Sunday, April 26, 2009

Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

Face of Betrayal

Face of Betrayal
by Lis Wiehl
with April Henry

Hardback: 310 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
First Released: 2009

April Henry's Website

Source: Review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
Fox News legal correspondent and former Federal Prosecutor Lis Wiehl has created a suspense novel that's as timely as tomorrow's headlines.

While home on Christmas break, a seventeen-year-old Senate page takes her dog out for a walk and never returns. Reporter Cassidy Shaw is the first to break the story. The resulting media firestorm quickly ensnares Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce and FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges. The three unique women are life-long friends who call themselves The Triple Threat--a nickname derived from their favorite dessert and their uncanny ability to crack cases via their three positions of power.

Though authorities think Katie might have been kidnapped or run away, those theories shatter when Nicole uncovers Katie's blog. They reveal a girl troubled by a mysterious relationship with an older man. Possibly a U.S. Senator.

As the three women race against time to find Katie alive, their increasing emotional involvement brings out their own inner demons and external enemies. There are many faces of betrayal, but they must find one face in a crowd of growing suspects before they become the next victims.

In Face of Betrayal, Lis Wiehl's expertise in law, politics, and criminal investigation merges with April Henry's narrative genius to create a gripping mystery filled with rich characters, real danger, and a shocking yet satisfying final twist.

This well-written book is a detective novel. It reads a bit like a true crime novel except, of course, the story is fictional. The depth of "behind the scenes" detail given for the three main character's jobs and for the city they lived in made the story feel very realistic, like it could really have happened. The level of detail, however, was never too heavy for me nor did it slow the fast pacing.

I wouldn't really call this book a suspense novel. There are moments of suspense, but the book didn't really get tense and stay tense until the last third of the story.

Also, the novel is certainly a mystery, but not really of the "who done it" guessing game type. The reader gets the clues as quickly as the heroines, and the heroines act on the clues just as fast as they get them. Which is nice, since I like smart heroines who are good at their job and work well together.

All three of the main characters are likable and interesting. They struggle with personal problems even as they work to find the missing girl and uncover the bad guy. For those interested, one heroine is a Christian who lives out her faith, one heroine is an atheist because she feels God didn't help her in her time of need so he must not exist, and the last heroine flits from one religion to the next. Unless the reader is strongly anti-Christian, I think both Christians and non-Christians would really enjoy this book.

There is sex (including between an unmarried couple), but it's implied and not explicit. There is a very minor amount of cussing/derogatory language. Overall, I'd rate this "very good, clean fun."

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Chapter One
Northwest Portland
December 13

"Come on, Jalapeno!"

Katie Converse jerked the dog's leash. Reluctantly, the black Lab mix lifted his nose and followed her. Katie wanted to hurry, but everything seemed to invite Jalapeno to stop, sniff, and lift his leg. And there was no time for that now. Not today.

She had grown up less than two miles from here, but this afternoon everything looked different. It was winter, for one thing, nearly Christmas. And she wasn't the same person she had been the last time she was here, not a month earlier. Then she had been a little girl playing at being a grown-up. Now she was a woman.

Finally, she reached the agreed-upon spot. She was still shaking from what she had said less than two hours earlier. What she had demanded.

Now there was nothing to do but wait. Not an easy task for an impatient seventeen-year-old.

She heard the scuff of footsteps behind her. Unable to suppress a grin, Katie called his name as she turned around.

At the sight of the face, contorted with rage, Jalapeno growled.

Read more from the book.

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