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Shadow of Betrayal: A Jonathan Quinn Novel    by Brett Battles Amazon.com order for
Shadow of Betrayal
by Brett Battles
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brett Battles' Shadow of Betrayal is the third (following The Cleaner and The Deceived) in a fast-paced series starring freelance professional cleaner Jonathan Quinn. Normally Quinn chooses his work carefully, but he's stuck with the terms of a deal made when he was desperate for help from the Office the previous year - to take on three jobs for them, with no questions asked.

The first takes Quinn and his apprentice Nate to an isolated spot near Cork, Ireland, where an exchange does not go as planned. Though Quinn worries over Nate's ability to perform, hampered as he is by a prosthetic leg, that does not turn out to be the problem. Instead both parties at the meet are shot (including two Office agents) and Quinn and Nate are left to clean up.

While this goes down, Battles introduces his readers to U.N. aide worker Marion Dupuis, who takes on the responsibility for Iris, a lovely little girl with Down's syndrome, in Africa. Why is she being sought by government troops, and why have similar unwanted children (orphans with special needs) been disappearing from third world countries? Marion flees with Iris to Canada, pursued by the bad guys.

After the Office calls on Quinn again, he and Nate (joined by Quinn's lover, Asian-Irish Orlando) turn up the corpse of a very senior Intelligence official. Quinn ends up on the run from the law, while working on Peter's third and last job. It leads them to the Sierra Nevada and an old military installation being used by the LP shadow organization, whose intent is to foment chaos and instability around the world and win political power.

The trio foil a fiendish and convoluted plot to exploit vulnerable children in a horrific terrorist attack, and take down an old enemy in the process. If you haven't read a Jonathan Quinn novel yet, I recommend this exciting series to you. In addition to the action and suspense, you'll enjoy the good guys' banter, and the development of their mentoring and romantic relationships.

2nd Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

A woman escapes from Africa carrying a small child with her not her own, but one in desperate need of help. Someone is targeting children with special needs. They are snatched from their homes and schools and never seen again. What could be the reason for this insanity?

Read Brett Battles's Shadow of Betrayal, latest in the series depicting the exciting life of Jonathon Quinn. With Orlando and Nate, Quinn manages to slither through life relatively unscathed. Not so for his compatriots Orlando suffers a bullet wound and Nate has already lost a leg in a previous book.

A conspiracy is afoot but where and when? Who could be the target? Shadow of Betrayal takes the reader from Canada to New York as well as to Los Angeles. Action abounds, and though it seems to have no sense of urgency, it keeps the reader glued to the pages. While I never really got a feel for Orlando and Nate, the characters work well with the ingenious plot. Convoluted and intricate, all the factions meld well into the dramatic and suspenseful ending.

This book can bring the reader to an impasse wanting to read on but also wondering if, indeed, there are really people out there willing to bring disaster to the world with complete disregard for human life, all for the acquisition of money and power. Don't wars ever settle anything? If a thriller is your bag, then Shadow of Betrayal is your book.

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