Oct 28, 2014

Book Review: Desert Rage by Betty Webb

First Chapter, First Paragraphis a weekly meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B; choose two teaser sentences from a random page of your current read.

Published October 7, 2014 by Poisoned Pen Press. Also available free from www.netgalley.com

Desert Rage, a mystery set in Arizona, is interesting because the two teenagers accused of killing a couple and their young son are not the type to commit this kind of crime. Private investigator Lena Jones is asked to find out the truth, which is complicated by themes such as Asperger's Syndrome, surrogate egg donors and the resulting children, and the secrecy necessarily involved. 

First paragraph, first chapter:
The first thing Ali saw when she came through the door was the blood. The next things she saw were the bodies.
"Why'd you kill my dog?" she asked Kyle. 
I hate that Lena person saying those awful things about Mom and Dad, even if she did say it just to make me talk. That my parents would, like beat me? as if! Dad never hurt anybody, he saved their lives, and Mom, God, what didn't she do for people, especially kids? 
(ch. 14 from an uncorrected proof; final copy may differ)
My comments:  The book got better for me as I read along. At first I thought the novel sensational, with the horrific crime committed against a couple and their young son in their Scottsdale, Arizona home. Then the play of characters came in and I became hooked by the two teens, Ali and Kyle; the psychologically damaged but sympathetic ex-foster child turned PI, Lena; her caring partner in detecting, the Native Indian Jimmy; and a host of other intriguing characters connected to Lena's past and present. 

Lena is hired to find the true murderers by a U.S. Senatorial candidate, Juliana Thorsson, who wants to keep her involvement a secret. Hunting down clues and tracking a multitude of possible suspects, she works to free the teens from prison as she fights to save her detective agency and protect herself from danger.

I really enjoyed this suspenseful mystery, its twists and turns, realistic characters, and hope to read more in the series. A great read for mystery lovers.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for providing a galley for review. 


Kim@Time2Read said...

I'm not sure about this one. It sounds interesting, but not like something I would normally read. Hope you enjoy, though!
Today I'm featuring Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers.

JoAnn said...

This doesn't sound like one for me, but I'm glad to hear it got better and better for you.

Unknown said...

That one sounds really interesting. I might have to pick it up.

My teaser is an excerpt from a YA book about the Underground Railway.


Unknown said...

This could be interesting, reading about the aftermath and the psychological aspect of it. I like reading something with a different angle and have been hearing good things about this one.
Here is my TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/10/28/teaser-tuesdays-87-moore-zombies-and-the-alien-next-door/

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

It's set in Arizona, but the teaser has a very English flavour!
Jesus the Christ Tuesday Teaser

grammajudyb said...

I love a good mystery! I would look into reading this one. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I love mystery, but I am not entirely too sure about this one though. Happy Reading!

Here is my TT!
Kenzi @Shattered Hearts Reviews

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Hmm, I have been curious about this one...and now you have reeled me in with one simple sentence: "the psychologically damaged but sympathetic ex-foster child turned PI, Lena;"

I am a sucker for characters that have lived in the foster care system...and seeing what happens to them in adulthood.

Yes, a small detail, but enough to intrigue me.

Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “SAVING GRACE”

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I definitely like the Arizona setting, and since I just read a book dealing with Asperger's, that angle intrigues me. Sounds like a good story.
My Tuesday post features THE BEARWALKER’S DAUGHTER.

Literary Feline said...

I have heard wonderful things about this author and her series. It's on my to read list.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) said...

I didn't like the intro (I thought the first line was cliche), but the issues you mentioned this mystery covers sound interesting to me. Glad you ended up enjoying it!

Monica's Bookish Life said...

I'm not sure this one is for me, but I'm glad you are enjoying it!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This is a new one to me and I'm not sure it is for me by the intro. Glad u enjoyed it though.

Unknown said...

This one doesn't sound like my kind of read, but it does sound interesting, and a little creepy. I hope you're enjoying it!

This week I'm diving into The Perilous Sea.

Nise' said...

Your thoughts have me more interested in the book.

kayerj said...

sounds like a great mystery, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have a happy Halloween! kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Tea said...

Many good themes in this one.

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