|Face of Betrayal (A Triple Threat Novel)
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Fox News legal correspondent and former Federal Prosecutor Lis Wiehl has created a suspense novel that's as timely as tomorrow's headlines.
While home on Christmas break, a seventeen-year-old Senate page takes her dog out for a walk and never returns. Reporter Cassidy Shaw is the first to break the story. The resulting media firestorm quickly ensnares Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce and FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges. The three unique women are life-long friends who call themselves The Triple Threat--a nickname derived from their favorite dessert and their uncanny ability to crack cases via their three positions of power.
Though authorities think Katie might have been kidnapped or run away, those theories shatter when Nicole uncovers Katie's blog. They reveal a girl troubled by a mysterious relationship with an older man. Possibly a U.S. Senator.
As the three women race against time to find Katie alive, their increasing emotional involvement brings out their own inner demons and external enemies. There are many faces of betrayal, but they must find one face in a crowd of growing suspects before they become the next victims.
In Face of Betrayal, Lis Wiehl's expertise in law, politics, and criminal investigation merges with April Henry's narrative genius to create a gripping mystery filled with rich characters, real danger, and a shocking yet satisfying final twist.
- a big disappointment
When I heard about this book on the Fox News channel, I really looked forward to reading it, but was very disappointed. (Those people who said they couldn't put it down, must never have read a good mystery!)The writing is poor, in a choppy vignette style, where the author can get away with not fleshing out the story. So many times, I was dissatisfied because a dramatic event would happen (boyfriend pulls a gun, for instance) and then on to the next vignette, leaving the reader hanging! Some of the issues were never resolved at all, and I am not willing to wait for the next book to find out what happened!
I also thought the spiritual angle didn't work. One character is a devoted Christian, one a sort of potluck spiritualist and one an atheist. If you are going to bring this element into the story to such a degree, you had better deal with it! It felt like the author was trying to cover all the bases so no one would be offended.
It's hard to imagine that these characters could be close friends, to the extent that, at one point in the story, the FBI agent actually compromised her ethics for the reporter character. I think their value systems were too far apart for them to really be that connected. It's a nice plot device "the triple threat," but it doesn't really work--at least not in this novel.
Finally, I thought the plot was trite and predictable. I forced myself to finish the book, since I had spent the money on it, but I wil not be buying the next installment. I think this author might benefit from reading some classic detective novels, in order to understand what makes a good story and how to unwind a mystery plot, as well as how to create real and interesting characters.
Sorry, Lis Wiehl. I do like you on Fox, and I had hoped your book was going to be good....more info
- Hope the author keeps her day job
You knew exactly how this book was going to end. It was no secret who committed the murder and why. I love listening to Lis Wiehl on FOX NEWS but she better forget about being an author if this is the best she can do....more info
- It's all in a name.
I recently attended a writers meeting where the topic was creating a platform. For those that don't know, a writer's platform consists of his or her credentials as a writer and connection to the community. Basically, it answers the publisher's question, "And just why am I supposed to invest money in you, outside of actual ability?"
Lis Wiehl has platform. According to the book jacket of Face of Betrayal, "Lis Wiehl is a Harvard Law School graduate and former federal prosecutor. A widely popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears regularly on The O'Reilly Factor and was co-host with Bill O'Reilly on the widely-syndicated radio show, The Radio Factor, for the past seven years."
Oh, yeah. Platform out the wazoo. She had to have it...in order to get this book published.
No, it's not horrible. It's...competent. Average. Mediocre.
The writing isn't bad, but it lacks a unique "voice"--which is something publishers always say they are looking for. Apparently, being famous means you don't really need that. Also, the characters were pretty much cookie-cutter, and the ending could be seen a mile away. There was an attempt to hit on some controversial issues--abortion, spouse abuse, teen sex. I say "attempt" because it was very surface. Too many topics, so the attention to each was spread thin. And, specifically, as a writer for teens, I'd say this book sent the message that teen sex is fine as long as it's not with a man your father's age. NOT the best of messages.
I shouldn't be so harsh with Lis, though, should I? I mean, she wrote the book with April Henry, who is apparently a published mystery writer. So, it's just as much April Henry as it is Lis Wiehl. Not according to the cover though--Wiehl's name is in large print--equal in size to the title of the book, while April's is rather small. (Ever noticed that the more popular an author gets, the larger their name becomes on the cover? A newbie writer will have the title in big letters and their name much smaller in comparison, but the big authors have their names in HUGE print. I suppose the title is just a technicality at that point.)
I really do like supporting first-time authors, as I did in my last review for Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. But, I also insist on giving credit where credit is due. Maybe the issue is that I've still got that last book lingering in my brain and I'm mentally comparing the two as I read. Thirteen had me sucked in, unable to put the book down. I got to know the characters, and found myself invested in their story. It was ONE topic that was addressed, and addressed it was, in depth, and realistically.
But, in Face of Betrayal, I found myself fighting the urge to skim through. Honestly, the only reason I didn't just stop reading it is that I'm signed up as a review blogger for Thomas Nelson, and part of the agreement is that I am to read the book in its entirety.
But, there is nothing in the agreement that says I have to love the book or give it a rave review.
There are probably loads of people who are going to love this book and think I'm just a jealous aspiring writer. That's fine. I know what kind of book I like. Complex, deep characters, something that is going to make me want to read the book again and again. This book was none of those things for me. ...more info
- Face of Betrayal by Lis Weihl
I purchased this book for my Aunt for her birthday. She is loving it. She said it is well written and Lis had gone to a lot of work doing the background on it. My Aunt is an avid reader so you can take her word for when a book is good. She is saving it for me to read. I cannot wait to see her as she lives about a thousand miles from me.
FYI my Aunt is 85....more info
- This Sounds Familiar
Allison Pierce - Federal Prosecutor. Married, Hoping to get pregnant soon after years of trying.
Nicole Hedges - FBI Special Agent specializing in catching pedophiles using chat rooms. Single Mom with secrets about childs father and no social life.
Cassidy Shaw - Reporter. Anxious to move up in her career in a relationship that may not be the best for her.
These three women are the best of friends and their careers come together when 17 year old Katie Converse, home for Christmas from Washington DC where she is a Senate page, disappears.
With a lot of suspects, old boyfriend, new boyfriend, was she having an affair with a Senator. Was it a random act of violence, she was walking her dog alone. Did she just run away?
As the pieces of the puzzle start to fall together, the women's personal lives are also in turmoil with stalkers, abusive relationships, career worries and the need to know if Katie is still alive or has she been murdered?
Very quick read.
Good characters, all three women are interesting and act like real women do.
Even though you may think you know what's going to happen, as this is clearly based on the Chandra Levy case, it keeps you guessing and never cheats on the ending.
Could use a little more with the personal lives of these women. I'm not sure Nicole's daughter was ever in the book except in her mother's thoughts.
The best thing I can say about a first book is that I was excited to see that there was going to be second one. ...more info
- Not A Bad First Start For A Series
This wasn't a bad first start for Lis Wiehl's new series. It's the first book in the Triple Threat series. It's about three women...a prosecutor, FBI agent and reporter and how they help and support each other. I enjoyed the interplay between the main characters. However the minor characters needed a little more depth. I loved how they all complemented each other's strengths and weakenesses throughout the book. I liked the story of how a Congressional page has disappeared and how a US Senator may be behind it. It was very on the edge with the internet aspect of the blog and how it was used in the story. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this book even though you could see a couple of them coming a mile away like who the killer is. Ms. Wiehl has written an interesting foundation for a series. I look for to the next installment in April of 2010. I may even pick up some of her nonfiction books. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for strong women characters solving mysteries....more info
- Good but not Great
I was really looking forward to reading this book on a long international flight. It promised to be fast paced and thrilling and that's what it turned out to be. Face of Betrayal is quite a gripping book and after reading a few pages and having identified with the characters, I wanted to keep reading till the end. The story is about a 17 year old girl, Katie, who on a Christmas break at home goes missing.
The story continues with three women, a reporter, a Federal Prosecutor and a FBI special agent, who keep adding pieces to the puzzle revolving Katie's sudden disappearance. An investigation that starts with theories of kidnapping or running away quickly turns into a murder investigation when Katie's blog reveals her relationship with a Senator. Storyline is pretty fast paced and keeps one glued for more.
What I did not like about the book was intermittent short story lines that never added to the whole plot. I believe these were attempts by Author to establish the character of the three protagonists. Although for me, these were not required as they never made any sense when seen with the bigger picture of Katie's story. As a reader, I did not care too much about the personalities of the protagonists who were not as impressive as the storyline itself. And they were tied to a proper end in themselves.
Also, this book kept me going with a curiosity to know what finally happened to Katie, but in the end I was a bit disappointed with the way the story folded. Author calls it a `Shocking and satisfying twist' but I was seriously unimpressed.
There are too many subjects that Author has tried to deal with in this book - ranging from child molestation, teen sex, and domestic abuse. Sometimes I was confused as to what the book actually was about.
All in all, I was quite satisfied with the book. It could have been better but I don't regret it at all. I will not call it a must read, but it's a good read. ...more info
- Eighth Grade Writing
Face of Betrayal (A Triple Threat Novel)
This book read like an eighth grader had written it. So disappointed and could not possibly recommend it to anyone. There were mis-spelled words and words that did not belong in the sentence. I knew who had killed Katie before I was half way through the book. If Lis Wiehl wants to be a mystery writer she's got to do better than this....more info
- Worse Book in 65 years of reading
I was looking forward to this book as I listen to Lis on her TV appearances. Purchased book first day it was out. However, her book is terrible. I am 70 years old and reading since 5, and this is the worse book I have ever read. Made myself finish it and it ended to abruptly it took a minute or so to realize the book had ended.
You can take the first 1/2 of the book and just throw it out. It does nothing for the "story" and is written so choppily that a "chapter" may be 1 1/2 pages. The 2nd half of book, although at least pertaining to the murder, is so poorly written it is almost unreadable. I don't know what book the people are reading that are giving it good reviews....more info
- A nice debut novel
This is a nice debut novel--well-plotted and well-written, with an interesting series concept. The 'triple threat' novels are so called because the crimes are solved by three individuals who shared a heart-stopping chocolate dessert with that name. They include a black FBI special agent, a television reporter and a prosecutor. Aspects of Lis Wiehl's own character and experience (her father was in the FBI) should be obvious. In the first novel in the series a 17 year-old senate page has disappeared and the evidence points to a 50+ senator with a roving eye. In some ways the 'triple threat' approach is a bit cutesy and the novel sounds more like a cozy than crime fiction, particularly with the triumvirs meeting over fattening meals. The ethos, however, is that of crime fiction, with a dash of procedural and psychological thriller in the mix. All in all, a good book, with solid pacing and a nice sense of place (it is set in Portland, the setting for an increasing number of crime stories). Next up in 2010: Hand of Fate. I'll be watching for it....more info
- Lots of twists, a surprise ending
The Triple Threat is a chocolate treat as well as being three women who ban together to solve a crime. They meet over lunch and sometimes dinner to discuss their progress. One is an ambitious reporter for local television news, one is a prosecutor and one is an FBI agent. Their personal lives and trials portray a nice background for the horrendous crime they are out to get to the bottom of.
Lis Wiehl has crafted a good story. The plot moves along nicely, and there are several surprising twists, including the ending. The characterizations are well-developed, believable and solid. This is a tight, on-the-edge thriller.
Diane Davis White
Author, Moon of the Falling Leaves
- There's NoT Much Mystery in this Mystery
The setting is Portland, Oregon. Seventeen year old Katie Converse is missing. Katie is an honor student, and in the Senate page program in Washington D. C. She was sponsored for the position by Oregon Senator James Fairview. On a holiday break at home Katie has just vanished. Three close friends are involved in this mystery, Allison Pierce a high powered Federal prosecutor; Nicole Hedges, a highly regarded FBI agent; and Cassidy Shaw an up and coming reporter on a local television station. These three friends call themselves The Triple Threat Club a sure clue that more mysteries will follow in this series.
Nicole and Allison begin working the case believing that Senator Fairview is involved somehow. (This story is loosely based on the Chandra Levy case of 2001, which disappeared from the headlines in the aftermath of 911). Along the way we have Allison being stalked by a madman which she pretty much keeps to herself(the resolution of this plot point is underwelming);Cassidy is involved with an abusive boyfriend; and Nicole is too fearful to get involved in any relationships. So much for strong women.
The story had potential, but the red herrings are obvious, and the identity of the killer is obvious in the first fifty pages. When the murderer is finally revealed at the end, the motive is poorly fleshed out. In fact that is the problem with the entire novel. These are cardboard characters we are dealing with and boring ones at that.
My advice to Lis is stick to the O'Reilly Show and abandon any thought of being an engaging mystery writer....more info
- Maybe if Lis Wiehl had actually written the book....
I would give the plot of this book maybe 3 stars. I would have probably given it more had I not felt that it was almost entirely ripped from the headlines of some of the more memorable missing persons cases in recent history such as Chandra Levy, Caylee Anderson, Meredith Emerson, and Stacy Peterson. But given Lis Wiehl's background, I shouldn't have been surprised at this. Truth be told, this book read better as an episode of Law and Order than a suspense thriller. If you like mystery novels that are an easy, brainless read for going to the beach or the like, then you may enjoy this novel.
Myself, I demand a lot more from any reading that is going to take longer than a perusal through a tabloid in the line for the grocery register. I knew I was doomed when the first line of this book read, "Come on, Jalapeno!" Um, Bulwer-Lytton, anyone? And not even three short paragraphs later was this line: "...she wasn't the same person she had been the last time she was here, not a month earlier. Then she had been a little girl playing at being a grown-up. Now she was a woman." The drama of this line alone felt like stab wounds. I don't think I've heard bar mitzvah speeches that were more ridiculous.
This ghost-written novel of Lis Wiehl continues the torture by throwing in random popular culture references; blocks the personality of the three main characters into predictable stereotypes; and gives the most ridiculous names to most of the characters straight out of a soap opera (though one set of sisters is named Alli and Lindsay -- with Lindsay being a drugged out, good for nothing. Hmmm, I think I'm not the only one reading the supermarket tabloids.). The attempt at emotional depth is strained. For instance, the main characters are troubled at this missing girl since she is "someone with hopes and dreams", later b/c she was a "girl with hopes and dreams" and later in the book b/c she "had dreams and hopes and fears". Um, ok, you said that already.
Even the climax of the book, which had a decent amount of suspense and momentum going for it, was botched by the ghostwriter. The surprise ending and the various red herrings/diversions were all dealt with in such a nonchalant and anti-climatic manner in the span of about one page that completing this book was like deflating a balloon. Moreover, there were plenty of loose ends that were never addressed in the book's conclusion at all -- like who was growing half a million dollars worth of pot out in the middle of nowhere, or how one of the characters was confronted with a gun and then suddenly the gun was never mentioned again (nor her escape from it). The ending was supposed to be a surprise, but not unpredictable--partially b/c the writer labored too much on creating far too many subplots.
Gah! Even if they get a different ghost-writer, you can be sure I'm NOT going to be jumping at another invitation from the Triple Threat Club anytime soon. Sorry to have to buck the trend (everyone else seems to rate it more highly), but this book was a huge disappointment to me. ...more info
- Multi Faceted Mystery
Face of betrayal has a lot going for it, but before I talk about that. let me expound briefly what I didn't love.
"Face of betrayal" is not of the caliber of a Dennis Lehane , or James Patterson novel. It isn't quite as tense or near as gritty. Ms. Wiehl has (in this story) an unfortunate habit of using animals for comparison, i.e. "he looked like a wolf", "her face reminded her of a horse", "he moved like an otter" etc. , which may not bother you, but it did me. "Face of betrayal" had some passages that dragged a bit, but not badly.
Now let me talk about the good stuff.
Author Lis Wiehl, is a brilliant (and attractive) woman. She has a Harvard law degree, is a former law professor, is a former federal prosecutor, a working wife and mother, and is a working legal analyst for Fox News , and I often enjoy watching her debate legal issues with Megan Kelly. She is also a devout Christian, and normally that wouldn't come up in a review of mine except for this.
Crime stories are often bulging with torrid sex, and graphic violence to serve as the vehicle for the plot. Usually, when faith enters into a novel, it is either smaltzy and preachy, or demeaning. Ms. Wiehl manages to do something so simple but so unusual that I had to comment. The main protagonist of the story is a([n] attractive of course) prosecutor, who happens to be a devout Christian, who doesn't preach out in monologues, but to whom faith is an important part of her character, and in the story, her faith helps her to live her life in a way that makes her happy and fulfilled. With most of the people I know, faith is a part of what they think, and to a lesser or greater extent, affects what they do. So I say bravo to Ms. Wiehl for including us in the world of her story.
Lastly, "Face of Betrayal" works on a few other levels, it is a story about friendship that manages to fit in a crime mystery mingled with exploration of a few social issues that had a few twist worthy of discussion, which the former professor Wiehl thoughtfully provides after the end of the book for "Book Club Discussion"
So is "Face of Betrayal" the best mystery I ever read? Well, no it's not. Is it the best mystery novel with a faith driven protagonist? Maybe!
- Triple Threat
Three friends who met in college and team up to form the Triple Threat Club, and solve a crime in this fast paced suspense novel. There's Cassidy, a TV reporter, who covers crime, Nicole, a police officer, who fights crime, and Allison, an attorney who prosecutes criminals.
There's an understory as one of the friends is threatened and another understory of domestic abuse, giving the reader three stories in one book. Although I guessed the bad guy's identity, I was still surprised at the end. Good read! Reading group guide at the conclusion, along with an interview with the author by Bill O'Reilly....more info
- Definitely A Blast To Read
Bill O'Reilly and I finally agree on something... Lis Wiehl's Face of Betrayal is a blast to read.The cover artwork is what attracted me to the book but its the fast paced action inside that kept my eyes and fingers firmly glued to the pages inside.
Lis Wiehl's Face of Betrayal reminded me so much of the Chandra Levy case. It is one of those gripping books you will not want to put down the second you read the first line. You will get so attached to the characters,you'll feel as if you're there for every twist and turn they take.
Lis Wiehl's Face of Betrayal is definitely worth a read.
- Interesting mystery of a missing senate page
A trio of women power this excellent book. Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor, Cassidy Shaw, a television news reporter, and Nicole Hodges, an FBI Agent, were school chums but had not seen each other for several years after graduation. They all came together in Portland Maine and instantly became the same old friends they used to be in school. Now however they were in their chosen professions and it was work that brought them together.
Katie Converse was a teenage page in the senate. She had worked hard getting this position and loved it but she became too friendly with a married senator she was working with. While home in Portland on Christmas break, Katie took her dog for a walk and never returned. Her disappearance started all three of the above working on the case to find Katie. Most figured she must have been kidnapped but there was no demand for money for her return. When her dog is found more questions than answers popped into the case.
The story intertwines Katie's myspace blog in between other chapters involving this case and others that were very interesting. Katie's family and the entire community were devastated with no word about Katie and no evidence to follow. The three women kept their interest on the case and tried to advance their careers by obtaining information on this bazaar case. Was a senator involved in her death? Did she plan to disappear for her own purposes? All these and other questions were in the minds of all those involved trying to find Katie.
The story is well written with a good flow and no down time. Lis, you did a good job on this intriguing story. Your readers will like it and want more in the future.
- so disappointing....I wanted
I wanted to like this book but I had to force myself to finish it. Terrible writing; wooden characters; just nothing new here and frankly, boring. Sorry....more info
- A gripping and suspenseful read
This is a captivating and suspenseful book that I absolutely could not put down. And sadly, I can just imagine such a story screaming from the headlines of the newspapers and becoming the latest obsession of our 24-hour, minute-by-minute news stations. The story is well-balanced as it shows each of the three friends' varying perspectives that accompany their different roles in their attempt to discover what happened to Katie. As one who is easily annoyed by the media's intrusion and efforts to "scoop" a story, I was intrigued by Cassidy's perspective as she pounded the pavement only to be faced with the possibility of the story being ripped out from under her. Allison and Nicole have their own reasons why the case becomes intensely personal for them, and their quest to find Katie and bring the person responsible for her disappearance to justice turns the three dynamic women into a formidable force. ...more info
- Political Whoddunit with a twist
In "The Face of Betrayal" by Lis Wiehl and April Henry, a teenage senate page named Katie Converse mysteriously disappears after returning home for Christmas. Soon deep secrets revolving around her past are revealed--a married senator accused of having an affair with Katie, the stepmother who isn't all that she seems, and a blog kept a couple of months before Katie's disappearance. A prosecutor, an FBI agent, and a TV reporter jump start the investigation and attempt to find Katie before it is too late. As the investigation reaches its peak, one of the main characters continues receiving death threats while another becomes involved in an abusive relationship. Wiehl's experience as a former prosecutor and a legal analyst for the television network Fox News provides valuable knowledge for this book and fills the plot with professional details. Overall this is a very engaging thriller, holding the reader captivated until the very last page. The writing is solid and the characters are striking. Perhaps my only criticism is that it was somewhat reminiscent of Mary Higgins Clark's latest book, particularly the subplot with the prosecutor, but overall a book I would recommend reading to anyone who enjoys good mysteries that simultaneously touch upon some of the important social issues facing us today. ...more info
- Worth the read
A quick and interesting read, reminiscent of James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. I hope this one will also be the first of a series. The characters are well developed and interesting, and the plot is intriguing....more info
- Complex, Dark, and Really Entertaining
Face of Betrayal is a complex, political thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat,start to finish. Just when you are certain that you've got it all figured out, you turn the page and find out that you're back to square one on whodunit, why, and what happens next.
In a world where even the most highly-regarded, seasoned mystery writers fall back on themes from previous books, this book is an original, chock full of great character development and excellent dialogue. Good job, Lis !...more info
- Great Summer Read
If you have a long plane flight or train ride, Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl, is the book to take with you. Don't get it for bedtime reading though; you won't get any sleep.
Similar to a news story from several years ago, three friends work together to solve the murder of a young Senate page. The three women, Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, and Reporter Cassidy Shaw, call themselves the Triple Threat Club because of their shared interest in crime.
The Triple Threat Club works against time to locate Kate alive while each battles her own demons. Each one, in spite of attempts to remain professionally aloof, is drawn emotionally into the case as well.
Even though the storyline is familiar because of the similarity to the 2001 headlines, it is not trite. Ms. Wiehl's knowledge as a former federal prosecutor and currently as legal analyst at Fox News allows her to bring details to the behind the scenes investigation.
Face of Betrayal is a simple murder mystery. Unlike many popular mysteries, it doesn't have complicated sub-plots, which makes for relaxing easy reading. The short chapters lead you easily through the story.
Also, unlike the current trend in mysteries, Face of Betrayal is not laced with crude language, gratuitous sex, or gruesome violence. Ms. Wiehl proves that a story can be riveting without being offensive.
Face of Betrayal is a page-turner that should be on everyone's summer reading list. ...more info
- Can't wait
Face of Betrayal (A Triple Threat Novel) Can't wait to start reading this book. ...more info
- Made for TV book
This book reads like an episode from Law & Order or like show. The writers start with headlines, take some liberties with the plot, and give the heroes some personal drama to add some continutity to the next installment (only in this case the drama is pretty heavy handed--Wiehl addresses domestic abuse, stalking, and infertility with her main characters). Like the procedural TV shows--the plot moves fast and is enjoyable though two weeks later it is pretty forgettable. That being said, the book would be fine for a quick beach/airplane read--but no more or less than any other book you would find on the mystery shelves right next to it....more info