Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blood Ties (Betty Webb)

From New York Times --

Blood Ties --

January 8, 2010 --

When the subject is polygamy, who thinks about boys? Betty Webb does, in her new Lena Jones mystery, DESERT LOST (Poisoned Pen, $24.95), pointing out that there aren’t enough girls for all the boys who come of age in a cult where “if one man can have 10 wives, nine men will have none.” Lena, an Arizona-based private investigator, is made aware of the fate of these unwanted youths when she tries to help a woman whose son is about to be expelled from one such compound. Once they reach 18 and no longer qualify for welfare, these unskilled and ill-educated boys are turned out onto the streets of big cities and left to fend for themselves. Webb offers a chilling glimpse into the life of one young man, struggling to survive in Phoenix. But in dropping this raw narrative thread to pursue a lame subplot about a celebrity stalking in Los Angeles, she herself is guilty of abandoning one more lost boy to the streets.

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