Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Desert Run

As the fourth book in Betty Webb's Lena Jones mystery series, Desert Run is the best one yet.

On Christmas Eve 1944, twenty-eight German POWs tunneled out of their Arizona desert prison, planning to escape to Mexico. Although most were captured immediately, three of them became suspects in the brutal slaying of a local farm family. Although they were exonerated by the local police, there must have been some connection. The link is still there over sixty years later, when private detective Lena Jones acts as security for the film crew producing a documentary about the escape. Why was an elderly former POW viciously killed in his home? Lena suspects a local connection as she digs in order to save the primary suspect, an Ethiopian immigrant.

Betty Webb's stories always touch on Lena's past. Although Lena learns nothing more about her history in this book, she discovers a great deal about the local Arizona history. Webb's book is a fascinating glimpse at a historical event that few people know about. She has written a compelling mystery using an actual event to launch the story. The book is absorbing and a puzzle right up to the end. History buffs and cold case fans will find this novel intriguing.

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