Shortly after joining a dating site for mature seniors, and completing her first up loadable glamour video to add to the membership site, Gemma Ralston found herself in the Camp Verde desert just barely alive after a savage beating, and no memory of how she got there.
In the meantime, A.J. Sanders received a mysterious letter from his long-estranged father giving him directions to a place in the desert where he was to pick up a package that would greatly improve his financial status. On the way there, A.J. found Gemma, but she died before he could get help to her.
About that same time, Ali Reynolds is on her way to a FOX news shoot where she meets Lynn Martinson, a victim of the story they are shooting. Ali finds out that Lynn was dating the ex-husband of Gemma Ralston and that she and Chip, her boyfriend, are being charged with the murder. Ali’s friend Detective Dave Holman is assigned to the Gemma Ralston murder and his only clue is a cell phone belonging to Lynn Martinson.
Ali gets involved with the Gemma Ralston murder against the wishes of the police, but also starts looking into the Sanders murder as well when another body is found near the first. She soon finds there are a number of possible suspects that could be involved in either murder, wondering if the two are related. In the midst of all the investigating and interviewing numerous suspects, Ali ends up putting herself in grave danger.
Deadly Stakes is the eighth book in the Ali Reynolds series written by J.A. Jance. Other series by the prolific author include the Joanna Brady Mysteries, J. P. Beaumont Mysteries, and the Walker Family Mysteries.
In an art resembles life kind of way, in the first novel of the series Ali Reynolds was dismissed from her high-profile broadcasting career and replaced by a much younger woman. Because her marriage was ending at the same time, she moved back to her home town of Sedona, Arizona. The books that followed have had Ali going through police training, and also spending time with her parents, Edith and Bob Larson and their Sugarloaf Café, as well as spending time with other family members.
The stories are interesting and also fast-paced. In Deadly Stakes, there were quite a number of characters and it did get a little confusing at times as to who was connected to whom, but the story is well worth the read. The last chapter is family-friendly and warm and provides Ali peace after a hectic few weeks of a dangerous investigation. All in all, Jance’ stories are intriguing and we are looking forward to the next novel in this series.
A special thank you goes to Touchstone for providing a complimentary copy of Deadly Stakes. If you are interested in any of J.A. Jance’s books, they are available at Amazon.com.