Trial by Fire: A Novel of Suspense
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In the heat of the Arizona desert, a raging fire pushes temperatures to a deadly degree, and one woman is left to burn. Pulled naked and barely breathing from the fire, the victim has no idea who she is, let alone who would do this to her -- or why. In her hospital bed she drifts in and out of consciousness, her only means of communicating a blink of the eye. And then an angel appears. Misguidedly known around town as the "Angel of Death," Sister Anselm has devoted her life to working as an advocate for unidentified patients. To her burn patient, she is a savior. But to this Jane Doe's would-be killer, Sister Anselm's efforts pose a serious threat. Ali Reynolds is on the scene as the new media relations consultant for the Yavapai County Police Department, keeping reporters at bay and circumventing questions about arson and a link to a domestic terrorist group called Earth Liberation Front. But her job quickly becomes much more. As Ali struggles to help Sister Anselm uncover the helpless woman's identity, they realize that by locating the missing relatives they may be exposing the victim once more to a remorseless killer determined to finish the job. Faced with the possibility of putting all three of their lives in jeopardy, Ali fearlessly pursues justice -- and what she discovers is a secret even darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined.
With unerring skill, Jance delivers relentless suspense in what is surely her finest novel yet in this riveting and addictive series.
close to her parents and her son. That was part of what she wanted to say to the graduates later this week, on Thursday evening in Sedona and on Friday in Cottonwood—that it was fine for students to leave home in order to further their educations and make their marks in the big, wide world—but she also wanted to tell them that it was fine for them to stay at home or to come back home eventually, bringing with them the benefit of both their education and their hard-won experience, which they
is his way of winning me over, it isn’t working. “That’s right,” she said. “I get to do it all. I’m a one-woman media relations phenomenon.” He smiled again, letting her know he got the joke. “I want to apologize for putting you on the spot last night about that ELF fire up in Prescott,” he continued more seriously. “Someone told me later that you weren’t even living here at the time, so it’s completely understandable that you wouldn’t know about it.” “I know about it now,” Ali told him. “I
readout. Caller ID said it was Holly Mesina returning her call. “I can’t talk right now,” she said abruptly into the phone. “I’ll have to call you back.” “But—” Holly began. Ali simply ended the call. As she put her phone away, she heard the buzzing sound of Sister Anselm’s alarm—the one that gave her a readout of the patient’s vitals. “I’m sorry,” she said, standing up. “I need to tend to my patient. If she’s willing to see you, I’ll come back and get you.” “If she’s awake, can’t I see her
sip of wine, Ali pushed her glass aside and stood up. “I’m tired,” she said. “I need to go to bed.” “Is something wrong with your wine?” Bob asked. “No,” Ali said. “It’s fine. I just don’t want to drink it. I’m going to my room.” “But we came all the way down here to see you . . .” Edie began. “Now, Mother,” Bob said. “Let her go.” He pushed away his empty beer bottle and reached for Ali’s glass of wine. “It would be a shame to let it go to waste,” he said. Edie glared at him and then shook
that’s what that painting amounted to. I don’t understand.” “I do,” Ali said. “What it means is you were wrong a little while ago when you said Mimi had no enemies. She did—at least one.” “She never said a word to me about it.” “Maybe she didn’t know about it, either, and that’s why she didn’t mention it to you. Tell me, who was there in Mimi’s room this afternoon?” “Win and Serenity and me. Surely her own children wouldn’t do something so despicable.” “I don’t think so,” Ali said. And