Things are never easy for Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones. Her partner in Desert Investigations, Jimmy Sisiwan, is leaving for a moneyed wife and a job at Southwest Microsystems, and her old captain at the Scottsdale Police Department is off to his home in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, she’s doing security for Warren Quinn, director of a documentary film about the American World War II camp for German POWs at Arizona’s Papago Park, from which some prisoners once escaped.
One surviving escapee, Käpitan zur See Erik Ernst, a man now in his nineties and confined to a wheelchair after a boating accident, has just been murdered. What’s more, the man’s Ethiopian caregiver begs Lena to clear him as a suspect in the murder.
Lena, experienced in probing the past for answers to the central mystery of her own life - who is she? - learns that after their daring Christmas Eve escape Ernst and two other POWs had hid out in Arizona’s rugged Superstition Mountains. Nearby on Christmas night, a farm family, the Bollingers, had been slaughtered. A jury didn’t convict the only survivor, the teenage son, despite some suggestive evidence. What might Chess Bollinger know about Ernst - and vice versa? And how much can Lena trust filmmaker Warren Quinn, either as a client, a witness, or a lover?
In this complex, stunning case based on real Arizona history, Betty Webb spins another evocative, haunting story in her Lena Jones mystery series.
Betty Webb worked as a journalist and bases her mysteries on stories she covered as a reporter. She currently teaches creative writing at Phoenix College.
“This thought-provoking novel is a gem. It is a perfect chance to make the acquaintance of an author poised on the national consciousness of mystery fans.” (Denver Post)
“At the start of Webb’s multifaceted, fast-paced fourth Lena Jones mystery, the scrappy workaholic PI is supervising security for filmmaker Warren Quinn, who’s shooting a documentary about the escape of German POWs from a prison camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1944.… Webb combines evocative descriptions of place with fine historical research in a plot packed with twists.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Webb bases her latest Lena Jones adventure on a real episode in Arizona history…. As in the preceding episodes in the series, Webb effectively evokes the beauty of the Arizona desert.” (Booklist)
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4th in the Lena Jones series, very good.
Complex Strong Female Character
- Carole "Mystery lover from waaaay back when.... Especially love those dark police/detective procedurals and the comic caper. I'm pretty tough as a reviewer. Writing must be smart and well-edited. Plots must be credible and a bit of twistiness and surprises are always welcome. Favorite authors [partial list]: Donald Westlake, Tana French, David Rosenfelt, Ruth Rendell, Ed McBain,"