Desert Wives Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2004
|New from||Used from|
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Dark humor and thrilling action inform Webb's second Lena Jones mystery (after 2001's Desert Noir), a searing expos of the abuses of contemporary polygamy. The private detective is helping a client, 13-year-old Rebecca Corbett, to flee Purity, a polygamist compound on the Utah-Arizona border, when they stumble on the shotgunned body of Prophet Solomon Royal, the 68-year-old leader of the Church of the Prophet Fundamental-and Rebecca's fiance. Rebecca's mother, Esther, welcomes the girl with open arms, but when Esther's charged with the prophet's murder, Lena takes on the seemingly hopeless task of finding the real killer. Posing as a polygamist wife, Lena infiltrates Purity, where she unearths a closely guarded secret kept by the cult's Council of Elders. Meanwhile, the savvy investigator, who as a four-year-old child was shot by her mother and left for dead, learns more about her past. Rescued and raised by an Indian woman, Lena has grown into a scarred adult. Love and easy social contacts elude her. Lena can count on a few allies, including her Pima Indian partner, Jimmy Sisiwan, but she remains a loner, dependent on her own abilities-and the .38 strapped to her leg. The beauty of the Southwestern backdrop belies the harshness of life, the corrupt officials, brutal men and frightened women depicted in this arresting novel brimming with moral outrage.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Lena is able to get Rebecca out safely but not before they both see that Solomon was murdered by a gunshot. A few days later Rebecca's mother is arrested for the crime because she can be placed near the scene just before the murder, yelling at the Prophet. Lena, with the help of an inside sympathizer, infiltrates the compound to discover who the real murderer is, a difficult job because many people had various reasons to want Solomon dead.
After reading DESERT WIVES, reader will come away horrified that women in the twenty-first century in America can be treated like cattle and have no recourse but to endure their suffering. Betty Webb tells a compelling story and raises a social issue that most people don't even realize exists. This is one book that the audience will be unable to forget due to its subject matter.
All pretty straightforward so far, but Webb ("Desert Noir") takes a turn into the all-too-real surreal as Lena, determined to find the murderer, infiltrates the community by posing as a polygamist wife. In absorbing detail, Webb sets out the daily minutiae, the religious tenets (the more children, the better heaven), domestic routines, casual brutality, and the abject position of women, whose daily humiliation and powerlessness (including the offloading of widows onto other husbands) stacks up as nothing against the monstrous secret Lena finally uncovers.
Webb's writing is lively, well-paced and suspenseful. Dark humor accentuates the bleak setting. An afterward gives the background on Mormon polygamy and the state of law-enforcement disinterest. Powerful stuff.
Author Betty Webb writes about the evils of polygamy and child abuse with authority while fully integrating these into an intriguing mystery. The prophet made plenty of enemies and had enough money to make even his best friend want to murder him. But who would he have trusted enough to lend his own shotgun to? Jones finds that the code of silence is in effect in the compound. The men barely talk to the women, and the women live in fear of more abuse, and in fear of one another as they scrabble for what little authority any woman can hold in a male dominated sect.
Serious mystery readers will quickly guess the killer, but will want to keep reading to see how Jones finally guesses the identity. Jones' terrible taste in men makes me glad she's not my detective, but it also makes for a more interesting read.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked this book so much, I went back and read the first in the series called Desert Noir. Funny, scary, likeable protagonist.Published 18 months ago by MysteryReader
In this second installment in the Lena Jones mystery series, Lena is hired by her client, desperate mother Esther Corbett, to rescue her daughter, Rebecca, from the polygamist... Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by tregatt