Fiction Review: Clawback by J.A. Jance

An investment company goes bankrupt as a result of a Ponzi Scheme leaving many of the local residents of Sedona, Arizona without their money and the threat of Claw back of any of the distributions they may have had.  Ali Reynold’s is on a mission to clear her father of a double murder and recover the missing funds.

If you enjoy a good mystery that involves current events, great characters, a few twists and turns and a little light humor, this book is for you.

Ali Reynolds and her husband B. (short for Bartholomew) Simpson owners of High Noon Security Enterprises, a cyber security firm, got involved with the double murder of Dan Frazier, a local Insurance and Investment professional, and his wife Millie when Ali’s father Bob Larson became the prime subject. Bob had gone to speak with Dan when he realized he was a victim of a Ponzi scheme and Dan was the one who encouraged him into invest their life savings of over a million dollars in his Investment Company now bankrupt.

When Bob arrives at Dan’s home, he found the couple covered in blood. When the police arrived as a result of his 911 call, he was taken into the station for questioning by Detective Eric Drinkwater who was a self-serving bully more interested in putting Bob behind bars than finding the truth.

Ali hires Dash Summers (named after Dashiell Hammond) to represent her father.  She also her recruits her parents, Stuart Ramey and Cami Lee from the firm and Haley Jackson the office Manager and the Frazier’s Executrix to help to figure out who killed Dan and Millie and to locate Jason McKenzie and all the investors’ money.

Jessica Denton, the Frazier’s Personal assistant is the beautiful Femme Fatal who needs to get the computer chip that contains the details of how Jason McKinsey the mastermind of the Ponzi Scheme and herself will get away with all the money they took from the Investors.

Clawback is the latest of 13 of the Ali Reynolds series so it  has a few moments that include elements from the previous novel Cold Betrayal, the continued plight of the polygamous cult survivors. Together with her friend Sister Anselm present the group of woman a real home.  You don’t have to read the previous novel to appreciate this one but it would explain who these women were and how they came together as a group.

J.A Jance included a lot of technological advances to solve this mystery but she also included some detective work that have stood the test of time.  “What we find out about Dan will have to be done the old fashioned gumshoe way…” (location 2012).   There is no technology that replaces human deduction.  When Detective Dave Holman inspected the crime scene of two dead men in a gravel pit, he noticed that something didn’t fit. “The gun.  When the guy fell backwards, he would have been dead-weight-two hundred and fifty pounds of dead weight.  He would have hit hard and bounced on the hard gravel. The gun would have flown out of his hands” (location 2404). Bob asked Ali why not use computers and she answers “Computers are good at seeing what’s there…I’m hoping the two of you will be smart enough to figure out what isn’t” (location 2442).

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