By: Lis Wiehl and April Henry
PublicationDate: April 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2009
Katie Converse is a US Senate page who comes home to Portland, Oregon on Christmas break. While home, she takes the family dog, Jalapeno, out for a walk. Katie never returns. Is it a simple case of a runaway teen or has something more sinister happened? Enter the triple threat; Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor, Nicole Hedges, an FBI agent, and Cassidy Shaw, a TV reporter. These are three women with very different careers who just happen to be best friends.
It isn't long before Katie’s MySpace page is discovered, her entries seem to point in one direction, to Senator Fairview, Katie’s Washington sponsor. As the investigation heats up, the three friends use their unique talents to find the missing girl, or perhaps, locate her body. Allison convenes a grand jury, Nicole works with the girl’s parents and shifts through a limited number of clues, while Cassidy uses her connections at her TV station to try and get a scoop.
When Katie’s body is discovered, her death at first appears to be a suicide. But is it? And what about the homeless man and his young daughter who are living within shouting distance of the girl’s body? Could it be the grower of the large marijuana field found nearby? There are a multitude of possibilities and Allison, Nicole, and Cassidy are kept quite busy sorting through the clues.
Face of Betrayal has plenty of plot twists to keep the reader turning pages. Blaming Katie’s disappearance on the Senator seems too easy so the reader is led to believe the culprit must be somebody else…or perhaps the Senator is the wrongdoer. As the plot develops, the lives of the three friends play more of a pivotal part in the mystery. Each is dealing with their own problems (Allison has a stalker, Cassidy is dealing with an abusive boyfriend), while trying to solve the case.
The roles of Allison and Nicole are well-developed and these two seem to hold the bulk of attention from the author. That is until well into the story when Cassidy comes upon a key piece of evidence. Then the young newscaster’s role jumps to the forefront. Regardless, it is nice to read a mystery where the key players are all strong woman characters.
The ending to Face of Betrayal seems a bit rushed with the suspect confessing much too easily, yet, it is unlikely that the reader will discover just who-dun-it until the very end. The several twists should leave one satisfied with this quick reading mystery.
Quill says: A fun romp into the mystery world with three strong female leads.