Hand of Evil

Version: Unabridged
Author: J.A. Jance
Narrator: Karen Ziemba
Genres: Suspense, Detective Stories
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: December 2007
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance returns with her “compelling…satisfying” (USA TODAY) third novel in the gripping suspense series featuring ex-television journalist Ali Reynolds.

With his hand trapped in the door of a speeding car, a man struggles to remain upright as he’s dragged along a deserted stretch of San Juan Road in Phoenix’s South Mountain Preserve. It’s the perfect place to drive a man to his grave—literally. Starting with a crime so gruesome even prowling coyotes keep their distance from the remains, a killer begins crisscrossing the Southwest on a spree of grisly murders.

A hundred miles away, Ali Reynolds is grieving. The news-casting job she once delighted in is gone—and so is the philandering husband she loved and thought she knew. When a member of the family who gave Ali a generous scholarship decades earlier suddenly asks her for a meeting, Ali wonders what it can mean. Before she can satisfy her curiosity, though, Ali receives another startling call: a friend’s teenage daughter has disappeared. Ali offers to help. But in doing so, she unknowingly begins a quest that will reveal a deadly ring of secrets, at the center of which stand two undiscriminating killers.

Hand of Evil is Jance at her best, weaving a masterful story of suspense that travels over generations, exposing two very different women with the same horrifying secret. Will Ali become a victim herself, or will she escape from a deadly deceit that no amount of security—financial or emotional—can cover up?

Reviews (5)

Written by Selena McGill on January 23rd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Multiple plots going on simultaneously make for an intriguing read!

Written by estella krebs on November 7th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I really enjoy the way she includes more than one storyline. It reall keeps your interest and attention.

Hand of Evil

Written by Lila from Fairfield, IA on April 4th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 3/5

A good read, interesting, but so improbable as to make you roll your eyes. 1) An elderly lady - must be in her 80's is found to be a murderer, and kidnaps Ali. 2) She kidnaps her in a yellow Rolls Royce! Like the police can't find this one in a heartbeat. 3) Kidnapper takes Ali to a distant location, get out of the car, shoots a glass jar containing (the kidnapper's) brother's hand - which has been in a bottle of formaldehyde for 70 years. Then drives calmly back to her home where the butler greets and disarms her. Oh, please! Still an interesting read.

Hand of Evil

Written by Sue on May 2nd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Another very good story from J. A. Jance! Good story line- keeps you right there on edge. Shouldn't want to sleep though this one. Great story!

Hand of Evil

Written by Jean from Santa Cruz, CA on June 22nd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I prefer unabridged books but this was the only one available. It is the usual good story that J.A. Jance can weave. I think I prefer her Joanna Brady series but did enjoy this one. I was surprised at the ending and feel I have been left hanging or maybe I should use my own imagination to finish the story. Good for a short trip or walk.

Author Details

Author Details

Jance, J.A.

Considering J. A. Jance's now impressive career -- which includes two massively popular mystery series and status as a New York Times bestseller -- it may be difficult to believe that she was initially strongly discouraged from literary pursuits. A chauvinistic creative writing professor advised her to seek out a more "ladylike" job, such as nurse or schoolteacher. Moreover, her alcoholic husband (a failed Faulkner wannabe) assured her there was room in the family for only one writer, and he was it. Determined to make her doomed marriage work, Jance put her writing on the back burner. But while her husband slept, she penned the visceral poems that would eventually be collected in After the Fire.

Jance next chose to use her hard times in a more unlikely manner. Encouraged by an editor to try writing fiction after a failed attempt at a true-crime book, she created J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective with a taste for booze. Beaumont's drinking problem was clearly linked to Jance's dreadful experiences with her first husband; but, as she explains it: "Beaumont was smart enough to sober up, once the problem was brought to his attention. My husband, on the other hand, died of chronic alcoholism at age 42." So, from misfortune grew one of the most popular characters in modern mystery fiction. Beaumont debuted in 1985's Until Proven Guilty -- and, after years of postponing her writing career, Jance was on her way.

As a sort of light flipside to the dark Beaumont, Jance created her second series in 1991. Inspired by the writer's happier role as a mom, plucky small-town sheriff Joanna Brady was introduced in Desert Heat and struck an immediate chord with readers. In 2005, Jance added a third story sequence to her repertoire with Edge of Evil, featuring Ali Reynolds, a former TV reporter-turned-professional blogger.

And so, the adventures continue! A career such as Jance's would be extraordinary under any circumstances, but considering the obstacles she overcame to become a bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist, her tale is all the more compelling. As she explains it: "One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything -- even the bad stuff -- is usable."