is that I am not sure I found this situation with the long-lost daughter as shocking as Jance had intended. I guess it does give some new dynamics for Jance to explore with this long-established character, but I would just prefer that Beaumont continue to encounter new cases with new killers and avoid these trips down memory lane.

Next up, I will return to an author whose works I have read only a few, but it seems time to give him another look. Iceberg by Clive Cussler is the next selection for some leisurely reading.

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