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Desert Cut: Book summary and reviews of Desert Cut by Betty Webb

Desert Cut

A Lena Jones Mystery

by Betty Webb

Desert Cut
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2008
    288 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

In Desert Cut, the still vivid memory of Geronimo's war mixes with the modern immigration war, the hard life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with Hollywood's slick production meetings, and the cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a growing underground railroad fighting to save its young victims.

While scouting locations for a film documentary on the Arizona's Apache Wars, private investigator Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren Quinn, discover the mutilated body of a young girl. The gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena’s own rough childhood.

Clashing with the local law, Lena's investigation uncovers a small town with a big secret. Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears. Founded by the descendants of pioneers who fought Geronimo, the townspeople have now armed themselves against the hordes of illegal immigrants streaming across the Arizona/Mexico border. A significant population of documented foreign-born residents also lives and works in Los Perdedos at a modern plant. Lena senses a sinister force at work in the town—but where? Then two more girls disappear from Los Perdidos, and as the death toll mounts, Lena is tempted to implement some frontier justice of her own.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This is a first-rate plot that mixes the history of Geronimo’s war with contemporary immigration issues and contrasts the harsh conditions of border life with Hollywood glitz." - Booklist.

"Webb's dark tale of a clash of cultures is emotionally draining and intellectually challenging." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Though some may want to skim the more graphic passages, the intrepid will be rewarded with a propulsive, thought-provoking read." - Publishers Weekly.

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Reader Reviews

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Phoenix Martin

Desert Cut - Excellent
This is the first time I have read Betty Webb. I will be searching for all the Lena Jones series.

Webb gives the reader an excellent mystery of the missing girls and addresses a very touchy subject with compassion.

The American woman in general does not know of the practice of female genital amputation. Betty Webb allows the reader to see the cultural basis and the horror of the act as well. This is a very well written book.

If you have not read Betty Webb, this is a great chance to experience her writing.

Gary

desert cut
This was my first time reading Betty Webb's Lena Jones mystery.Being set in the southwest,I may have been expecting a Hillerman knockoff,but was pleasantly surprised. Lena is a tenacious P.I. who's out to solve a grisly murder case without any cooperation from the town's police or the townfolk for that matter. Did I also mention she's carrying around some serious baggage? Read the book, then hunt down the other ones in the series, I am!

Deb

Lena rides again!
I have enjoyed all of Betty Webb's books, especially as I lived in Scottsdale for a long time on the outskirts of the rez. Betty captures the essence of the desert and lifestyle of the Native American in a very real way. You would be doing yourself a favor if you read all her books, as they are very timely as well as enjoyable.

Beverly

A Cut Above
This was the first Lena Jones mystery I have read...but certainly won't be the last. Betty Webb has written a fast paced story with a not-so-perfect heroine and a not-so-pleasant plot line. The victims in Webb's mysteries are generally women -- or children -- who suffer abuse at the hands of not just the abuser but an out of control social system as well. The story could come right out of todays headlines -- if anyone is brave enough to name it.

Kristen

Serious Issue using Fiction
This book called attention to a serious issue, female genital amputation,happening around the world using fiction as a way of drawing people into the story. It had many moments where my breath just left my body or tears were close to spilling over. I love how the author has a note at the end of the book about the facts of this issue and other media sources as well.

Kathryn

An Enlightening Page-turner
Betty Webb’s fifth book in her Lena Jones series is another page-turner. This is not one of those “formula” mysteries that seem to flood the bookshelves. The Arizona desert setting is authentic. Her characters are complex and interesting. The plot twists and turns enough to keep you interested until the very last page. The subject of the book is horrifying and current; Webb has done her homework. She even shares resources on the topic in her author’s notes at the back of the book. You will not only enjoy the mystery but learn something as well. Wow!

...13 more reader reviews

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More Information

Before beginning to write mysteries full time, Betty Webb worked as journalist, and interviewed everyone from US presidents and Nobel Prize winners to polygamy runaways and the homeless. Her mysteries are based on stories she covered as a reporter. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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