Credible Threat by J.A. Jance (Ali Reynolds #15)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 6.3 MB
Judith Ann Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.
Ali Reynolds and her team at High Noon Enterprises must race against the clock to save an archbishop who faces mysterious death threats in yet another “incredible” (Suspense Magazine) installment of J.A. Jance’s New York Times bestselling series.
Years after her son’s fatal overdose, grieving mother Rachel Higgins learns that his addiction may have grown out of damage suffered at the hands of a pedophile priest while he was in high school. Looking for vengeance, she targets the Catholic Church’s most visible local figure, Archbishop Francis Gillespie. When the archbishop begins receiving anonymous threats, local police dismiss them, saying they’re not credible. So he turns to his friends, Ali Reynolds and her husband, B. Simpson.
With B. out of the country on a cybersecurity emergency, it’s up to Ali to track down the source of the threats. When a shooter assassinates the archbishop’s driver and leaves the priest himself severely injured, Ali forms an uneasy alliance with a Phoenix homicide cop in hopes of preventing another attack. But Ali doesn’t realize that the killer has become not only more unhinged but also more determined to take out his or her target.
As their mandatory belt-tightening continued, the social life Rachel had always taken for granted simply disappeared—restaurant meals, golf outings, casual gatherings with friends, going to movies, standing appointments at her favorite nail salon. It came as a real blow when Rachel had been forced to let her longtime cleaning lady go. They still had a yard man and a pool guy, but only because the homeowners’ association would have come after them if they’d let those slide, and Rich adamantly refused to do the work himself. He was too busy—making birdhouses!
With mourning doves cooing in the background, Rachel thought about how things had been when they’d first moved here as opposed to how things were now. The lot their house was on had been one of the first to be carved out of open desert. Shortly after moving in, Rachel had discovered that the lot’s original inhabitants were none too happy about ceding their long-held territory to a bunch of annoying interlopers.
As a toddler, David had never been allowed to play outside alone without his eagle-eyed mother watching over him. On more than one occasion, Rachel had wielded a hoe to dispatch rattlesnakes that had somehow slithered into the yard. In addition to snakes, there’d been a plethora of centipedes and scorpions, but Rachel had signed on to protect her child from all comers, and that’s exactly what she did.
When it came time for David to go to school, she had cheerfully donned her chauffeur’s hat and driven him back and forth to a small, newly established parochial school at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Shea Boulevard several miles to the south. She’d been responsible for taking him everywhere he needed to go—Boy Scout meetings, Little League games, and swim lessons—because that’s what she’d signed up for, to raise her son, to take care of him and see that he thrived. But then… She shook her head. How on earth could it all have gone so terribly wrong?
The slider was open, so when the doorbell rang inside, she could hear it out in the yard. Later Rachel would think of that sound as something her high school drama coach, Miss Reavis, would have called a “knocking within” when, at a critical juncture in a play, an offstage character announces his arrival with some kind of racket and brings with him an important piece of compelling information that will propel the story to its final conclusion. Over the next several months, Rachel finally came to realize that’s exactly what the ringing doorbell had been that day—the crucial tipping point that had turned everything in her life upside down. At the time, however, it was nothing more than an unwelcome infringement on her solitary afternoon cocktail.
There was no question about Rich emerging from his workshop long enough to answer the door. Even if he’d heard the bell, he wouldn’t have bothered bestirring himself from behind his workbench. And that was Rachel’s initial reaction, too—that she would simply ignore the ringing bell until whoever this unwelcome visitor was would finally give up and go away. After all, how important could it be?