Good news: Recently it was a hardback copy of COLD BETRAYAL by Seattle mystery author J. A. Jance.
Bad news: This book is #10 in the Ali Reynolds mystery series! I enjoyed the story a lot, so now I guess I'd better go back and read the first nine. Although this book stands alone, I'm sure I would have understood more about the relationships between some of the characters if I'd read the first nine books.
As the snow started to fall in thick, feathery flakes, Betsy Peterson, seated in front, checked the tension in the seat belt against her collarbone, clutched her purse to her chest, and peered out through the headlights into the dark night. Marcia Lawson was a good driver, but a fast one. She seemed to be under the impression that just because she was driving a four-wheel-drive Kia, an older and decidedly dilapidated model, she didn't need to worry about road conditions.
(NOTE: I hate to be out on the road in snow, whether as a driver or a passenger, so I can relate to Betsy's nervousness!)
Friday 56 (from Page 256):
".... Little girls are expected to be betrothed by the time they're six or seven. When they're in their mid-teens, they're forced into marriages with much older men and end up giving birth to children while they themselves are still juveniles."
Book Length: 337 Pages (hardback)
Amazon Link: Cold Betrayal
Author Website: J. A. Jance
Ali’s longtime friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm, rushes to the bedside of a young pregnant woman hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car on a deserted Arizona highway. The girl had been running away from The Family, a polygamous cult with no patience for those who try to leave its ranks. Something about her strikes a chord in Sister Anselm, reminding her of a case she worked years before when another young girl wasn’t so lucky.
Meanwhile, married life agrees with Ali. But any hopes that she and her husband, B. Simpson, will finally slow down and relax now that they’ve tied the knot are dashed when Ali’s new daughter-in-law approaches her, desperate for help. The girl’s grandmother, Betsy, is in danger: she’s been receiving anonymous threats, and someone even broke into her home and turned on the gas burners in the middle of the night. But the local police think the elderly woman’s just not as sharp as she used to be.
While Ali struggles to find a way to protect Betsy before it’s too late, Sister Anselm needs her help as well, and the two race the clock to uncover the secrets that The Family has hidden for so long—before someone comes back to bury them forever.