I've loved J. A. Jance's books for years and this 12 year old paperback given to me by a friend is certainly no disappointment. It's part of the series starring Sheriff Joanna Brady of Bisbee, AZ. In this one Brady and her boyfriend Butch are nearing their wedding date when a 15 year old part Apache girl, Lucy, and her pet red-tailed hawk disappear. That same night Lucy's mother is murdered just after being released from prison where she had been because she confessed to killing Lucy's father.
As if that isn't enough, neighbor Clayton Rhodes is found dead and Brady learns to her surprise that he has left her his large ranch, and his only surviving child is a woman who is a handful to say the least.
Lucy is a sympathetic character. She loved her father and after his murder she was sent to live with her grandmother. She has no friends other than her hawk and so she leads a lonely life as she suffers bullying from her classmates. She is also a very brave girl whose journey in this book is something not many 15 year old girls could accomplish.
Joanna's extremely critical mother is a character you would just like to smack around, but in this book she actually does some nice things, and Butch's mother turns out to be made of the same cloth. Oh boy, Joanna is in for quite a wedding! All the regular characters are part of the story making Devil's Claw a suspenseful but also fun read.