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LONG TIME GONE


A J. P. Beaumont Mystery
By J. A. Jance

Avon (July 25, 2006)
ISBN: 0380724359

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Cold case units seem to be all the rage on TV and in print these days. Audiences and readers are fascinated by cops or investigators unravelling a decades old crime with the use of modern technologies and a new way of looking at old evidence and theories.

Once a Seattle police detective, now retired, J. P. Beaumont is back in the pursuit of killers via the Washington State Attorney's Special Homicide Investigation Team. The case in question is 50 years old. An eyewitness to a murder has recalled long forgotten details of the crime while undergoing hypnosis. Meanwhile Beaumont's attention is diverted by the slaying of his former partner's ex-wife.

Jance is in perfect form, as usual. Her characters are vividly drawn, the locales expertly portrayed, and the suspense is palpable. No one out does Jance when it comes to storytelling and the Seattle beat.

This is entry number 17 in the J. P. Beaumont series. Fans of the series will be pleased to join Beau on this latest adventure. Readers new to the series will quickly become avid fans.

Since I have enjoyed reading all seventeen of the books in this series in their chronological order, I have often suggested that newcomers to the series also should read the entire series in chronological order because J. P. Beaumont is a character who has changed and developed much over the past twenty years during which this series was written and takes place. However, I think there are enough clues and indicators of who is who and what is what, and what went on before, that a reader could start with LONG TIME GONE and still find the book both intriguing and satisfying. (I still think you'll want to read the other books in the series, but you can start here. Just remember, the J. P. Beaumont you see today is not the same J.P. Beaumont you'll find in the pages of UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.)

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