Thursday, February 21, 2008
DESERT CUT by Betty Webb
I have been a fan of mystery writer Betty Webb since her very first book DESERT NOIR. Webb writes what is commonly known as "hard-boiled" mysteries. Her "desert" series focuses on a female Arizona detective named Lena Jones. I love the fact that Webb has created such a strong female protagonist. I found the first book in the series interesting and different but I was completely sold after reading Webb's second book, DESERT WIVES, which centered around Lena's attempts to rescue a girl being held in a polygamist compound. As the series has progressed, Webb has incorporated many social issues within her mysteries from polygamy to domestic abuse. Her newest offering is no exception.
In DESERT CUT, Lena find the body of a young girl in the Arizona desert and gets drawn into the mystery surrounding her death. While investigating the murder, Lena uncovers an ancient and brutal practice and must find the killer before another girl dies.
This book was an incredibly quick read. The subject matter is distasteful but no more so than other hard-boiled mysteries. I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts of this series is the backstory that Webb has developed about Lena Jones. Each book reveals a little bit more about the detective's past and keeps you coming back for more.
If you decide to read this series, I recommend starting from the first book. It isn't my favorite but it sets the scene and introduces Lena's story which will become important throughout the other books. After reading the second book, you'll be hooked!!!