"If Betty Webb had gone undercover and written Desert Wives as a piece of investigative journalism, she'd probably be up for a Pulitzer...."
-The New York Times
"[An] arresting novel brimming with moral outrage." -Publishers Weekly
"Reading Desert Wives is like peering into a microscope at a seething culture of toxic microbes."
-Diana Gabaldon, author of The Outlander series
Now in its second edition, Betty Webb's Desert Wives is a startling, real look into the polygamous communities of Northern Arizona.When private detective Lena Jones helps thirteen-year-old Rebecca escape from Purity, a polygamy compound hidden in a desolate area straddling the Utah/Arizona border, she uncovers more than she bargained for. Rebecca's mother has now been arrested for the murder of Prophet Solomon Royal, Rebecca's intended husband. So Lena enters Purity masquerading as a polygamist wife to uncover the real murderer. What secrets are the Circle of Elders so desperate to protect?
Lena thinks she's put her own past behind her, but the sins of Purity's mothers and fathers force her to reexamine the scant memories of her early childhood. At the age of four she was found lying unconscious by the side of an Arizona highway, a bullet in her head. Raised in a series of foster homes, Lena does not remember her real name or the names of her parents. Are Lena's past and this new case somehow connected?
Betty Webb has interviewed U.S. presidents, astronauts, Nobel Prize-winners, the homeless, the dying, and polygamy runaways. Desert Wives is second in her Lena Jones mystery series, based on stories she covered as a reporter.