Monday, January 20, 2014
BETRAYAL OF TRUST BY J. A. JANCE
I love J. A. Jance's several series, but the one featuring homicide detective J. P. Beaumont is my favorite. For some reason I can identify with him. He's had a tough life beginning with a childhood in poverty and no father. His mother was rejected by family when she discovered she was pregnant shortly after her sailor boyfriend died. His family refused to have anything to do with her either, so she struggled to raise him alone. (My childhood was lovely, thank you.)
Only recently has he had a wonderful life, since he married Mel Soames, another homicide detective. They work for the Special Homicide Investigative Team with its unfortunate acronym, as partners. Their skills complement each other's.
In this case they are assigned to a hush-hush problem in the governor's mansion. Josh, the governor's step-grandson, had been brought to live in the mansion after his mother died of an overdose. Obviously he has had a horrid life, and he's a troubled teen. The governor's two teenage daughters have differing reactions to his presence, but he ignores them anyway. He is caught coming home after a night out without permission. The guv confiscates his phone as punishment and discovers a snuff film on it. She immediately calls the Attorney General.
Thus begins a story of two sorts of teens, the rich kids who get away with anything, and the poor kids from terrible homes who frequently are their victims. Also there is Janie's House founded by a woman who desperately wants to lift the poor kids out of the cycle of poverty they were born into. The house provides washers and dryers, computers, cell phones, and other necessities of modern life that those kids lack. It's meant as a safe place where they can improve their lives.
I don't want to give away anything else because this is an excellent homicide case and our detectives are both shrewd and compassionate throughout. We also learn something surprising about Beaumont's background that will totally floor him.
Source: purchased from amazon.com