Moving Target Book Review

Moving Target Book Review

Title: Moving Target
Author: J.A. Jance
Published: 2014
No. of Pages: 340
Cover Price: $25.99 US

In J.A. Jance’s 8th installment of the Ali Reynolds series, Moving Target, Ali is off to England with her aide-de-camp and friend, 80+ Leland Brooks, who is renewing acquaintances with his relatives after over 60 years. They learn that Leland’s father, who disowned him before he died, was murdered; as the pair does a little investigating, facts come to light that point to the murderer and the fact that his father was ready to change his will and include Leland before he died. Meanwhile, on the home front, B. is concerned about Lance Tucker, a teenager computer whiz who was sent to detention because he hacked into the school computer as a protest; the school was purchasing a system to track the students so they would know their whereabouts at all times. Someone sets Lance on fire; he barely survives and is in ICU in the burn unit at the hospital. His friend at the detention center is murdered in his home when it is set on fire by an arsonist, and there are other attempts on Lance’s life while he is in the hospital.

B.’s internet security company, High Noon Enterprises, helped put Lance in detention, and B. feels responsible for Lance’s near death and amputation of his leg; Lance’s sentence was over-the-top, and much more serious than it should have been. B. suspects that foul play is involved in the higher echelons and is trying to not only save Lance’s life, but get to the bottom of the unusually tough sentence.

In her last book, Deadly Stakes, there were things that didn’t make sense or were unexplained; Moving Target gives some explanations, i.e., why B. is known just as B. (his real name is Bart Simpson and he grew tired of being ridiculed), and how Ali seems to be independently wealthy and no longer has to work as a journalist (most likely because she was widowed and can live off the insurance, although that is not stated absolutely).

Jance’s style of writing keeps the reader intrigued from the start. Ali, B., and Leland are likeable characters, and Jance is good at making them seem real. Although B.’s company can do things that seem a little farfetched even in the modern world of computers, it makes for a good story and it’s always nice when the good guys win. It is also a little unbelievable that B.’s company does so well that funds are unlimited. There are surprises throughout, and not only do Ali and B. help find the perpetrators of the arson and attempted murders, Ali is instrumental in solving the decades-old murder of Leland’s father.

During the course of the novel, it is mentioned several times that Lance’s sentence was overly harsh and didn’t fit the crime. Unfortunately, the reason is never spelled out, and that loose end really should have been addressed, since it was a major piece of the story, and all through the novel the reader is led to believe that there was an alternate agenda.

Ali Reynolds fans will enjoy this book; it is suspenseful, fast moving, well-written, and with only a few exceptions, a good who-done-it with a good ending.

Special thanks to Jessica Roth of Simon and Schuster for supplying a review copy of this book.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Moving Target (Alison Reynolds)

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