Cover image for Desert rage : a Lena Jones Mystery
Desert rage : a Lena Jones Mystery
Webb, Betty, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
392 pages ; 23 cm.

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FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery

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Ferociously ambitious U.S. Senatorial candidate Juliana Thorsson has been keeping a secret.

The horrific slaughter of a prominent doctor, his wife, and their ten-year-old son brings Thorsson to Private Investigator Lena Jones. The slain family's 14-year-old, Alison, has confessed to the murders. Thorsson wants to hire Lena to discover if Alison is telling the truth, but Lena demands to know what a rising political star wants with a girl she's never met. Desperate for Lena's help, Thorsson reveals her secret - that Alison is the candidate's biological daughter. But that's not all. Thorsson then confides something more than a mere hidden pregnancy, something that could ruin her political plans forever.

Suspecting that Alison's parents had secrets of their own that could have led to the murders, Lena finally accepts Thorsson's assignment. But interviewing those who knew the family well soon puts Lena - now a strong defender of the two teens - in danger of her life.

Fast-paced, probing, and filled with the trademark twists of the Lena Jones series, Desert Rage once again shows that Betty Webb is unsparing of her characters yet writes their stories with wit and compassion.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

On a quiet cul-de-sac in Scottsdale, Arizona, three members of the Cameron family a doctor, his wife, and their 10-year-old son are brutally murdered, evidently by an enraged assailant. When Alison Cameron and her boyfriend, Kyle Gibbs, both 14, each confess to the killings, the heat is off the Scottsdale PD. But Congresswoman Juliana Thorsson, politician-on-the-rise, hires PI Lena Jones to look into the case. Turns out there are lots of secrets, starting with Thorsson being Alison's biological mother through an egg donation and IVF. With the help of her Desert Investigations partner and computer whiz Jimmy Sisiwan, Lena learns that both Dr. and Mrs. Cameron had secrets, too, with his providing potential motives for the crimes. Although hired to look out for Alison's interest, Lena finds her concern extending to Kyle, with whom she shares the bond of growing up as a foster child, which still causes her nightmares. The Lena Jones series is notable for its persistent protagonist and vivid southwestern setting; this eighth entry, centered on a gruesome crime, also is particularly sensitive to the issues of foster children and what really makes a mother.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Webb's tough, moving eighth Lena Jones mystery (after 2012's Desert Wind ), 14-year-old Ali Cameron and her boyfriend, Kyle Gibbs, confess to the murders of Ali's parents and her 10-year-old brother, who were all beaten to death by a baseball bat in their Scottsdale, Ariz., home. When Rep. Juliana Thorsson asks PI Lena to look into Ali and Kyle's claim, Juliana reveals a secret to the cheeky, good-hearted Lena--Ali is the ambitious politician's biological daughter whom the Camerons adopted. The unhappy lives of Ali and Kyle, both products of foster care, and several other people Lena encounters during her investigation remind her of her own bad experiences growing up. Determined to find the real killer and help these two kids, Lena persists in scrutinizing the many possible suspects, despite hostility and physical threats. Several red herrings arise along the road to a surprising and satisfying ending. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.