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When Men Betray

When Men Betray

4.0 4
by Webb Hubbell

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Why would Woody Cole, a peaceful, caring man, shoot a US Senator in cold blood on live television? That's the mystery facing attorney Jack Patterson as he returns to Little Rock, Arkansas, a town he swore he would never step foot in again.

When Men Betrayis the first book of fiction from author, lecturer, and political insider Webb Hubbell. A departure


Why would Woody Cole, a peaceful, caring man, shoot a US Senator in cold blood on live television? That's the mystery facing attorney Jack Patterson as he returns to Little Rock, Arkansas, a town he swore he would never step foot in again.

When Men Betrayis the first book of fiction from author, lecturer, and political insider Webb Hubbell. A departure from his previous book,Friends in High Places,an account of his rise and fall in Little Rock, Hubbell crafts a deft narrative of mystery and political intrigue. Set in a fictionalized version of his home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, readers will be immersed into the steamy world behind the southern BBQ and antebellumfacade-a seedy underbelly of secrets and betrayals. Clever readers may recognize the colorful personalities and locales of the Arkansas political scene.

Jack is supported by a motley but able crew; loyalassistant Maggie, college-aged daughter Beth, feisty lawyerMicki, and his bodyguard Clovis. Together, Jack and his rag-tag team are in a race against time to discover Woody's hidden motive. All he has is a series of strange clues, hired thugs gunning for him, and the one man who knows everything isn't talking. Alliances are tested, buried tensions surface, and painful memories are relived as he tries to clear the name of his old college friend. Jack Patterson will find that even the oldest friendships can be quickly destroyed when men betray

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hubbell, a former Little Rock, Ark., mayor, puts his experience as a public servant to good use in his ambitious first novel. Washington, D.C.–based antitrust lawyer Jack Patterson has struggled to balance professional success with personal turmoil—specifically, the death of his wife, Angie. All of that is forgotten, however, when his best childhood friend, Woody Cole, fatally shoots U.S. Sen. Russell Robinson in the rotunda of the Arkansas capitol, on national TV no less. Convinced by Cole’s mother to come back to Little Rock, the place he swore never to return to 25 years earlier, this Washington insider is soon representing a killer in court amid a media frenzy. Jack must also contend with professional hit men, as well as the ghosts of his troubled past with the city. While the author overloads the narrative with incident, those with an appetite for a cleverly detailed account of political power dynamics and a modern-day witch hunt will be rewarded. (May)
From the Publisher
When Men Betray is a delightful page-turner crime/mystery that captivates the reader from the first page, with wonderfully detailed descriptions that made me feel I was in Little Rock, with several subplots that eventually intersect to disclose a terrible secret from the past. I could hardly put the book down. For those of us who know the author, it is clear he drew liberally from his own fascinating life. -- R. Keith Stroup, Esq. NORML Legal Counsel

Webb Hubbell's novel is a tour de force, crafted with riveting plot lines and fascinating characters. I couldn't put it down! -- Jack Abramoff

Webb Hubbell has been in power and under power and knows both sides of the street intimately. This tale takes off with the speed of the pistol shot that opens it, and never slackens its pace. Yet at the end of this intriguing, engaging, thriller you realize it's actually a tale about decency and values. I loved it and I know readers will too. -- Peter Coyote, actor/writer

In When Men Betray, Webb Hubbell's insider knowledge of politics and natural storytelling ability combine for a shrewd mystery exposing the wooly underside of southern culture and government. May this be the first of many Hubbell novels. -- B. Brandon Barker, author of the novel Operation EMU (Shrouded Rock Press)

John Grisham, move over---the legal thriller has a new master! When Men Betray is the real thing, a gripping, literate thriller from an author who knows the courthouse from the reporters scrambling on its front steps, to the drama of the witness box, to the tightrope in the judge's chambers. Breath-stopping action, romance and suspense rush forward to a climactic ending that will keep the sharpest readers guessing. -- Steve Spruill, author of Ice Men

Over the course of a week and a half, D.C. lawyer Jack Patterson takes us on a rousing journey into murder and antitrust violations. How author Webb Hubbell manages to combine these two divergent sides of the law is masterful, as only a top antitrust attorney and connoisseur of the justice system, from inside and out, could make it. This page-turner is about friendship, family, race relations, and it delves deeply--and cynically--into the behavior of politicians, lawyers, judges, and prisoners. Forget presumption of innocence, says Patterson. Law enforcement loves for the defendant to look as guilty as possible at first impression, parading him in front of the press handcuffed and shackled. A brilliant read. -- Anne Harding Woodworth

When Men Betray is a mystery thriller that quickly buries readers deep in the twisted tunnels of Arkansas's political and criminal underbelly. Author and former mayor of Little Rock Webb Hubbell masterfully evokes the terrors of a hot, black Southern night--one can practically smell the sweat, hickory, and gunpowder emanating from the book's pages. -- Ellen Ratner

Product Details

Beaufort Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

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Read an Excerpt

When Men Betray


By Webb Hubbell

Beaufort Books

Copyright © 2014 Webb Hubbell
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8253-0729-4


"Okay, Rose, what's so important that it can't wait? Did somebody die?"

I'd made it clear to Rose, my long-suffering assistant, that I wouldn't be available this long weekend—no phone calls, no e-mail, nothing. I turned on my Blackberry out of habit while I was waiting for my daughter, Beth, to finish getting ready for dinner. There were no calls from clients, but sure enough, there were half a dozen messages telling me to call the office immediately.

I'm an antitrust lawyer in Washington, DC, so the biggest emergency I could imagine was that one of my clients was about to be indicted. Normally, I would know about it long beforehand. Then again, the Justice Department loves to indict a high-profile client late on a Friday afternoon. With no one available to set bail or to do the paperwork to get the accused out of jail, the poor guy has to cool his heels in a holding tank or worse, leaving the press the whole weekend to repeat the prosecution's side of the story.

Beth walked out of her bathroom and frowned when she saw me on the phone. She and I had planned this long weekend for months.

It was Parents' Weekend at Davidson College, and I had promised her my undivided attention. As was typical, work was interrupting.

"No one died, Jack," Rose snapped.

"So tell me what's so urgent?"

"I really am sorry, but this woman was insistent. She wouldn't talk to another attorney and wouldn't tell me why she was calling. She kept saying you needed to call her right away. She was crying and sounded desperate. I couldn't just ignore her."

I tried to tone down my impatience. "Who, Rose? Who sounded desperate?"

"Oh, sorry. It was Helen Cole. She said you'd know her. I really am sorry, Jack.... Was I wrong to bother you with this?"

Helen Cole. The very name brought on a flood of memories. Her son, Woody, is one of my best friends.

"It's okay. You did the right thing. I do know her, and I'll take care of it."

"Can I do anything for you here?"

"It's already past six o'clock; you go home and have a good weekend." I clicked off the phone, trying not to worry.

"Okay, Dad. You ready to head out?" Beth asked tentatively. "There's this great running store I want to pop into before it closes. It's on the way."

Apparently our weekend would include shopping. Beth was a junior at Davidson College, one of the "southern Ivies," an excellent liberal-arts school located in the town of Davidson, North Carolina, about twenty miles north of Charlotte. Tomorrow there were all kinds of organized activities on campus, but tonight it was only the two of us. Beth had chosen a favorite restaurant near my hotel in Charlotte.

"Hang on, sweetheart," I said, punching in a phone number long held in my memory. "I'll make this quick."

As my call went through, I didn't miss Beth's heavy sigh. Our father-daughter weekend was off to a poor start, and I had a feeling it was about to get worse.

"Hello?" An unfamiliar voice answered the phone.

"Hi, this is Jack Patterson. I'm calling for Helen Cole."

A muffled voice called out, "Helen? A Jack Patterson. Should I take a message?" It was only a few seconds before I heard a voice I'd known for more than half my life.

"Jack! Thank God you called!"

"What's the matter, Mrs. Cole?"

"Have you seen? I just ... I just can't believe it. I don't believe it. He needs ... oh, Jack, he needs you! We both need you!" She was almost incoherent.

"Hold on, Mrs. Cole. Please slow down. Has something happened to Woody?" For years, Woody's mom had asked me to call her Helen, and even though I thought of her as Helen, I couldn't bring myself to do it. On the other hand, she still used her son's given name, Philip, and refused to call him by his nickname.

"Haven't you seen the news?" she asked, her voice breaking into a sob. "It's all over television. Oh, Lord, it's terrible. But he couldn't have done it. Jack, he—" I could hear voices in the background trying to soothe her as she broke down.

"What on earth is this all about?" I gestured at Beth to turn on the TV in her dorm room, mouthing, "C-N-N."

Mrs. Cole gathered herself and spoke again, her voice shaky. "Jack, you've got to straighten this out. There has to be some mistake. Philip couldn't ..."

I didn't hear the rest of what she said because I was staring at the TV, watching my friend Woody Cole and US Senator Russell Robinson in the rotunda of the Arkansas Capitol. They were arguing heatedly. Suddenly, Woody pulled a pistol out of his coat pocket, thrust it to the side of the senator's head, and the gun exploded.

Beth gasped in disbelief, covering her mouth with both hands. Woody had shot Russell Robinson in cold blood. It was a horrific scene—the camera jerked away to show people screaming and running, and then returned to the senator, who lay on the marble floor with blood flowing freely from his shattered head. Woody stood beside him looking like a lost child, the gun still in his hands.

"Jack, are you still there?"

"Mrs. Cole—I don't know what to say. I just saw it. I don't ... I can't believe that's Woody." I tried to gather my wits, but my head was spinning in disbelief.

Helen's voice quickened, stronger now, "The press is everywhere. I can't leave the house, and Sheriff Barnes won't let me talk to Philip. Jack, you have to come. Philip needs you."

"Oh, Mrs. Cole, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine what I could ... He's going to need a good defense attorney. If I can help financially—"

"Jack Patterson, you listen to me. We need you. We need you here, right now." Her tone brooked no argument.

I took a deep breath. I didn't need to be reminded of what I owed this woman. "Mrs. Cole, you know I'll do whatever I can. I'll catch a flight to Little Rock first thing tomorrow. I'll be there—try not to worry."

I put the Blackberry down slowly and looked at Beth, expecting to see dismay and disappointment in her face. Our well-laid plans had fallen apart in a matter of minutes.

"Oh, my God, Dad! What happened? Was that Woody's mother on the phone? You're going to Little Rock?" Her reaction didn't surprise me.

"I'm sorry, Beth, but you saw it—Woody's in real trouble. I have no clue what happened or what I can do, but Mrs. Cole says they need me. I have to go."

I could see the wheels turning in her head—and when she spoke, she surprised me. In a tone of voice she'd learned from her mother, she said, "Of course you do. I totally understand. Let me just pack some things."

I started to protest, but she cut me off as quickly as Helen Cole had.

"Jesus, Dad, it's fine. We had this weekend set aside, and if we have to spend it in Little Rock, that's what we'll do. I mean, I can't believe this is happening, but ... well, if nothing else, I'll finally get to see where you grew up." She turned to her dresser.

No argument, no debate, end of discussion—much like my Angie. She seldom insisted on anything, but when she did, there was no mistaking her resolve. Truth be told, if I had to go to Little Rock, it felt better to have Beth going with me.

"Thanks, Beth. I'm glad you feel that way. You can stay with me at the Westin in Charlotte tonight, and we'll catch an early plane out tomorrow morning. Then we ... then we'll, uh ..."

My voice faded, and my mind sort of slipped out of gear. The shock of what I'd seen had sunk in. What's more, I was about to return to my boyhood home, a place I hadn't been in almost twenty-five years.


Excerpted from When Men Betray by Webb Hubbell. Copyright © 2014 Webb Hubbell. Excerpted by permission of Beaufort Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Webb Hubbell, author of When Men Betray and Ginger Snaps, is a nationally recognized author, lecturer, and speaker on government, business and leadership. He has held executive level positions in government and industry including: U.S. Associate Attorney General, Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Mayor of Little Rock Arkansas, Managing Partner of the second largest law firm in Arkansas, and Executive and Chief Counsel for a large Washington based Commercial Insurance Company.

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When Men Betray 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best read this summer. A definite don't miss. He grabs you on Page one and you can't put it down. Drawing on the author's experiences he leaves you guessing about the characters and whether this could really happen. Can't wait to read the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great summer read! Insightful into what happens behind closed doors between politics and friends
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