Deadly Bonds (Detective Jackson #9)


  • DeadlyBondsAuthor: LJ Sellers
  • Performed by Patrick Lawlor
  • Published by Brilliance Audio and released via Audible August 2014
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • four-half-stars

When a young mother is found murdered in a derelict Eugene neighborhood – and her terrified young son is discovered hiding beneath the floorboards – Detective Jackson reluctantly takes the case. His own life is already in chaos, with his runaway teenage daughter, Katie, still gone and his girlfriend, Kera, facing her own family crisis. Matters get more complicated when the orphaned boy bonds with Jackson, triggering unexpected emotions and compromising his ability to investigate. Meanwhile, Detective Evans, one of Jackson’s most valuable colleagues, is pulled off the case to look into the death of a University of Oregon football star – leaving the homicide task force shorthanded. As Jackson works to solve the murder and find a home for little Benjie, he soon faces devastating choices that threaten everything he holds dear.

Wade Jackson’s life is still in turmoil after the death of his ex-wife and the breach in his relationship with his daughter, Katie. Katie initially blamed Jackson for her mother’s death and the detrimental effect is still being felt, although Katie does now communicate with her father via text.

Jackson is one of my favourite types of protagonist and I love the way his character has developed over the series. He’s essentially a good guy with a social conscience, realistic and not perfect. He is struggling to come to terms with Katie having run away from home and missing her terribly. Jackson believes he’s failed his daughter and worries about her. He also has guilt issues about his girlfriend, Kera, who is dealing with her own family troubles. Jackson never seems to be able to fully support her due to his demanding job, now even more so because of budget cuts to the department.

Lammers’ voice boomed even with the cell at a distance. “Jackson, are you there?”

He stood. “Yes, hold on.” The waiting room had filled in the last hour, and there wasn’t anywhere private. Jackson looked back at Kera, mouthed I’m sorry, and headed outside“What’s going on?” 

“Possible homicide. A young female in a house in the Bethel area. Probably dead since yesterday.” 

Damn. Why had he answered. Dead young women triggered emotions he’d rather not feel. “I’m a the hospital with Kera…..Can someone else take the lead? I’ll join the task force when I can.”

An exasperated sigh. “I can’t spare you. Schak is in court, and Evans is still too green for this kind of case.”

As Jackson and his Violent Crimes Unit team investigate the possible homicide of a young woman in a less than salubrious area, Jackson finds the victim’s three year old son.  His feelings towards the boy show Jackson in a completely different and interesting light although I’m not sure how true to life it is for Jackson to take custody of Benjie the way he does. The team are swamped by questions relating to the case but have no viable answers. 

Detective Lara Evans has caught her own case and is pulled off Jackson’s team, leaving the Violent Crimes Unit even more short-handed. The more Evans’ investigation progresses the more sure she becomes that her case and Jackson’s are tied together. The credible plot line and the combining action between the two well crafted and interwoven cases develops effectively and moves the story along perfectly. An unexpected resolution to the linked cases and a bombshell for Jackson conclude a really good addition to this series. Deadly Bonds could be read as a stand alone but, if as I do, you like to get the full story about the characters in a series, I would choose to start at the beginning. 

I like the ‘voice’ Patrick Lawlor gives Jackson, it conveys his personality very well, and he does a great job with the other characterisations too. Looking forward to Wrongful Death – coming in March!

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