Left for Dead
When Santa Cruz county deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, one of Ali Reynolds’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, are both under suspicion.
Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Mercy Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for Ali to turn away. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there as well, working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified border crosser who was raped and savagely beaten.
As more bodies begin to pile up, Ali becomes determined to seek justice, even when it becomes impossible to know where the danger is coming from. Fast-paced, tension-filled, and intriguingly complex, Left for Dead is J.A. Jance at her riveting best.
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Reading Group Guide
Left for Dead is a complex, twisting narrative about the devastating violence from the Mexican drug wars in Arizona. When several attempted murders occur within miles of each other, and two of the suspects are drug dealers, Ali Reynolds steps in to help protect the victims and prove their innocence. As more bodies pile up, Ali must confront the evil of the drug cartels across the border head-on, with no way of knowing who the next victim will be.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The novel opens with Breeze Domingo, a.k.a Rose Ventana, sleeping on a “sagging leather couch in a filthy apartment.” (p. 1) How does this initial introduction to Rose set the tone for the book? Do you feel sympathy for Rose’s situation? Do you like her? How much agency do you think she has in determining her situation?
2. “But if life on the street had taught her any lessons at all, the most basic was not to ask questions, especially when you don’t want to hear an see more