Fatal Error

Version: Unabridged
Author: J.A. Jance
Narrator: Karen Ziemba
Genres: Thriller, Detective Stories
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: February 2011
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
Tell Your Friends:

Overview

When an old friend is accused of murdering a sociopath who courted women over the Internet only to steal all of their money, Ali Reynolds steps in to investigate in this white-knuckled mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The A List.

Ali Reynolds begins the summer thinking her most difficult challenge will be surviving a six-week-long course as the lone forty-something female at the Arizona Police Academy—not to mention taking over the 6 a.m. shift at her family’s restaurant while her parents enjoy a long overdue Caribbean cruise. However, when Brenda Riley, a colleague from Ali’s old news broadcasting days in California, shows up in town with an alcohol problem and an unlikely story about a missing fiancé, Ali reluctantly agrees to help.

The man posing as Brenda’s fiancé is revealed to be Richard Lowensdale, a cyber-sociopath who has left a trail of broken hearts in his virtual wake. When he is viciously murdered, the women he once victimized are considered suspects. The police soon focus their investigation on Brenda, who is already known to have broken into Richard’s home and computer before vanishing without a trace. Attempting to clear her friend’s name, Ali is quickly drawn into a web of online intrigue that may lead to a real-world fatal error.

Reviews (1)

Not her best

Written by JKL from Allenspark, CO on May 2nd, 2012

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This wasn't the best of the books I've read by JA Jance. It didn't really tie together well. The beginning (I don't want to give anything away) didn't make any sense - maybe she's setting up for another book. The reader is beginning to grate on my nerves. She tends to raise her voice in the middle of a sentence like she's asking a question (sounds like a teenage girl). She also over-dramatizes in places where it's not necessary. I do like the characters Jance has created (Ali and her family and friends), but this plot seemed a bit thin.

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."