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Shadow of Betrayal Hardcover – July 7, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description
The meeting place was carefully chosen: an abandoned church in rural Ireland just after dark. For Jonathan Quinn--a freelance operative and professional “cleaner”--the job was only to observe. If his cleanup skills were needed, it would mean things had gone horribly wrong. But an assassin hidden in a tree assured just that. And suddenly Quinn had four dead bodies to dispose of and one astounding clue--to a mystery that is about to spin wildly out of control.

Three jobs, no questions. That was the deal Quinn had struck with his client at the Office. Unfortunately for him, Ireland was just the first. Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend--the lethal Orlando--has a new assignment touched off by the killings in Ireland. Their quarry is a U.N. aide worker named Marion Dupuis who has suddenly disappeared from her assignment in war-torn Africa. When Quinn finally catches a glimpse of her, she quickly flees, frantic and scared. And not alone.

For Quinn the assignment has now changed. Find Marion Dupuis, and the child she is protecting, and keep them from harm. If it were only that easy.

Soon Quinn and Orlando find themselves in a bunker in the California hills, where Quinn will unearth a horrifying plot that is about to reach stage critical for a gathering of world leaders--and an act of terror more cunning, and more insidious, than anyone can guess.

Fast, smart, sleek, and stunning, Shadow of Betrayal is vintage Brett Battles: a gritty, gripping masterpiece of suspense, a thriller that makes the pulse pound--and stirs the heart as well.

Amazon Exclusive: Brett Battles on Shadow of Betrayal

When I wrote my first Jonathan Quinn novel, The Cleaner, I had no idea I was writing what would become the first of a series. It was just the book that was in me at the time. I had this idea about a character who was a freelance operative with the specialty of making bodies disappear. Most times his assignments would go off smoothly, but it was the times they didn’t that I would write about.

Then a friend suggested this wasn’t just one book; it was a series. As soon as he said it, I realized he was right. Creating a Quinn series immediately appealed to my sense of story. I’ve always loved the idea of following characters over several novels. I love to see them grow and change, and to see the turns their lives take.

I don’t know about you, but along with a deep love of reading, I also grew up watching television. There were a lot of shows I would watch faithfully, such as Emergency, MASH, and The Rockford Files.

But the thing that used to frustrate me, and by frustrate I mean drive me crazy, was seeing things happen to the main characters in one episode, and in the next episode it was like those things had never happened. The characters didn’t learn anything from the past. It was like they reset to zero and started over every week. And what about those cool guest characters that sometimes showed up? Why did they have to be there for only one episode?

I wanted more. I wanted story arcs that were longer than just a single episode. I wanted things that happened one week to affect what happened the next. And I wanted minor characters to last for more than one episode, and even when they were gone, I didn’t want them forgotten.

This experience, this desire, influenced my writing without me even realizing it. When I looked back at even early drafts of The Cleaner, I realized that I had set up different storylines that I could carry forward into the next book and beyond. So when I started to write The Deceived the second Quinn book, I already had a rich history to draw on and expand.

And when I wrote the latest Quinn novel, Shadow of Betrayal, it was even easier. Quinn’s world has, in many ways, become second nature to me. I don’t even have to think about what he’s going to do in any given situation, I just know. But even all that said, there are times when Quinn surprises me.

In Shadow of Betrayal we see Quinn go up against perhaps his greatest foe. And we also begin to get a glimpse of Quinn’s life before he became a cleaner, a life he has tried hard to hide.

But there is another aspect of writing a series that an author must pay close attention to, one that is as important as the continuing evolution of the characters. A series writer must create novels that also stand on their own. A new reader should be able to come to a series at any book--the first, the fourth, the sixth, or even the last--and still have a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. It can’t be a prerequisite that the reader reads from the first book to the most recent.

It’s a challenge, yes. But an enjoyable one. Just another part of the puzzle in building the world that--in my case--Quinn calls home. --Brett Battles

(Photo © Moses Sparks)

From Publishers Weekly

Ludlum fans will enjoy Battles's third thriller to feature Jonathan Quinn, though it falls short of the standard set by The Cleaner (2007) and The Deceived (2008). A botched information exchange near Cork, Ireland, results in a number of dead bodies, but Quinn, an operative-for-hire who specializes in resolving messy situations, manages to retrieve an envelope with the vital data for his client, Peter, head of a shadowy agency known simply as "the Office." Peter dispatches Quinn to deal with another botched operation, this time in New York City, where Quinn stumbles on the murdered corpse of Christopher Jackson, the deputy director of National Intelligence. Predictably, Quinn ends up framed for Jackson's murder. In his effort to clear his name and track down the true culprits, he encounters a sinister group called LP, which was behind the market manipulations that led to the recent worldwide financial meltdown. LP aims not only to control the U.S. "but also nearly twenty percent of the rest of the world." Action junkies not expecting surprises will be satisfied.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038534158X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341585
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brett Battles is the author of over twenty novels and several short stories. His novel THE DECEIVED (part of his Jonathan Quinn series) won a Barry Award for Best Thriller. He is one of the founding members of Killer Year, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. He lives and writes in Los Angeles. More info available at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on July 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his three Jonathan Quinn novels, Brett Battles definitely has demonstrated that he belongs on center stage with the great suspense/thriller writers of today. Each of the three, "The Cleaner", "The Deceived", and now, "Shadow Of Betrayal" demonstrate Battles' ability to write highly literate, tightly plotted novels that grab the reader from the first chapter and leave him/her exhausted from the frenetic fast-paced action. The reader gets caught up in the action and prose to such an extent that time passes relentlessly yet almost unknowingly.

In "Shadow Of Betrayal", Quinn is still working off his debt to Peter and "The Office" when things spin out of control. A "cleaner" usually watches and observes unless called upon to clean up a mess that unexpectedly occurs--a clean up that might include removing evidence and clues or might include taking physical action. After a failed assignment in Ireland, Quinn is ordered to find Marion Dupuis, a UN aide, who is on the run from kidnappers with a five-year-old African child with Down syndrome.

Quinn and his small but deadly crew of Nate, his protege, and Orlando, his lover as well as an assassin, follow Marion's trail from Montreal, to Washington, D.C., to New York and ultimately to the desert and coast of California. Along the way, old nemeses reappear and, as usual, politics in Washington get in the way. Who is stealing developmentally disabled children and why? What is that shadowy organization, LP, doing in the center of things? Who is playing and manipulating whom in this thriller that contains mysteries within mysteries? It all leads to a diabolically evil plot that many readers may find disturbing in its callousness.

Battles' books can stand strongly on their plotting, pacing, and action.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Keith R Howlett on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Be careful this is the UK version of Shadow of Betrayral under the title The Unwanted even though it only has 400 pages. Be careful.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on August 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Okay, that's not a terribly original observation since others here have also compared Jonathan Quinn with the other two espionage heros. Be that as it may, this was a one sitting book for me. The plot by the terrorists is as disgusting and stomach turning as I've come across in this genre. It's well handled though and the suspense towards the end is excruciating. This is the first Battles book I've read and I'll be reading the preceding two within a couple of months. Highly recommended without reservation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joseph on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent plot, easy to follow. Waiting for the next Battles's adventure. Love the characters. I really enjoyed reading this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stones River on August 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second book I've read in this series and I'm hooked. One part Jack Bauer, one part Jason Bourne, and one part James Bond, this book is a page-burner! I love the characters, the action, the locations, and the great twists and turns in the plot. Brett Battle's books are the great escape I had been looking for!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ron E. Kendricks on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a let down! Having stuck through the 400 pages, hoping it would get better, I was left with a horrible awareness that this writer uses contrived circumstances and takes literary license to the extreme, in that they are just TOO unbelievable!

A good mystery thriller needs to be constructed on coincidences that you could somehow stretch you imagination to follow along with the plot. This is a sad reality of the current crop of international thrillers.....the thrill might be there but you have to suspend reality in order to believe that the impossible is possible.

If it were fantasy plot devices,it might work! But no way in the real world would all the contrived circumstances, plot-devices,and connections be real! Tom Clancey and Vince Lynn are able to pull it off. But Brett Battles and Brad Thor's thrillers are dismal failures.

In this novel, the words of one of the characters in Brett Battles' book sums up the whole problem with his and Brad Thor's writings:

"I guess," Nate said, his tone indicating he didn't believe it.
Quinn didn't believe it, either.
It would have been too much of a coincidence.
And Quinn just didn't believe in it.

AMEN, and DITTO for the readers of this book as well.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett VINE VOICE on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Quinn is a 'cleaner' - a guy that sorts the mess other people leave behind, usually the disposal of bodies and the cleaning up of assorted mayhem. This is the third book in the 'cleaner' series and has many themes that fans of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne would recognise: highly skilled operatives, shadowy organisations within Government, conspiracy and a lot of action.

In this story, a UN worker and the child she is protecting are being hunted and Quinn and his small team need to find her and understand what is going on. Cue car chases, gunfights and mysterious bad guys.

Actually I like Quinn and the author does weave a fast paced story, while actually trying for character development so that Quinn and his chums do change over the novels and evolve with their experiences and relationships. This is fast moving and easy reading, I finished it in two days, having fallen into the 'just one more chapter' trap and then finding it was 2am!

That is not to say this is not flawed, the plot that Quinn ends up trying to stop is a bit convoluted and there are elements that could have perhaps been better resolved (probably setting things up for the next book) in a climax that was a little abrupt. But having said that, it is a fast moving thriller that fans of the series will enjoy. If you are new to the series, then I would suggest you start with the first one, "The Cleaner".
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