Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Review of "Betrayal of Trust" [47]

Betrayal of Trust: A J. P. Beaumont Novel by J.A.Jance
William Morrow, ISBN 978-0061731150
July 5, 2011, 352 pages

What would you do if you found something terrible on your child's cell phone. Something deadly.

If you are fortunate, you can call in Homicide Investigator J.P. Beaumont.

When the Governor of Washington, Marsha Longmire, finds her teenage step-grandson sneaking back into his room via a rope ladder early one morning, she takes his cell phone as a punishment. When she see a video on the cell phone that looks like a snuff film, the murder by strangulation of a unknown young girl, she calls in the help of someone she knows from her own past, Beaumont and his partner, in life (his third wife) and at work, Mel Soames.

As bad as a snuff film and the possibility that it is real and that a girl is dead might be, once the two start investigating, things take an even more deadly and shocking turn, with tentacles of evil and corruption that seem to reach out in all direction. Young people, from the lowest socio-economic level to the most privilege who life in multi-million dollar homes and attend the most privileged prep school, are in danger and Beau and Mel have to race to figure it out before more lives are lost.

The last J.A.Jance book I read, Fatal Error (no, not reviewed yet), a book in the Ali Reynolds series, was good.
But this one was very good.
The sort of book you don't want to put down and that makes you sad when it comes to an end. But since it is the 20th, yes, the 20th book in this series and the first that I have read, there are lot that I can go back and catch up on.

Why did I like this book? Yes, it is very well written, something you hope would be true from an author who has published some 45 books. Yes, 45 books.
And I love the setting in the Pacific Northwest. Just like our hero says at one point, give me a gray, overcast, cool day anytime.
But the key to the success of this book are the characters of Beau and Mel.
I am sure the other books in the series examined his troubled past, his battle with alcohol and his two previous marriages, that ended very badly indeed. And while I am all for a flawed hero, I am not unhappy that by this book, Beau seems to have his act together and the story can concentrate on the pursuit of a rather complicated plot and some very bad people. Beau and Mel have a great relationship, both professionally and personally, which again is refreshing. They are very smart, clever at figuring things out at least as quickly as I do...which is, I think, certainly the least we can expect. lol

Then there is a small secondary story, exploring Beau finding out some critical information about his own past, a storyline was quite nice and quite sweet. It ended the book on a positive note that, again, was a nice change from the rather sad incidences in the main story.
Hey, even I sometimes like a happy ending in with my murder and mayhem.

While I am sure that it might be best to start at the beginning of this series..29 books ago... and watch the development of Beau as a character, it is totally not necessary to do so for the enjoyment of this book.
Strongly recommended.

My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book to review.


  1. Teens watching snuff films? The world HAS gone to hell in a handbasket!

  2. I read this series a long time ago. I liked Beau but he was having some very challenging times with one of his wives. Won't tell you what the challenge was, but I remember it very clearly to this day. I never got tired of the series, so I don't really know why I stopped reading them.

  3. well this was the latest book in the series, so I think it tells a bit about what his history with the previous wives was...not in detail but a general idea. not good..

  4. I haven't read Jance yet, but it's not because I haven't wanted to.

  5. I'm glad to hear I don't have to start at the beginning to enjoy this book. I need good characters in my reading so I'm intrigued by Beau and Mel. The storyline also sounds pretty interesting.

    I'm definitely going to check these books out!

  6. I just finished this - thought it was a B- maybe (well I've been reading a lot of Nesbo lately, you know!) but I admit I did cry at the end over the side plot bit with J.P.'s family....

  7. I liked it more than that..maybe an A- if I gave scores.

    And I finally did finish The Snowman. I will admit, for reasons I don't understand, that I had a terrible time with the name for more than half the book.

  8. Hi Caite,

    I really bad sign of the times, when authors are writing books about teenagers naking 'snuff' films... even murder isn't simple any more!!!

    I have a couple of the author's books in my TBR pile, but didn't realise he had written so many, or that they were a series with the same charcater.

    I'm glad that you said they were enjoyable as stand alone stories, as I am a so and so for starting a series mid-way through.

    Thanks for the great review and the recommendation, I shall be sure to dig mine out from the pile soon!!!


  9. with all the stuff kids supposedly do on their phones and computers these days, sadly I doubt it is unrealistic.
    she has written a LOT of books, I believe in three different series. I have read a couple in the other series, but I liked these characters the best I think.


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