04 November 2010
Book Banter -- Shadow of Betrayal
Author: Brett Battles
Length: ~350 pages
Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Cleaner Jonathan Quinn made a deal with the shadowy organization The Office -- three jobs no questions and then he walks forever. He is hired for the first job to observe a meeting in Ireland... and if his services are needed it means the job has gone terribly wrong. A hidden assassin sets Quinn into motion along with his girlfriend Orlando and apprentice Nate as they track UN operative across the ocean. The chase leads them to a secret bunker in the California desert and embroiled in a terrorist conspiracy with an unthinkable delivery system for the weapons.
Banter Points: Quinn is a slick blend of James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher. (Is it something about this suave and deadly characters that they all have names that start with "J"?) This book was neat because in addition to Quinn's ruthless efficiency, you get a glimpse of his history (he's still got a family who wonders where he is) and his self-doubt over the injuries Nate sustained on their last job in Signapore. (That's the second book, The Deceived). The conspiracy he uncovers is creepy because it's so darn believable and it's horrific because of how they are planning to launch their next attack.
Bummer Points: It was a little tricky to keep up with all the players in this novel. Additionally, the POV switched around from Quinn to some of the other people (including the bad guys) and that's just one of those writing things that tends to make Word Nerd a little nuts.
Word Nerd Recommendation: A must-read for fans of the spy-thriller genre.