DESERT VENGEANCE  by Betty Webb

DESERT VENGEANCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An Arizona private detective who survived a childhood from hell becomes a suspect in the death of her abusers.

Lena Jones spent years in the foster-care system, and the worst were the years she spent in the care of the Wycoffs. "Papa Brian" raped her repeatedly, and Norma enabled him by denying it. Wycoff was finally arrested when Lena stabbed him and a long list of children testified to his abuse. Now that he’s out of prison after almost 30 years, Lena’s doing all she can to make her former foster parents’ lives miserable. When Norma is shot in both eyes and dies, Lena’s an obvious suspect. Yet there are so many others with reasons to hate the Wycoffs that the police, who have no love for child molesters, give her a pass on the murder. Jimmy, Lena’s partner at Desert Investigations, does his best to get her to drop the case. But a GPS tracker she’s planted on Wycoff’s car allows her to follow him to Black Canyon City, where his sister, Grace, another enabler, fights her husband to let him stay in a trailer on their property even though she has an 8-year-old granddaughter. Lena checks into Debbie’s Desert Oasis, whose owner and several current residents all have missing children who may have been victims of Wycoff. There's another murder, and as she tracks down clues, Lena fights flashbacks from the days when she was still living with her parents, hoping the unwanted return of the past may help her decide what to do if she finds the killer.

Webb, no stranger to hot-button issues (Desert Wind, 2012, etc.), takes on child molestation in a page-turner that presents both her flawed heroine and the reader with plenty of challenges to their moral codes.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0593-4
Page count: 284pp
Publisher: Poisoned Pen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2016




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