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“J. Carson Black's THE DEVIL'S HOUR is a superior mystery novel in all respects. Fine prose, terrific suspense, believable characters, and one of the most unexpected and satisfying conclusions I've read in a long time. Highly recommended." — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of DAMAGE Laura Cardinal: Packs a SIG Sauer P226 9mm. Investigates homicides in sm “J. Carson Black's THE DEVIL'S HOUR is a superior mystery novel in all respects. Fine prose, terrific suspense, believable characters, and one of the most unexpected and satisfying conclusions I've read in a long time. Highly recommended." — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of DAMAGE Laura Cardinal: Packs a SIG Sauer P226 9mm. Investigates homicides in small towns that have limited resources. Brings justice to murder victims—and to their killers. Laura’s job description: Criminal Investigator with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. But maybe it should just say “Troubleshooter.” In 1997, the disappearance of three young girls rocked the city of Tucson, Arizona. Eleven years later, one of those girls, Micaela Brashear, comes home—alive. Laura Cardinal worked homicide for Arizona DPS, but now she's been moved to the Open-Unsolved Unit. With a new job and a new partner who questions her every move, Laura pieces together Micaela's fragmented memories in the hope she will learn the whereabouts of the other two children. When a man walking his dog finds the bones of a child in a shallow grave on the mountain above town, it becomes clear to Laura that Micaela was the lucky one. But the killer isn't through yet, and after the fiery death of someone close to Laura, she realizes she faces an implacable enemy.


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“J. Carson Black's THE DEVIL'S HOUR is a superior mystery novel in all respects. Fine prose, terrific suspense, believable characters, and one of the most unexpected and satisfying conclusions I've read in a long time. Highly recommended." — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of DAMAGE Laura Cardinal: Packs a SIG Sauer P226 9mm. Investigates homicides in sm “J. Carson Black's THE DEVIL'S HOUR is a superior mystery novel in all respects. Fine prose, terrific suspense, believable characters, and one of the most unexpected and satisfying conclusions I've read in a long time. Highly recommended." — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of DAMAGE Laura Cardinal: Packs a SIG Sauer P226 9mm. Investigates homicides in small towns that have limited resources. Brings justice to murder victims—and to their killers. Laura’s job description: Criminal Investigator with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. But maybe it should just say “Troubleshooter.” In 1997, the disappearance of three young girls rocked the city of Tucson, Arizona. Eleven years later, one of those girls, Micaela Brashear, comes home—alive. Laura Cardinal worked homicide for Arizona DPS, but now she's been moved to the Open-Unsolved Unit. With a new job and a new partner who questions her every move, Laura pieces together Micaela's fragmented memories in the hope she will learn the whereabouts of the other two children. When a man walking his dog finds the bones of a child in a shallow grave on the mountain above town, it becomes clear to Laura that Micaela was the lucky one. But the killer isn't through yet, and after the fiery death of someone close to Laura, she realizes she faces an implacable enemy.

30 review for The Devil's Hour

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    Laura Cardinal on a cold case child abduction after a body is found in Tucson, leading to checking out the two other abductions of girls that summer ten years earlier. Another very decent police story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    When I read the first two books in the series, I loved tracing the story in, around, and through the Tucson I know and love. I've hunted for years for more in the series, to no avail, until I stumbled across a reference to the series here on Goodreads. Apparently there ARE more in the series, but they're in ebook form. Fine with me! I flew through this installment, and loved it. The story was well told (although I wish there had been a few more surprises), but the descriptions of many places whe When I read the first two books in the series, I loved tracing the story in, around, and through the Tucson I know and love. I've hunted for years for more in the series, to no avail, until I stumbled across a reference to the series here on Goodreads. Apparently there ARE more in the series, but they're in ebook form. Fine with me! I flew through this installment, and loved it. The story was well told (although I wish there had been a few more surprises), but the descriptions of many places where action took place (up on Mt. Lemmon and out on the Pinal Highway going towards Florence, particularly) were so right on -- I really love this! Laura Cardinal is smart but not as savvy as she should be, despite some of the training she still reviews from her now-dead mentor, Frank Entwhistle. Ah well, without goof-ups there'd really be no story, right?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Defintely a very unexpected, and sad, ending. Loved all of the twists and turns of the story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tina Bailey

    Another really good story in this series! I think this writer does really well with the Laura Cardinal character. Laura is a smart detective with great "gut sense" for the job. I felt the Steve Lawson part of the book may have been better either left out entirely or put into a different book that went further because it just didn't seem to fit, but all in all the same mystery and twists are here for our enjoyment. Another really good story in this series! I think this writer does really well with the Laura Cardinal character. Laura is a smart detective with great "gut sense" for the job. I felt the Steve Lawson part of the book may have been better either left out entirely or put into a different book that went further because it just didn't seem to fit, but all in all the same mystery and twists are here for our enjoyment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Vaughan

    Lynnie Good, exciting book. Twist turns, surprises. Really enjoying the series. Can’t wait to start the next book, and continue with what is gonna happen. This one left you on the edge of your seat. 😳

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Mcnally

    Awesome book. This book will keep you guessing till the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quillracer

    I have pretty much the same comments about this book, the third in the series, as I had about the first one: There were a few places where the story seemed to jump ahead, as if some forward motion in the investigation had taken place but Black forgot to include it. Revelation of the bad guy seemed to come out of nowhere, as if Black got to a certain point in her writing and realized she hadn’t figured out who it was supposed to be, so she said, “Let’s make it him.” Prior to that point, she gave th I have pretty much the same comments about this book, the third in the series, as I had about the first one: There were a few places where the story seemed to jump ahead, as if some forward motion in the investigation had taken place but Black forgot to include it. Revelation of the bad guy seemed to come out of nowhere, as if Black got to a certain point in her writing and realized she hadn’t figured out who it was supposed to be, so she said, “Let’s make it him.” Prior to that point, she gave the reader no clue as to who it might be unless they were so subtle I missed them. I doubt I did, as I was reading more carefully than usual. One of the principal characters in this story sees ghosts. That was a bit of a turn off for me, as I don’t buy into anything in the paranormal realm. Still, Black handled it well enough that it didn’t make me quit the story – something I usually do whenever I encounter paranormal elements. Some things not explained in the first book were touched on here. I wish I had read the second book in the series before this one since those things may have been explained there. So J. Carson Black remains on my reading list but only as an author I’ll read when chance or a bargain price brings her books my way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Michael

    I may pick others in this series up if they become available at the library but while they are good, solidly written mysteries with complex plots and reasonably good characterization I still didn't really get 'hooked' on the series. I do think I've figured out why, however. The overall tone of the books is simply darker and more pessimistic than I prefer in my entertainment. There seems to be a pervasive sense of 'never going to go right' in the main character's personal life that is depressing a I may pick others in this series up if they become available at the library but while they are good, solidly written mysteries with complex plots and reasonably good characterization I still didn't really get 'hooked' on the series. I do think I've figured out why, however. The overall tone of the books is simply darker and more pessimistic than I prefer in my entertainment. There seems to be a pervasive sense of 'never going to go right' in the main character's personal life that is depressing and most of the supporting characters also seem to end up in unfortunate circumstances as well. No 'up' to balance the 'down' ... Certainly an interesting series and character and would probably be an outstanding read for someone who isn't bothered by a darker tone.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    I really like these books. There is so much story to them. Different story lines, but they all end up intersecting. The boys need to start listening to Laura and, come on J. Carson, let Laura have some semblance of a decent romantic interlude. She deserves it. Every man she is attracted to or has admiration for doesn't need to be a bad guy or end up dead. I know if I told you too much I would give away the many story lines, but I highly recommend these books if you like mystery, suspense, and som I really like these books. There is so much story to them. Different story lines, but they all end up intersecting. The boys need to start listening to Laura and, come on J. Carson, let Laura have some semblance of a decent romantic interlude. She deserves it. Every man she is attracted to or has admiration for doesn't need to be a bad guy or end up dead. I know if I told you too much I would give away the many story lines, but I highly recommend these books if you like mystery, suspense, and sometimes a little scary thrown in. Just don't decide you like a character and expect them to be #1 all you think they are and #2 around in the next book. Have I teased you enough?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    For me, the location of a book is one of the most important characters, and I used to live in Tucson, so I read this book for the nostalgia. I wasn't disappointed - the book captures the intense summer desert heat that I used to love to hate, and the mountains that were such a relief to go to. I liked the story too - a fast moving mystery with well-developed characters and interesting plot twists. The main story line about two kidnapped girls was compelling; a second strand of the action, about For me, the location of a book is one of the most important characters, and I used to live in Tucson, so I read this book for the nostalgia. I wasn't disappointed - the book captures the intense summer desert heat that I used to love to hate, and the mountains that were such a relief to go to. I liked the story too - a fast moving mystery with well-developed characters and interesting plot twists. The main story line about two kidnapped girls was compelling; a second strand of the action, about a third girl, seemed forced to me, but this may be a trademark of the series. (This is the only one I have read.) It was a good deck read for a holiday weekend.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joan Reeves

    Laura Moved to Cold Cases In The Devil's Hour, Laura has been assigned to the cold case unit. With her usual astute ability to put the pieces of a puzzle together, she's perfect for this new job. In fact, by the end of the book, you'll probably wish she wasn't that good. The inexorable forward motion of the plot made me wish that it wasn't going to end the way it did. I could see it coming, but I couldn't put the book down. In a near "Law and Order" twist, the ending was perfect -- and wrenching fo Laura Moved to Cold Cases In The Devil's Hour, Laura has been assigned to the cold case unit. With her usual astute ability to put the pieces of a puzzle together, she's perfect for this new job. In fact, by the end of the book, you'll probably wish she wasn't that good. The inexorable forward motion of the plot made me wish that it wasn't going to end the way it did. I could see it coming, but I couldn't put the book down. In a near "Law and Order" twist, the ending was perfect -- and wrenching for the series character Laura Cardinal and for the reader too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    more like 3.5. this touched on a couple of different interesting idea's, but was more cumbersome to get through then the previous 2 books in this series. did not move through the action as seamlessly as it could have and the surprises were not forshadowed as near as well as I think they could have been. several times I questioned where that came from or how we got to where we are. entertaining., but lacking. more like 3.5. this touched on a couple of different interesting idea's, but was more cumbersome to get through then the previous 2 books in this series. did not move through the action as seamlessly as it could have and the surprises were not forshadowed as near as well as I think they could have been. several times I questioned where that came from or how we got to where we are. entertaining., but lacking.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jmrathbone

    What do editors do? Don't they highlight improbable ideas within a novel? Didn't the editor of this book notice that the author wrote "After she gets her GED, she'll go to Stanford." Really? Also,someone in this novel was in the branches of a mesquite tree, but those trees are full of big thorns so how was someone in the branches? There are also ghosts. The big climax of the novel was kind of a let down. What do editors do? Don't they highlight improbable ideas within a novel? Didn't the editor of this book notice that the author wrote "After she gets her GED, she'll go to Stanford." Really? Also,someone in this novel was in the branches of a mesquite tree, but those trees are full of big thorns so how was someone in the branches? There are also ghosts. The big climax of the novel was kind of a let down.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Another book in the Laura Cardinal series. This time Detective Cardinal is caught up in solving a cold case. Three preteen girls mysteriously disappear and she and her partner are desperate to solve the mystery. I didn't like the ending on this one as well as the other books I have read by Black, so I only gave it a three-star rating. Another book in the Laura Cardinal series. This time Detective Cardinal is caught up in solving a cold case. Three preteen girls mysteriously disappear and she and her partner are desperate to solve the mystery. I didn't like the ending on this one as well as the other books I have read by Black, so I only gave it a three-star rating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lori Wolf

    I just finished this one & wow is about all I can say. I got these books as a free set on Amazon, not knowing what to expect. I liked the first two in the series, but LOVED the third! I was back to reading at red lights. Spoiler Alert!!!! I am once again thankful that the "bad guys" were caught, however the ending was a total shock! I can't wait to see a 4th book! I just finished this one & wow is about all I can say. I got these books as a free set on Amazon, not knowing what to expect. I liked the first two in the series, but LOVED the third! I was back to reading at red lights. Spoiler Alert!!!! I am once again thankful that the "bad guys" were caught, however the ending was a total shock! I can't wait to see a 4th book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lillie

    I didn't like this book as well as the first two in the series because I was a little disappointed in the end. Laura is dealing with three cold cases of young girls missing for many years. Two of the cases were solved satisfactorily, but the solution for the third case was rather weird to my way of thinking. I didn't like this book as well as the first two in the series because I was a little disappointed in the end. Laura is dealing with three cold cases of young girls missing for many years. Two of the cases were solved satisfactorily, but the solution for the third case was rather weird to my way of thinking.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    I started reading this author at the suggestion of a dear friend. This was the third book in the Laura Cardinal series, the first two of which I rated only 2 stars because of lack of character development and a confusing story line. However, this book was markedly better! I felt there was good character development, no confusion about what was happening, and an intriguing mystery. Bravo!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karin Corneau

    Great story from start to finish. Believable characters and a few twists and turns that left me glued to the book. Didn't realize this was book 3 in a series, but it easily read as a stand alone and I wasn't lost or confused for not having read the first two. If u want a good mystery, this is a great one :) Great story from start to finish. Believable characters and a few twists and turns that left me glued to the book. Didn't realize this was book 3 in a series, but it easily read as a stand alone and I wasn't lost or confused for not having read the first two. If u want a good mystery, this is a great one :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Demsky

    Only good thing was the ending, could skip half the writing and not miss anything of the story! Author keeps repeating all of Laura’s problems with her parent’s dying, her ex boyfriends etc. I’ve read enough of these now!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    This is the first book I’ve read by J Carson Black, very good. This is the story of children that went missing and one girl reappears. I was surprised by the ending but that made it more real. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Nothing squeamish, good read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    OMG, this is the first J Carson Black book I have read and I am hooked! Loved it, do not plan on doing anything once you start.... you will not be able to put it down. I have since read the entire Laura Carlson series... excellent!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie ze Kiten

    Shitty editing. Shitty typical crime, pro-police, ignore your lawyer's advice kind of crap. Typical shitty stuff about little girls being abused and killed. I only read because it was free and I was tired, reading on a plane so I thought the mystery would hold my interest. Meh Shitty editing. Shitty typical crime, pro-police, ignore your lawyer's advice kind of crap. Typical shitty stuff about little girls being abused and killed. I only read because it was free and I was tired, reading on a plane so I thought the mystery would hold my interest. Meh

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Really great read. I couldn't put the book down, felt the story flowed really well. Yes, it did give me the creeps a few times...but that is the fun part of reading . . . letting your imagination run wild. Looks like I'll be starting on this series. Can't wait. Really great read. I couldn't put the book down, felt the story flowed really well. Yes, it did give me the creeps a few times...but that is the fun part of reading . . . letting your imagination run wild. Looks like I'll be starting on this series. Can't wait.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I read the whole series in an omnibus collection while recovering from surgery and bored. Kept hoping things would get better but no. The main character who is touted as a crack detective consistently misreads clues/suspects. The concept is interesting delivery not so much.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    This book never really grabbed me, but I'm not fully sure why. The story had a decent plot and was well written, characters were well defined, but something just didn't click for me. This book never really grabbed me, but I'm not fully sure why. The story had a decent plot and was well written, characters were well defined, but something just didn't click for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ilsa

    Gave in...only $0.99 though! Eg, just ok. The promise of change in the previous book was completely ignored in this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Once again, twists and turns. Not until the end do you really know what is happening. I hope all her books are as good as the Laura Cardinal series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Third in the series (after Dark Side of the Moon)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    We'll written withmultiple twists and turns. Enjoyable & fast read. We'll written withmultiple twists and turns. Enjoyable & fast read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    Something leads Steve Lawson to discover the remains of a missing girl, but what ? Laura is trying to find the killer of her and other missing children.

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