In Deadly Aim by Paty Jager, Shandra Higheagle takes her horse out on her mountain when she comes across a body of a man who has been mauled by wild animals. Immediately pulling out her phone, she calls Detective Ryan Greer. It takes a day to identify the body as Shandra’s neighbor, J.W., whose employee states that the man never committed an honest behavior in his life. Ryan wants to hurry up in solving the case because he is scheduled to be the best man in his brother’s wedding to Ryan’s ex- girlfriend this weekend. And with Shandra’s being scheduled to be his date, Ryan is eager to show her off to his family. He hopes that Shandra’s mystical dreams that come from her Nez Perce grandmother and which has helped to solve mysteries in the past will help to lead them to a solution.
With this third book in the series, I enjoyed seeing the way the relationship between Ryan and Shandra is slowly developing. Both have been hurt seriously in their past, and their friendship is helping them to heal, even to contemplate sharing their individual pains. This relationship is crucial to the book in general because it is in helping and relying on each other that they are able to get to the bottom of the crime. All this leads to a dramatic conclusion.
Ann M. Thompson narrates the audio version of this book. At times it felt that the reading went too fast, not giving as effective pacing as I would have liked. Some of her voices came across as somewhat discordant at times too. I don’t recall being bothered by Thompson’s narration of the previous two books, so perhaps I’m just having a picky day today.
Deadly Aim is not a long book, only four and a half hours, but it still packed a lot of great material into its time. We see plenty of character development and have a strong mystery. My one complaint is that the book ends with a cliffhanger. Regular readers of my reviews will know that I have a strong dislike of cliffhangers because I feel that authors are manipulating readers with tricks in creating such devices. Instead, they should rely on their own good writing to make us readers want to return to their next books. At least with this book, I did not find the cliffhanger as manipulative as most, so I will only draw attention to this fact but not lower my rating of the book due to the technique. I give the book five stars!
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