source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of CRUEL INTENT by J. A. Jance (see her website)


    Touchstone, December 2008

    Ali Reynolds is having work done on her house, worrying about whether to host Thanksgiving dinner, and wondering if her son is going to marry the young woman he's been dating but when the manager of the construction company building her house is accused of murdering his wife, Ali feels compelled to investigate. She just can't believe Bryan would do something like that. Unfortunately for Bryan, the evidence seems clear--including the blood-soaked hammer in the back of his pickup truck.

    Ali's investigation takes her into the sordid world of, a website used to connect married people looking for sex outside of their marriages. Bryan's wife is there, clearly giving Bryan a motive. Surprisingly, Bryan's best friend is there as well.

    Author J. A. Jance (see more reviews of mysteries by Jance) eliminates the who-done-it angle from her novel by giving us the killer's point-of-view during the murder and as he lays the frame for Bryan and another SingleAtHeart customer. Killer Peter Winter is your basic sociopath, convinced he has justification to kill cheating women and enjoying the little souveniers he retains from each death. Unlike many killers, Winter has done his research and makes sure there's no connection between the deaths.

    Jance writes a fast-paced and engaging story. Ali has a lot going on with her family, her responsibilities to a charity that provides scholarships to needy students, and of course her house construction. Fortunately money doesn't seem to be an issue as she drives a Porche Cayenne and is able to humiliate her agent when he tries to bring her work. At least the cut-loose blog, which supposedly provided Ali with a substantial income is now part of her past. Overall, CRUEL INTENT is a quick read and hard to put down.

    For me, the Ali Reynolds stories represent something less than the best of Jance's writing. Here, she relies a bit much on coincidence (isn't it lucky her mother just happens to buy a Tazer the day it'll be needed most), and a supposedly brilliant killer acting monumentally stupid. Jance's writing is strong enough, though, that it's easy to overlook these weaknesses and simply plunge into the story.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/12/09

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase CRUEL INTENT from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Buy CRUEL INTENT from

    Buy the eBook version from

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

    Check out the Alexa toolbar. It blocks pop-ups (you get to choose), it's free, and it tells you about what websites are popular and who owns them.