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Shadow of Betrayal (Jonathan Quinn Series #3)

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Overview

Three jobs, no questions. That’s the deal Jonathan Quinn—freelance operative and professional “cleaner”—has struck with his client at the Office. But his first assignment in rural Ireland unexpectedly results in four dead bodies to dispose of—and leads him to an astounding mystery about to spin wildly out of control.

Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend, the lethal Orlando, has a new mission: find and protect a U.N. aide worker who has suddenly disappeared from her...

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Shadow of Betrayal (Jonathan Quinn Series #3)

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Overview

Three jobs, no questions. That’s the deal Jonathan Quinn—freelance operative and professional “cleaner”—has struck with his client at the Office. But his first assignment in rural Ireland unexpectedly results in four dead bodies to dispose of—and leads him to an astounding mystery about to spin wildly out of control.

Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend, the lethal Orlando, has a new mission: find and protect a U.N. aide worker who has suddenly disappeared from her assignment in war-torn Africa. If it were only that easy. Soon Quinn and Orlando will unearth a horrifying plot that is about to reach stage critical for a gathering of world leaders—and an act of terror more cunning, and more insidious, than anyone can foresee.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The best word I can use to describe his writing is addictive.” —James Rollins
 
“Brett Battles has established himself as one of today’s best thriller writers, right up there with Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Thomas Perry.”—Deadly Pleasures

“A sinister plot so downright clever it’s a wonder somebody hasn’t tried something similar in real life. Start Shadow of Betrayal early in the day, or be prepared for a later-than-usual bedtime.”—BookPage
 
“The action is heart-pounding, gripping and always engaging.”—Tucson Citizen

Publishers Weekly
Ludlum fans will enjoy Battles's third thriller to feature Jonathan Quinn, though it falls short of the standard set by The Cleaner (2007) and The Deceived (2008). A botched information exchange near Cork, Ireland, results in a number of dead bodies, but Quinn, an operative-for-hire who specializes in resolving messy situations, manages to retrieve an envelope with the vital data for his client, Peter, head of a shadowy agency known simply as "the Office." Peter dispatches Quinn to deal with another botched operation, this time in New York City, where Quinn stumbles on the murdered corpse of Christopher Jackson, the deputy director of National Intelligence. Predictably, Quinn ends up framed for Jackson's murder. In his effort to clear his name and track down the true culprits, he encounters a sinister group called LP, which was behind the market manipulations that led to the recent worldwide financial meltdown. LP aims not only to control the U.S. "but also nearly twenty percent of the rest of the world." Action junkies not expecting surprises will be satisfied.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440243724
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Series: Jonathan Quinn Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 417,948
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 4.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of two acclaimed novels in the Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel, and The Deceived. He is at work on the fourth book in the series.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

MAY 25

THE MEETING LOCATION HAD BEEN CHOSEN FOR ITS isolation, an abandoned Catholic church on the east side of a little-used road fifty kilometers northwest of Cork, Ireland, near the border between County Tipperary and County Cork. The structure that remained was all but invisible from the road. One of those places only a local would know about, then forget over time.

As a bonus, no one lived within a kilometer and a half of the ruins, making it a natural choice for an exchange. In the two days Jonathan Quinn had been scouting the location, no more than a dozen cars a day had driven past, and not a single one had even slowed, let alone stopped.

The roof of the church had long since disappeared, leaving only the gray, pitted stone walls of the chapel. Encouraged by the wet Irish climate, vegetation had grown up around the building, both surrounding it and filling the inside. It was as if a congregation of flora was waiting in the open-air sanctuary for a priest who had yet to arrive.

Nearby, an untended cemetery provided the only reminder that people had once worshipped here. Quinn didn't know how long the compound had been abandoned, but the most recent grave marker he'd located had been for someone named Maureen Owens, year of death 1889. So it wasn't hard to imagine that it had been at least a century since any parishioners had gathered between the chapel walls.

Quinn did a last walk-through just after noon, careful to step only on broken stones or patches of grass to avoid leaving any trace of his presence. He double-checked to make sure all the cameras and microphones were well hidden and working. When he was satisfied, he returned on foot to the van parked a half kilometer away.

The meeting was scheduled for nine that evening. According to the agreed-upon terms, the informant was to arrive from the south, while the man from Quinn's client—an organization known as the Office—was to come in from the north.

They were each instructed to park a quarter kilometer from the location and walk the rest of the way in. They were to meet inside the church, with each participant allowed to bring one associate. Once they had all arrived, the informant would give the Office's agent certain information in exchange for what Quinn assumed was a generous cash payment.

The details of the exchange, what the information was and what the informant was earning for his efforts, were none of Quinn's business. He was a cleaner. His job was to watch and observe, and—only if necessary—clean up any mess that might occur.

As Quinn reached the back of the van, the right side door swung open. Quinn's apprentice Nate was hunched inside, a Glock 19 pistol in his right hand.

"Ground check?" Nate asked.

"We're all set," Quinn replied.

Nate relaxed. While he had no doubt been watching Quinn's approach—first on the cameras stationed around the church, then on those surrounding the van—and had seen his boss return alone, there was always the possibility someone had gotten to Quinn in one of the dead areas, and was waiting just beyond the camera's view. But Quinn had answered Nate's question with the prearranged all-clear signal.

The apprentice moved aside and let Quinn enter, then leaned out and pulled the door shut.

The van had been transformed into a mobile observation post. But unlike those fancy ones in the movies, here little attention had been paid to the human component. A half-dozen small flat-screen monitors were mounted on the right wall. Five were receiving signals from the ten cameras back at the church, each monitor assigned to two cameras, and automatically toggling back and forth every five seconds. The sixth monitor was digitally divided into four smaller screens displaying different views of the surveillance van and the surrounding area. Below the monitors, twenty-eight digital recorders—each no larger than a paperback book—were hung in portable racks. Two recorders per feed, in case one crapped out.

And as if that wasn't enough, there was a satellite link sending a real-time signal back to the Office's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

State-of-the-art equipment all. It was the two plastic chairs and the banged-up portable ice chest that seemed out of place.

"You check in with Peter?" Quinn asked. Peter was the head of the Office, and the man who had hired them.

"Fifteen minutes ago," Nate said as he settled into the chair nearest the back of the van. "We did another connection test. Signal strength is steady. I flipped it to black, so they're not getting anything at the moment."

"Any more interference from the cameras?" Quinn said.

Nate shook his head. "Everything seems fine now. I think we're ready."

"Keep an eye on them," Quinn said, nodding toward the monitors. "If anything acts up again, let me know."

"You going somewhere?"

Quinn pushed the empty plastic chair toward the equipment rack, then stretched out on the floor. "As far away from here as I can," he said as he closed his eyes. "Wake me in two hours if there aren't any more problems."

"Yeah, sure," Nate said. "I'll just . . . stay here."

"Stay alert." Quinn tapped the cooler with his foot. "Have a Red Bull, if you need one."

Nate said something under his breath.

Quinn opened one eye. "What?"

"Nothing."

Quinn stared for a moment longer, then closed the eye. "I could have left you in Los Angeles, you know."

He could sense Nate wanting to say something more, but his apprentice remained silent.

At five minutes to nine, the Office's agent, a veteran operative named David Otero, arrived. With him was William Ownby, the allotted second man. Quinn and Nate watched as the two agents cautiously approached the church, then entered the abandoned sanctuary.

Peter had told Quinn that Otero and Ownby would have no knowledge of Quinn's presence. That wasn't unusual. Quinn and Nate weren't there as backup. They were there for an entirely different reason. One Otero and Ownby wouldn't have wanted to consider.

Nate glanced at his watch. "It's three minutes after nine. Our other guest is running behind."

Quinn nodded, but said nothing. The second party had been told the meet would take place somewhere in the south of Ireland, but had only been given the exact location three hours earlier. And the church wasn't the easiest place in the world to find.

"Hold on," Nate said. "Lights."

Quinn used a handheld joystick to pan a camera that was covering the road to the south a little to the right, centering a pair of distant headlights moving toward the church. For a moment, they disappeared as the road dipped between two hills. Quinn and Nate had measured the distance that morning. The vehicle was just under a kilometer away.

A moment later, the car reappeared, and less than thirty seconds later it began to slow.

"Approaching the turnout," Nate said.

On the screen, the car slowed to almost a crawl, then pulled off into the wide spot in the road, and its lights were turned off.

Quinn leaned forward and pushed a button on a rectangular metal box mounted in the rack. Next to the button was a speaker, and just above that a microphone was mounted on a five-inch gooseneck extender.

"Peter, you getting this?" Quinn asked, then let go of the button.

"Yes. That's got to be them." Though Peter's voice came through the speaker, the quality was so good it sounded like he was in the van with them.

Quinn glanced back at one of the monitors covering the inside of the church. Otero had found a large block of stone to sit on, while Ownby had taken up a less visible position in a nook near the north entrance. If either man was getting impatient, they didn't show it.

Four minutes later, one of the microphones picked up the sound of footsteps approaching the church.

"Everything recording?" Quinn asked.

Nate glanced at a small LCD monitor mounted on a swivel arm next to the hard drives. He pressed one of the buttons on the touch-screen menu. The display changed to a set of green lights.

"All drives recording," he said, then glanced over his shoulder toward the communication equipment. "Satellite link steady and strong."

Quinn pushed the button that connected him with the Office. "Approaching the church now."

"Good," Peter said. "Let's get this over with."

Otero must have also heard the footsteps. He stood up, and put a cautious hand on the bulge in his jacket pocket before looking back at Ownby and pointing in the direction of the approaching sound. Ownby reached under his jacket and pulled out a gun, a Beretta 9mm. From his pocket he pulled out a long cylinder, a suppressor, and attached it to the end of the barrel.

The footsteps stopped just beyond the walls of the church. Then silence for almost a minute.

"I don't see them," Nate said.

"They're there," Quinn said.

"I know. But I don't see them."

There were a series of numbered buttons on the base of the joystick Quinn was holding. He punched number 8 and began panning a camera covering the outside of the church's south end.

"There," Nate said, pointing at the monitor for camera eight.

Quinn could see them now. There were two of them, crouched low and half-hidden by the thick brush. As Quinn and Nate watched, one of the men sprinted forward, stopping only when he reached the outside of the church wall. He then moved down the wall until he came to what had once been a doorway, and peered inside.

"Are we going to play games, or are we going to meet?" It was Otero. He was still standing in the middle of the church, not concealing his presence. When there was no response, he said, "Two minutes and we're leaving."

The man who had been looking into the church from the doorway glanced back at his partner and waved for him to come over.

"Quinn," Nate said.

"What?"

"I thought they were only allowed one companion."

Quinn shot Nate a glance, then looked at a monitor Nate was pointing at. It was the one covering the north approach to the church, the way Otero and Ownby had come.

"I don't see anything," Quinn said.

"In the tree," Nate said. He leaned forward and touched the screen.

For half a second, Quinn still didn't see anything, then a slight movement revealed the form of a man lying prone on one of the branches, facing toward the church.

A quick glance at a monitor that gave a broader view of that side of the church confirmed Quinn's suspicion that the man was high enough to see through the missing roof into the abandoned structure.

Quinn pushed the mic button again. "Peter, we have a problem."

"What?"

"Check the feed to camera six. In the tree, near the top of the image."

There was a pause.

"Do you see him?" Quinn asked.

"Yes."

"Is he one of yours?"

"I played by the rules. Only two," Peter said. "He must be one of theirs."

Quinn wasn't convinced of that, but there was no time to argue the point. On another monitor the two newcomers stepped through the doorway, entered the church, and walked a couple paces before stopping. They looked nervous, like this was the first time they had ever done anything like this.

"You need to abort right now," Quinn said.

"We need that information," Peter said.

"Peter," Quinn said, "if you don't abort, you might not get anything."

At the church Otero said, "You guys are going to have to come a little closer."

The taller of the two men shook his head. "We are fine here. I think you have something to show us."

Otero smiled, then tossed a coin in the air so that it landed a foot in front of his counterparts.

"Your turn," Otero said.

The tall man tossed his own coin toward Otero. This was the prearranged recognition signal. Otero had been carrying a fifty-yen Japanese coin, and the informant a 1998 Canadian half-dollar.

"Peter!" Quinn said.

"The meet's already started," Peter said. "They won't answer their phones until they're back in their car."

"They might not even make it back to their car," Quinn said, then let go of the button.

"We can start the van," Nate suggested. "That should throw everyone into a panic. We could even fire off a shot."

It was an excellent idea, Quinn thought. He relayed it to Peter.

There was a pause, then Peter said, "Do it."

Quinn pulled his SIG Sauer P226 out of the holster under his left arm as Nate moved toward the back door to open it.

Several rapid flashes from one of the monitors caught Quinn's eye. It was the one showing the close-up of the man in the tree. He glanced at the view of the church. Otero, Ownby, and the man who had been talking for the other party were all on the ground and not moving.

The final man had just exited the church and was making a run for it. Then there was another flash. The man jerked to the left, his momentum dropping him into a bush at the side of the trail. Like the others, he didn't get up.

"Stop," Quinn said to Nate.

The door was already half opened.

"Close it. Quietly."

Nate shut the door as Quinn sat back down.

Quinn pushed the button. "Your op is blown."

"I can fucking see that," Peter said. "Goddammit! You need to keep whoever that is from getting to the bodies. One of those guys is carrying something we need."

"Don't know if you noticed," Quinn said, "but your men are probably dead. That guy in the tree's got a silenced rifle, and I'm not really interested in walking into his range."

"Do what you were going to do before! Scare him off. He's not going to want to get caught."

Quinn took a deep breath, then nodded at Nate to open the door again. He checked monitor six. The assassin was holding his position, waiting to see if anyone else was going to show up.

Quinn pulled one of the remote communication sets from a bag near the recorders. He slipped the receiver over his ear, then climbed out of the van.

"Talk me in," he said to Nate.

"You're going to try to take him out?" Nate asked, surprised.

Quinn shook his head. "I'm just going to convince him to go someplace else."

"You want your suppressor?" Nate asked.

Quinn paused for a second. If things went as planned, he'd need the noise of the shot to scare the guy off. But if things got off track?

"Toss it to me," he said.

Nate disappeared for a second, then stepped back into the doorway and threw a dark cylinder to Quinn.

Quinn stuffed it in the front pocket of his jacket as best he could. Once it was secure, he nodded back at the van. "Talk me in. You're my eyes, so try not to get me killed."

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(10)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, fast-paced thriller! Couldn't put this down!

    I enjoy fast-paced action thrillers with bighearted heroes, so I couldn't put down Brett Battles's latest Jonathan Quinn novel.

    Jonathan Quinn is a master at what he does and he's started out on his own. In his business trust and honor are everything. Since this is the third book in the series and Battles intentionally doesn't tell us how Quinn was maneuvered into agreeing to "3 jobs, no questions" which would be a story in itself. It's one of those contract terms that will clearly prove problematic and it does, particularly since Quinn isn't about to renege on the deal.

    If you're willing to suspend disbelief and dive into the story, Quinn and his loyal band of ex-military are a fun escape. The "3 jobs, no questions" places them in a precarious position from the start and we see just how wily their employer gets. But there's a larger story -- the targeting of a vulnerable group and the risk of an international incident -- in the middle of the intrigue, espionage, and action.

    I do enjoy books like Shadow of Betrayal because of the fast-paced action and unexpected twists. The book read much like a high octane action film with sympathetic heroes and a satisfying conclusion. If you're looking to escape with a fun thriller, check out Brett Battles's Shadow of Betrayal.

    ISBN-10: 0440243726 - Paperback
    Publisher: Dell (May 25, 2010), 512 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Brett Battles brings it again.

    Brett Battles has added to his growing list of hits. Once again the intrigue is deep and the whipsaw plot is exciting.

    The development of his characters is enjoyable, after a bit they seem to be personal friends.

    I recommend reading his earlier novels in order so that you can understand the twists and turns of the plot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Good read

    Not as good as 1&2 I don't like children being the victim.

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    Quinn is the Best! Cannot put down, a real page turner!

    Quinn is the Best! Cannot put down, a real page turner!

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Battles hits his stride in an already-great series of thrillers

    I bought "Shadow of Betrayal" while on vacation (UK title: The Unwanted), and I read nothing else until the final page was turned. Battles knows how to craft a 21st-century thriller. His characters contain shades of well-loved archetypes, but his unique twists on classic themes lend all three books in the series a welcome freshness. Battles continues to improve with "Shadow of Betrayal," and in this book he really hits his stride. The writing is tighter, the plot more layered, the narration more comfortable. The core characters continue their individual journeys while being propelled (sometimes unwillingly) through the larger storyline. One particular strength of Battles' is his pacing. He keeps the plot moving but not at the expense of detail or emotion. His characters - even stoic hero Jonathan Quinn - are distinctly human and never cartonish or over-the-top. Part of my delight in reading this series is watching Quinn's sterile life as a "cleaner" become more and more messy with loyalties, love, and noble motives. Quinn is a hero moving from darkness to light, something all too rare in today's modern storytelling. But rest assured, there is nothing melodramatic or sappy in Battle's books. It's all adrenaline plus intrigue plus grit with a healthy dose of gunplay - the perfect recipe for summer reading, and a great escape again when winter returns.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific complicated Quinn globetrotting tale

    The Cleaner Jonathan Quinn, his girlfriend-partner Orlando, and his protégé Nick travel to Ireland to monitor an information exchange. However a sniper insures something goes wrong, leaving four dead and Jonathan forced to use his cleaning skills to make sure no clues of the homicides remain behind in the church meeting locale. His agent orders Quinn to forget Ireland and instead fulfill the agreed upon three jobs with no questions. He is to locate a missing U.N. worker Marion Dupuis; she has vanished without a trace. Others search for her too.

    Jonathan and company head to Africa, the last known place Marion was seen. At an orphanage where she helped, the owner says she ran away with a Down Syndrome child Iris, who rebels want though he is not sure why. Marion and Iris flee to Montreal, but are captured and taken to California as Jonathan follows the convoluted trail.

    This is a terrific complicated Quinn globetrotting tale (see THE DECEIVED and THE CLEANER) as he goes from the Europe to Africa to Canada and finally the States on the chase. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of bloody action on three continents as Quinn knows his deal haunts his soul as he does jobs he loathes performing. Although somewhat similar in theme to THE DECEIVED, Quinn is at his best undergoing tasks that eat at his gut.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Mighty Quinn is back!

    One of the things that I liked about this book is that it was presented from several different viewpoints. Most of it is told from Quinn's point of view, but we also get Marion Dupuis, Peter, and a couple of the 'bad guys'. It takes a skilled writer to keep the story flowing between narrators, and Battles does an excellent job.

    We start off in Ireland, when a routine exchange ends in the death of four men and Quinn, with the help of his apprentice Nate, must clean up the mess. Things then switch to Marion, a UN worker in a small West African country. There are rumors that special needs children are being rounded up by soldiers, but no one knows why. Trying to help save a little girl with Down Syndrome, Marion is soon over her head and running for their lives.

    This book kept me guessing, and the reason why the children were being rounded up is truly chilling. Battles keeps the story going at a good pace, and the ending was well done and satisfying.

    This is the third book in the series featuring Quinn as a "cleaner" and while I'd recommend reading them in order, this one can certainly stand on it's own. This is an unusual series in that things that happen in one book reverberate in the others. For instance, something happened to Nate in an earlier book and Quinn is still dealing with it in this one. And it's nice to see Orlando again, and watch her interaction with Quinn. I can highly recommend this book, and am looking forward to the next Quinn adventure!

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  • Posted June 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    If you miss this novel, you will miss a great book.

    Jonathan Quinn is back for another story after "The Deceived" and "The Cleaner."
    Quinn, his girlfriend and partner, Orlando and his protege Nick have traveled to Ireland to monitor an informational exchange. The exchange misfires and Quinn's handler asks that he find a missing U.N. worker, Marion Dupuis who has disappeared and it seems the other side known as LP wants her.
    Marion was in Africa where she was helping an orphanage. The owner of the orphanage tells her that rebel soldiers are after one of the children, a Down Syndrom child named Iris. Marion takes Iris and goes into hiding.
    The search for Marion ends in Montreal where the terrorists achieve their goal. Marion and Iris are transported to California.
    This story is very well told. It unfolds like an onion, layer by layer. It takes patience from the reader. Brett Battles weaves the plot professionally.
    In his biography, the author tells us that he is influenced by Alistair MacLean and Jack Higgins. It is easy to see that influence by the action, dialogue and constant suspense.
    In California there is a confrontation and once more, the author shows the characters overcoming adversity to achieve their goals.
    Well done and highly recommended.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    Excellent addition to an already outstanding series

    Brett Battles newest installment in the Jonathon Quinn series, "Shadow of Betrayal" is inspired. The plotline generally follows the last installment in the series "The Deceived." Quinn (not his real name, of course), a "cleaner" by trade made a deal with the devil and agreed to do three jobs, no questions asked, for his sometimes employer. "Shadow of Betrayal" shows the cashing in on those jobs - and they're jobs that Quinn would rather not take.

    In "Shadow of Betrayal," Battles also follows up on some of the storylines left hanging from the previous novel - and, as an aside, this is something I really like about Battles, if something has come up in a previous novel, he follows up on it - might take a while but we're not left guessing.

    The main plotline of the book is a minor sideline of what Quinn is asked to do. It's accident of fate that he comes back together with the storyline but it's all written in such a believable way and the main plot - involving the kidnapping of children for purposes unknown until the end - well, it's chillingly brilliant.

    One thing I especially like about the series is the personal progression of Quinn. He becomes more human, more accessible in a way to the reader - and in "Shadow of Betrayal" we see this progression in the kind of leap not yet taken.

    And for those of you faithful fans who are wondering, we do find out what happens with Nate after the amputation and with Quinn and Orlando - I know a lot of us were more interested to see where Battles would go with Nate and whether you're happy or not is up to you but I loved it so when you pick it up and read, let me know what you think. It helps the memory to pre-order, go ahead - do it today.

    Was this novel flawless? Few are. There are minor tics that bothered me - things I might have wished to know less about and things I might have wanted to know more. I can tell you that if Battles follows suit, the next book should give us more insight into Quinn and I'm excited to see what comes next.

    "Shadow of Betrayal is out July 7, 2009 - but pre-order today because copies will be flying off of the shelves. Also pick up "The Cleaner and " The Deceived" - plenty of time to read before "Shadow of Betrayal" hits your mailbox.

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    Posted August 15, 2010

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    Posted February 6, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

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