A frustrated, unhappy wife. Her much younger, attentive lover. A husband who degrades and ignores her. The stage is set for a love-triangle murder that shatters family illusions and lays bare a quiet family community's seedy secret world of sex, sin and swinging.
BETTER OFF DEAD, the latest true crime book from New York Times bestselling author Michael Fleeman, strips away the pleasant veneer of the Silver Lakes neighborhood in California's high desert to tell a shocking story about a headline-grabbing crime.
Sabrina Limon, a vivacious blond mother of two and part-time "sample girl" at Costco, is handing out free food samples one day when in walks handsome young firefighter Jonathan Hearn shopping for the station.
Their conversation leads to a flirtation that leads to a steamy affair that has them hooking up once and twice a week at her home, his home, and out in hidden spots in the vast Mojave.
Sabrina finds in Jonathan's embrace the love and understanding she lacks at home. To the outside world, husband Robert is a big tattooed teddy bear of a man, a hard-working railroad mechanic, loved by all. This gregarious couple seemed matched by their love of family, friends and good times.
But the partying had gotten out of control for Sabrina. There was boozing and wife-swapping and group sex. Once a turn-on, it now left Sabrina feeling debased, dehumanized, spiritually adrift. Robert won't talk about it, consumed by his work, boat, truck and porn.
With Jonathan showering Sabrina with poetry, gifts, religious insights and, of course, illicit sex, a devious plan is hatched; one hot August night Robert Limon is found dead of two gunshots in a pool of blood.
False leads send police into dead-ends until a tip arrives from a most unexpected place. For Sabrina, it's a stunning betrayal that hurtles the case back to a perfect little place in the desert. With informants, undercover cops and wiretaps, investigators discover a romance fueled by lies and dangerous fantasies.
But are Sabrina and Jonathan merely covering up an affair? Or are they hiding a conspiracy that led to murder?