Skip to main content

Nothing to Lose: A J.P. Beaumont Novel


Nothing to Lose: A J.P. Beaumont Novel

Welcome back, J.P. Beaumont! Now retired from the Seattle police force and cutting back on his private detective activities, J.P. lives a quiet life in Bellingham, Washington, where his wife, Mel Soames, is the chief of police. He’s more or less settled into his quiet lifestyle training Sarah, their newly rescued Irish wolfhound. His assignment, aside from trying to convince Sarah that a blizzard is not evil falling from the sky, is to decorate the Christmas tree as his wife takes off for a lunch meeting with the mayor.

While Mel is away, the doorbell rings. A young man introduces himself as Jared Danielson, a name that immediately jolts J.P. back to the darkest event from his past. Jared was once a teenager with a little brother, Chris, who survived only because their mother, Sue, and J.P.’s partner on the homicide squad called J.P. to her home. Her husband had a gun and was on a rampage. J.P. arrived on the scene and told Jared to grab Chris and flee just as their father shot and killed Sue. The boys were sent off to Ohio in the care of Sue’s family. Following this devastating incident, J.P. battled PTSD and alcoholism.

"This is the J.A. Jance I love. Her characterizations and ability to spin a tale keep you turning pages well into the night."

Now a fully grown man and a priest, Jared tells J.P. that he is seeking the whereabouts of Chris, who he hasn’t been in touch with in over two years. Although J.P. has given up his private practice, he still holds a license and agrees to take on the search. What follows is a true J. A. Jance gumshoe adventure, delivered in her customary conversational style. These books are quite different from her Joanna Brady series, which deals in high-end cyber-communications.

It turns out that Chris disappeared one night after leaving work to help a woman fix a tire. He was due back to his girlfriend’s house but never showed up. Chris had been an unruly kid in junior high and was sent away to live with his grandparents. He ran with a rough crowd and was engaged in drinking, smoking and stealing money from his grandparents. Having run away more than once, he eventually ended up in Homer, Alaska, with another grandparent and seemed to settle down. Two years ago, just before his high school graduation, he got his girlfriend pregnant. Given his past behavior, her parents were rigorously against marriage, so it was assumed that he had just run off again. She kept the baby and named him after his father, but no one reported him missing.

Jared suspects foul play since there is no evidence of a renewed driver’s license or immunization records needed to pass through Canada to the U.S. J.P. tells Jared to get a DNA test to help track him down; unidentified remains of a skull were found near Homer around the time that Chris disappeared.

Through a local, J.P. finds an Alaskan driver who knows the back country. Twink Winkleman is a true rough and ready Alaskan character. A heavy smoker built like a fullback, she owns an ancient but reliable Travelall with heavy-duty snow tires and a front snow blade to get them through hell, high water, blizzards and, if necessary, a security gate that comes in handy during a chase scene at the airport. Unlike her Travelall, her cell phone is up to date with a built-in credit card reader that --- at $750 a day, plus meals and expenses --- is also quite helpful.

This is the J.A. Jance I love. Her characterizations and ability to spin a tale keep you turning pages well into the night.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on February 25, 2022

Nothing to Lose: A J.P. Beaumont Novel
by J.A. Jance

  • Publication Date: August 23, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0063022664
  • ISBN-13: 9780063022669