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Deadly Stakes (Ali Reynolds #8)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,222 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
In this “heart-stopping” (Publishers Weekly) page-turner from New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds finds herself working against the police to clear two innocent names.Police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds is contacted to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divorcee. Lynn Martinson is dating the dead woman’s ex-husband, and s ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by Pocket Books (first published February 1st 2013)
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Jan 02, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book of J.A. Jance's that I ever read was the first book in the Ali Reynolds series so this series is very special to me. I have enjoyed reading about the evolution of Ali Reynolds in this series. In this latest outing we are following two interrelated stories that end up initially causing friction in Ali's relationship with the local police force much to her dismay.

This is J.A. Jance at her best. This is an excellent story with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader intrigued.
Mar 12, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still wish Jance would return to her first series about J.P. Beaumont or do another psychological thriller stand-alone or two. Of her mystery series, this one featuring Ali Reynolds is my least favorite. She always does stupid things. This one is no exception, although she's done even dumber things in previous novels. It's entertaining, but not a favorite. Easy, quick read.
Judd Exley
Mar 18, 2015 Judd Exley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it me, or is Ali Reynolds an overly-judgmental bitch? She's also rich and spoiled and fairly snooty. Hell, nearly 95% of her characters are either nice and benign do-gooders or purely even shitwits. Are there no in-betweens? Can the hero have some flaws other than being a snob?

The only thing I like about these books is reading out certain parts to my wife and then both of us having a good laugh. I mean really... did the author need to explain to us that Ali knows what the term "brick" means i
Mar 13, 2013 Terri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jance is one of my favorite authors, and this book continues the Ali Reynolds series. I never thought I would like another character more than Joanna Brady, but I feel like I know Ali like a friend. This story is full of action, twists and turns and keeps you guessing all the way through. Jance's books are so well written that there are never any loose ends or questions at the end......I don't start anything else right away, just letting her story percolate in my brain a while until I have figur ...more
Dec 11, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the Ali Reynolds series. Interesting story line and the series regular supporting cast save this entry from a plot with too many coincidences.

Ali (Alison) Reynolds series -The former newscaster travels from Sedona, Ariz., to Phoenix, where friend Brenda Riley is filming a story on cyber-stalker Richard Lowensdale, whom Reynolds helped bring down (Fatal Error (2011)). When circumstances land Lynn Martinson, one of Lowensdale's victims, in another pickle, Martinson's mother recommends she tu
Mar 03, 2013 Vickie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I faithfully read every J.A. Jance novel, but they leave me feeling something is missing. I finally figured it out with this one: I prefer fictional crime-solvers that have personal flaws. Her protagonists, or at least the female ones (Ali Reynolds and Joanna Brady) are just too nice. I've always preferred Jance's J.P. Beaumont series, and now I know why.
Linda Branich
Three and one-half stars rounded up to four.

This book is in J.A. Jance's Ali Reynolds series.

Gemma is tired of being married to a doctor without the glory and money that comes with being the wife of a wealthy surgeon. Her husband has settled on geriatrics, sspecifically Alzheimer's patients. She divorces her husband and decides that she will pursue the riches and fame she desires elsewhere while she still has her looks.

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Gemma is found near death in a remote area by
Mike French
May 05, 2013 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy J.A.Jance's writing. This one more like 31/2stars than 41/2 stars. To me it started off slowly, but it really picked up about 1/3 of the way in.
Dec 06, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
I really enjoy the writing of J.A. Jance. Unfortunately for me, I've been grabbing her books off the shelf at random and not reading them in order, and that, it turns out, makes things very confusing. A good murder mystery requires a large number of people so that the suspects aren't quite so obvious. This also adds to the "confusion" factor. Having said that, though, the story was pretty good, with lots of twists and turns. I wasn't too crazy about the ending, though. Everything was explained, ...more
Jill Manske
It pains me to give a J.A. Jance book only 2 stars. I've been reading and enjoying Jance's books for years. But this one just isn't up to par. It starts out ok, with an interesting plot and familiar characters. Then about 3/4 of the way through the book, it's as if someone else took over writing the ending. Sort of like when a basketball team is winning by so many points, the coach puts in second string players. The last part of the book is predictable and boring, and even the dialog is lame. Ja ...more
Nick Duretta
Typical Jance, which means a good, solid plot with everyday people getting swept up in puzzling and ominous situations and a protagonist who doggedly figures it all out. A "typical" Jance also means one-dimensional characters and writing that often seems slapdash. She inserts her author's voice at one point, calling the actions of a character "incredibly stupid." Why not let the readers figure that out? And the baddie in this book pops up almost out of nowhere more than three-quarters of the way ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Like the last Ali Reynolds book, I think there are too many subplots which detract from the main story here, which is the murder of a gold digging divorcee. The ex-husband and his girlfriend are arrested based on some reasonable evidence and Ali is hired by the girlfriend's mother to do an investigative story. Meanwhile, a second murder is discovered nearby of an ex-con, who has suddenly come into money. As always, Ali gets too close to the truth and is captured by the perpetrators and, once aga ...more
Susan Oleksiw
Jul 28, 2014 Susan Oleksiw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gemma Ralston has divorced her physician husband, which has assured her financial future, and is now ready for some fun. Not long after she tapes an introduction for an online dating sight, however, she is left for dead in the desert. The teenage boy who finds her calls for an ambulance and then flees the scene, taking with him valuable information and overlooking another murder victim nearby. The obvious suspects, the ex-husband, Chip Ralston, and his girlfriend, Lynn Martinson, are quickly arr ...more
Beautiful divorcee Gemma Ralston, stabbed and parazlyzed, dies a horrible death in the Arizona desert. Teenager A.J. Sanders - looking for buried treasure as instructed in a secret letter from his ex-convict, absentee father - happens to be on hand at the end of Gemma's life. The teen texts for help then flees the scene of the crime. Turns out Gemma was the grasping, money-hungry ex-wife of Alzheimer expert Dr. Chip Ralston, and Chip and his new girlfriend Lynn Martinson are arrested for murder. ...more
Robyn Jones
I jumped to the middle of this series by starting with Deadly Stakes because a friend loaned me the book after I told her I went to hear J.A. Jance talk at my library. Jance is a character just as rich as the ones she creates in her stories. There are several things that make for a good mystery series for me, a simple/clean style of writing, characters I care to spend the next week with, and a crime I can't figure out in the first 100 pages. Jance delivers. Ali Reynolds is a fresh take on female ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ali Reynolds a former news reporter was contacted by the mother of Lynn Martinson to investigate a murder Lynn and her boyfriend are accused of committing since the dead woman is the boyfriend's ex-wife. There is a twisted path of clues and when a second body is found close to the first body things really get complicated.

Ali's friends in the police department resent what they call her "interference" and she walks a tight rope in keeping out of their way because she doesn't have a P.I.'s license
May 11, 2015 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the second of the Ali Reynolds series that I have read and it is making me want to read more in the series. Ali is an interesting character as are the more minor characters surrounding her. In this one, a rather nasty yet beautiful woman dies when a teenager, who has ditched school for the first time in his life, has found her right before she took her dying breath. He first tries calling 911 trying to get help for her but then when she dies, he panics and leaves. In due time, another bo ...more
Ginger Weirich
Feb 09, 2016 Ginger Weirich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent offering in this series! When greed meets “consciouslessness” (to use my own word), there’s no telling the path of destruction it can take, and, once again, Ali Reynolds manages to stumble her way right into the middle of the fray. A wayward daughter given too much power, a son left on the outside for not meeting his father’s expectations, a “single” mother and her son and that son’s father, an ex-con, are all joined together in this tale. Very well written! Just as an aside, I ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Debbe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love J.A. Jance so I keep reading these Ali Reynolds mysteries. They just aren't as good as Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont. I wish Jance would forget Ali and go back to one of her other characters
Lynn Pribus
Jan 18, 2015 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once met Jance at a Left Coast Mystery conference (I was once an active member of MWA on the basis of two short mysteries published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magaine) and have enjoyed the Beaumont series and also the Joanna Brady, sheriff of Cochise County, AZ (which I thought was fictional until I visited there.)

The last couple Joanna's dragged a bit for me, so I was happy to find this series with Ali Reynolds (and this is far from the first.) Moved along so competently with bad characters you
Jun 10, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ali is a part time cop and full time journalist/researcher who takes a writing job from a Public Defender who can't afford a Private Detective but needs to find more information to help her client who is booked for killing her boyfriends ex-wife. Coicidently a young man found the body by accident and doesn't even realize that his ex-con absent dad is also dead near by - but it's a totally unrelated murder.
I found the writing a bit overly descriptive, and as an audio book there were SO many chara
Nov 13, 2014 Marci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this is not one of Jance's better books. After reading all the other Ali Reynolds stories, I was looking forward to reading another. Kind of like returning to an old friend. What I found instead was close to a recipe story patterned after her other sucessful stories. The characters are all there but the situations . If it weren't for the hard work of the behind the scenes people, a real mess would have resulted in each scene. Granted, she still manages to prove the cops wrong and saved the day, ...more
May 29, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I’m familiar with J.A. Jance’s mysteries “Deadly Stakes” is the first of the Ali Reynolds series I’ve read. A former reporter Reynolds, having attended the police academy, has connections in the police department. Friends that become alienated as she investigates the murder of a scheming divorcee. The body is found in the desert near Cape Verde, Arizona by a teenager on his own secretive mission. The murder of a ex-con appears to be a separate case - or, is it? And, what’s the explanati ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Allison Reynolds series seems to run hot and cold for me.

The reader is expected to dig back in their memory to recall the storyline where Ali was dealing with a cyber-stalker. This book moves forward from that time when Ali meets up again with Lynn Martinson. Once again, Lynn is involved with a questionable man. This time, Chip Ralston’s wife is found stabbed to death in the desert. When both Lynn and Chip are arrested for the murder, Lynn’s mother proposes to Ali that she checks things out
Aug 21, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice, old-fashioned thriller. Semi-plausible. Exciting, keeps your interest, great book!

In Deadly Stakes, police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds is contacted to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divorcee on behalf of a woman accused of the crime. Lynn Martinson is dating the dead woman’s ex-husband, and she and her boyfriend Chip Ralston have been charged.

Ali is simultaneously drawn to the case of A.J. Sanders, a frightened teen with secrets of his own. He’s the first
Luanne Ollivier
I've been reading J.A. Jance for a number of years, following her Joanna Brady series, but funnily enough have never read any of the other three series she writes. Her latest book Deadly Stakes is the eighth entry in the Ali Reynolds mystery series.

The opening chapters of Deadly Stakes were quite detailed (and folksy), filling in the background of many recurring characters and the goings-on in their lives. For someone who hadn't read the series, this was a good way to get to know the players. Al
I have to say that this is the first Ali Reynolds mystery that I have read. I know eight books into a series that there would be a lot of background information that I would be missing out on. As I was reading, I didn’t feel that I needed all that information. It would have helped me understand the main characters actions but wasn’t necessary to the storyline.

Former reporter Ali Reynolds learns that someone she knows is suspected in the killing of her current boyfriend’s ex-fiance. Lynn Martinso
Bruce Snell
Book number Eight in the Ali Reynolds series by J.A. Jance - 3.5 stars. The body of a murdered woman is found in a desert campground and the next day, the body of a murdered man is found nearby. The police make an arrest in the first murder - the ex-husband of the murdered woman and his girlfriend. Because the suspect's family believes the police have jumped the gun with the arrest, Ali is asked to conduct an investigation that will clear both suspects. Of course, all of the usual cast of charac ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ali Reynolds, former journalist, is asked to investigate a woman's murder by the mother of one of the suspects. A teenager found the woman, seemingly immobilized and near death and calls emergency services on a cell phone found nearby, but the woman succumbs almost immediately. The teen flees the scene, but has his own secret - his father told him to dig up a strongbox behind a boulder in the vicinity, which he returns to do. The teen, AJ, then discovers that his father was murdered near the sce ...more
Gloria Feit
Jun 17, 2013 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ali Reynolds is not a police officer. Nor is she a private investigator. And it’s been a long time since she was a journalist. Nevertheless, she undertakes to investigate a murder under the guise of writing a free-lance article in this swashbuckling story which progresses slowly but surely to some sort of conclusion. It is the eighth novel in the series and familiarly follows the customary formula, actually growing out of a predecessor volume in which Ali solved a cyber-stalking crime involving ...more
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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.

* J.P. Beaumont
* Joann
More about J.A. Jance...

Other Books in the Series

Ali Reynolds (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Edge of Evil (Ali Reynolds, #1)
  • Web of Evil (Ali Reynolds, #2)
  • Hand of Evil (Ali Reynolds, #3)
  • Cruel Intent (Ali Reynolds, #4)
  • Trial by Fire (Ali Reynolds, #5)
  • Fatal Error (Ali Reynolds, #6)
  • Left for Dead (Ali Reynolds, #7)
  • Moving Target (Ali Reynolds, #9)
  • Cold Betrayal (Ali Reynolds, #10)
  • Clawback (Ali Reynolds, #11)

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