Desert Redemption

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

The last book from the series and it ends the series well. The story itself could definitely be read as a standalone though reading the previous books would help to enjoy the series better. I love the Arizona setting, very well described the area. The series talks about some serious issues that are always though-provoking. It's sad to see the series end but I have enjoyed reading it throughout the years.
Was this review helpful?
Years ago, I read and enjoyed the first several volumes in the Lena Jones series.  Somehow I just lost track of the series, probably because they weren't available in my library system. When I saw the 10th volume offered on netgalley, I jumped at the opportunity to read more and I am so pleased that I did. Lena Jones is a hardass PI in Arizona, a survivor of foster homes and being shot by her mother at age 4. Her mother has been missing ever since. In this latest, Lana is moving toward a real relationship with her PI partner, Jimmy, a member of the Pima tribe. A friend's missing ex-wife involves her in investigating a potential cult and the story alternates between present day and her early years with her mother. Excellent story. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
An acceptable addition to this series.  Again the characters are dealing with a cult-like organization.  This time it is in a spa-like retreat.  Not an exciting title but if you have enjoyed the series you will probably like this.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book in this series that I have read. That being said, I don’t feel that I missed anything as there was plenty of background information included which, I think, brought me up to speed. The characters are written. Dry well and the story was most interesting. I received a complimentary copy from. EtGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
II have almost all the Lena books by Betty Webb.  This the tenth and last in the series.    This one ties up all the loose ends, Jimmy her partner is partner in both love and the P I business.  It has taken Lena, a foster child, a long time to find happiness.  They start to investigate a cult in the desert which brings up a lot of memories for Lena.  All the mysteries of Lena’s childhood are revealed in this book.  

I enjoyed it.  Ms. Webb writes well, and the words come to life.  You could probably read this book as a standalone, but I recommend you go back and read them all.  I loved the ending.  
Thank you, Net Galley,
Was this review helpful?
Desert Redemption is the tenth book in the Lena Jones series of mysteries featuring a Scottsdale private investigator. Lena finds a dead body of an emaciated woman while out riding her horse. She believes it may be linked to a similarly emaciated body found earlier in the same general area. A local artist asks her and her partner to look for his ex-wife who he believes has joined a cult. Lena’s personal history, revealed in her nightmares, makes her very attuned to cults and their dangers so she looks into it, though on the surface it seems more of a luxury spa with some cafeteria New Age/Native American theology mixed in. She also learns of a neighboring commune/cult that provokes even more immediate concern.

In the course of her investigation, all sorts of pieces come together, revealing more about not just these communities but about her own personal history.


I loved Betty Webb’s Desert Redemption and look forward to reading more in the series. Even though my first exposure was the tenth in the series, I never felt lost or out of place in the story, though some revelations might answer questions that filtered through the previous nine books, though that is only a guess. I liked that the mystery was fair. We had all the information we needed to work our own way toward a solution. Webb provided a lot of information about cults and it was integrated naturally into the story. There were no conversations that seemed cribbed from Wikipedia as a means of delivering factual information. It was organic and rose out of the story and Lena’s natural thought processes.

I thought this was an excellent mystery and am excited to read more.

I received a copy of Desert Redemption from the publisher through NetGalley.

Desert Redemption at Poisoned Pen Press

Betty Webb author site
Was this review helpful?
I had not found Betty Webb before I received this, the 10th of the Lena Jones mysteries from Netgalley, the author  Betty Webb and publisher Poisoned Pen Press.  I have a LOT of catching up to do!  

With a setting  in the Arizona high plains desert, Lena Jones is a fiercely independent woman with a soft heart and lots of experience dealing with the bad guys. This mystery is centered around a couple of 'back to earth' communes located near Scottsdale, one a possible 'fat farm' and the other more into fleecing bored wealthy folks in the name of ersatz-American Indian paths to achieving a state of Elevation.  Add in a toasty Pima lover, a highly strung mare, a couple of cats and a new house going up - you have a woman with a future.  Until you encounter several dumped bodies with starvation as the cause of death, a couple of runaway kids not yet 16 years old and a 35 year old haunting mystery surrounding the lost mass grave of many children and one adult, and you have an excellent way to entertain yourself for a spell.  I am on the path of getting my little library to add Betty Webb to their have-to get-lists.  And more than happy to recommend Desert Redemption to friends and family.   

I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Betty Webb, and Poisoned Pen Press in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
Was this review helpful?
Wow. That was. Wow.

As usual with Lena Jones Mystery series books there's a ton going on in this novel. There's a lot with Jimmy, which is awesome, and there's quite a bit in the past too which is super revealing. This book sorta seemed to me like the present/past colliding in an awesome (well, for the reader at least) way.

Lena is on a couple of missing person sort of cases in this one, while also sorta poking her nose into a murder case that her 'friend' Sylvia is on.

I'm not sure why, but, I got into this novel in the series much faster than some of her previous books in the series. It was a running start and it didn't even come close to slowing down until near the end. It was amazing. And it kept me guessing quite a bit and that's always fun in a mystery/thriller (and it's a bummer if I guess the answer/killer too soon).

An awesome book that was a great read on multiple levels.

I received this book via Netgalley thanks to Poisoned Pen Press.
Was this review helpful?
Betty Webb is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde. She writes the light and humorous Gunn Zoo mysteries that are a delight to read, and she writes the much darker Lena Jones series, much of the material of which came from her years as a reporter. I love both series, but my heart has always been with Lena, partly because of how Webb depicts Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area. Webb's Lena Jones series has been consistently excellent, often dealing with important topics like polygamy, and because of her past, Lena is always on the side of children.

It hurt to read Desert Redemption knowing that it's the last book in the series. I haven't always agreed with what Lena has done, but she's become more than a friend through the years. Someone is always telling Lena "You can't do everything" to which she always replies, "But I can always try." You have to have a great deal of respect for someone like that. Everything she's done, everything she's suffered, everything she's fought for, has all led her to the final outcome of this book. Desert Redemption is a bone-deep, satisfying conclusion to this series-- and it contains The Best Last Sentence of a book or series ever. You can read it as a standalone, but I sincerely hope you don't cheat yourself. If you and Lena haven't met, start with Desert Noir.
Was this review helpful?
This was the first Lena Jones Mystery I've read. I found the characters and their relationships to be very well developed. I enjoyed the entire story from beginning to end. The setting in Arizona is a huge bonus since I lived there for three years now. The history, locations, and terrain described within the story really adds a level of believability to draw you in deeper to the story and closer to the characters. In the end, I found myself wishing for another chapter, but you know what they say about all good things.
Was this review helpful?
Lena Jones, who runs a PI firm in Scottsdale, is hired to find a missing woman- and she finds a lot more. There are two communes- Kanati and Earthway- which have recently sprung up, with vastly different attitudes and clientele.  Lena finds a dead woman in the desert who appears to be from the latter but looks more like one of the residents of the former.  This leads her down a path to self discovery.  I'd not read the earlier books so Lena, and her horrible background, were new to me.  This is well written and plotted, with a terrific heroine who has overcome so much.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  The mystery was to me the catalyst for the more important story about Lena's origins.
Was this review helpful?
Scottsdale PI Lena Jones is hired by artist Harold Slow-Horse to find his missing addicted ex-wife Chelsea. The trail leads Lena to two different communes: Earthway that follows a rigorous dietary regime and Kanati, a wellness centre using aboriginal beliefs.  It is at the latter place where Lena finds a healthy Chelsea.

Then one morning while riding horseback across the Pima Indian Reservation, Lena finds a dead emaciated woman. "Reservation Woman" is wearing a dress similar to Earthway women but something also points the way towards Kanati. A few days earlier, another woman with a distinct unicorn tattoo was found dead. Are the two deaths linked?

When Lena briefly sees Kanati's leader Adam, she gets a jolting memory of herself as a 4 year old being "married" to Golden Boy, the son of cult leader Abraham.  Golden Boy Adam is the leader of Kanati. Now 35 years later, Lena may gets the answers behind her family''s fate and why her mother had vanished after shooting her in the head and leaving her for dead on a Phoenix street.

This was a gripping, thrilling read and fine resolution to the Lena Jones series.

I received a digital ARC via Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to #NetGalley for this ARC

#DesertRedemption by Betty Webb is an unbridled portrayal of one woman’s traumatic journey to uncover the mystery of her past.  

Private Investigator, Lena Jones, knows very little about her past. She was shuffled between one abusive foster home after another throughout her entire life. That is, after she was found in the street with a bullet in her head. All she wants are answers of who she really is, where she came from, and what her real name. Unfortunately, the answers that she looking for may not be ones she’s ready to hear.

This narrative is forthcoming and raw. It’s the tenth and last book in the Lena Jones series but can definitely be read as a stand alone. The cast of characters are well-developed and support a tightly woven plot, full of mystery and suspense. Webb does an excellent job with keeping the plot pace accelerated and the reader engaged the entire way through. Excellent read.
Was this review helpful?
Just finished Desert Redemption the tenth book about private investigator Lena Jones by Betty Webb, set as usual in Arizona. This time we actually get to know more about miss Jones troubled past. If you feel like reading this book I can only recommend that you start from the beginning since it will give better background. There are some things that Lena can't stand. Cults, abuse of children and polygamy. I stumbled upon this author a couple of years ago and I haven't regretted it yet. I can strongly recommend them for you all. I also must thank #Netgalley and #PoisonedPenPress for giving me the opportunity to read this #eARC #WhatIamReading #LibraryOfAbibliofob #BettyWebb #LenaJones #DesertRedemption #Arizona
Was this review helpful?
I have loved these books from the first one.  Wonderful gritty mysteries, with a heartbreakingly damaged, yet lovable heroine.  This is the last in series, and I will miss Lena very much. But — spoiler alert! — Webb has written the perfect happy ending for our girl. Highly, highly recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this book and think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous nine entries to the series. The Arizona setting is familiar and the crimes investigated are timely and researched. All around a good mystery.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to net galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book




At the age of four, Scottsdale private eye Lena Jones was shot in the head and left to die on a Phoenix street. After her rescue, she spent years in the abusive foster care system, never knowing who her parents were and why they didn't claim her. When Desert Redemption begins, she still doesn't know her real name.
Was this review helpful?
One of the best books, if not the best, in this series. Lena Jones is a tough, no nonsense but vulnerable woman still trying to decipher the mystery of who she really is. While investigating a new-age type spiritual group with secrets to hide Lena soon comes face to face with her worse nightmare and reality soon follows. 

The characters are wonderful, the locale is gorgeous and this story will make you love Lena even more. I know I do. 

Don’t miss this one!
Was this review helpful?
A well written and fast paced thriller.
I liked the plot, the setting and the cast of characters.
It was an engaging and entertaining book, a page turner I couldn't put down.
The mystery was interesting, no plot hole, and I liked how the writer describes the themes that are in the background.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for this ARC
Was this review helpful?