Bookouture, August 14, 2015.
The subtitle of this book is “a gripping tale of psychological suspense,” but I think that might be a little bit overstated. There is some suspense, and certainly some emotionally unbalanced characters, but it wasn’t as thrilling as I think it was meant to be. It reminded me of Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train, but without the satisfying and surprising resolution in the end. That being said, The Betrayal is still a fun, escapist summer read. It was addictive and fast-paced, without much depth.
Nadine and Jake married at a very young age due to an unexpected pregnancy. Instead of the misery this might create, they actually had a fairly happy marriage, with four children altogether. However, they have now become empty-nesters before the age of forty, and they are both still living with many unfulfilled dreams. It seems like the perfect time to sell their business, move to separate homes, and start over.
All goes well for a while, although the dramatic scenes seemed to happen very quickly, while other, less important scenes dragged on and on. The characters were well developed for the most part, allowing the reader to know them and care what happens to them. However, the slow pace was caused by too much family drama, especially considering the thriller genre that this novel seems to want to be a part of.
Nadine moves on from Jake with a successful career and travel to Alaska. Jake moves on with a beautiful woman – who turns out to be a psychotic ex-friend of Nadine’s, determined to get revenge for events that are only slowly revealed to us. As her obsession grows, we learn more about the dark secrets of the summer that Nadine and Karin’s friendship ended. But that’s only the beginning – once Jake learns the truth about Karin and tries to end it, she ingratiates herself into their lives in unbelievable ways.
This is a great summer novel, and I would certainly read more by this author, with the expectation that they will be similar thriller/beach reads. One thing that did elevate this from other novels like it was the beautifully descriptive settings of Ireland and Alaska – I felt very drawn into the world of the characters. Overall, I enjoyed the thrill ride of this novel, and I would recommend it.
I received this book for free from Bookouture and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.