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The Betrayers (Lieutenant George Hastings) Hardcover – March 6, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A simple traffic stop gone bad propels St. Louis cops Lt. George Hastings and Det. Bobby Cain into a world of trouble they hadn't bargained for in Hunt's fourth novel, an intriguing, unsentimental police procedural. Two police officers are machine-gunned when they pull over a reckless driver. One of them had been working undercover in narcotics. Could this be payback time? Seasoned veteran Hastings and the rest of the force cope with their own reactions to the loss while they investigate the brutal killings. Hunt (Before They Make You Run) reveals the wear and tear of work in the precinct on family and home life, and his landscape abounds with quirky characters of all stripes; some are great company and others can crack wise and kill at the same time. At the center, Hastings, a divorced and devoted father, struggles to maintain his own version of the straight and narrow with varied results. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Police officers Chris Hummel and Wade Childers are making what seems a routine traffic stop when they are machine-gunned by the occupants of a second car. To St. Louis PD homicide detective George Hastings, the shooting has all the earmarks of a carefully planned execution. Uncomfortably saddled with a politically connected partner, Hastings backtracks the careers of Hummel and Childers. The latter was too new to carry any department baggage, but Hummel had previously been undercover for a year, and his testimony convicted a big player in the local methamphetamine market. Hummel was married but also was a ladies' man whose liaisons were short-lived and always seemed to end well. In a seemingly unrelated incident, a Chicago hit man is the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt and heads to St. Louis to exact his revenge. Author Hunt, who just appeared on the crime scene a couple years ago with his Maitland series (Maitland, 2004), is quickly building an impressive catalog of series titles and stand-alones that compares favorably to Elmore Leonard's early urban crime novels. His protagonists are intelligent, self-aware, and capable of swift, harsh action. And no one is better at capturing the flirty-but-keep-your-distance banter between the sexes. Tracy and Hepburn got nothin' on this guy. Plan ahead and clear a shelf for James Patrick Hunt. He's the real deal. Wes Lukowsky
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Product Details

  • Series: Lieutenant George Hastings (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312362765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312362768
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In St. Louis two county deputies Chris Hummel and Wade Childers make what seems to be a routine traffic stop of Jimmy Rizza, only to be killed by Mike Dillon. St Louis Homicide Detective Lieutenant George Hastings leads the inquiries into the murders of the law enforcement officials that have all the cops outraged and in turn concerns the criminal elements who fear mass intrusion in their business.

The first thing George realizes that makes the case seem less random than first thought is the weapon of choice was a machine gun. George wonders if the homicides are drug related with Hummel and Childers lured into a trap. As his superior Captain Karen Brady places increasingly unfair pressure on him to catch the culprits, George also feels unhappy with that young punk son of an affluent lawyer, Sergeant Bobby Cain, assigned to assist him. Ignoring his feelings of being a sandwich meat, he considers who could have set up such an operation including the hit order. Incarcerated drug lord Steve Treats or vicious felon John Zanatelli come to mind but what makes the investigation convoluted are the follow up executions that occur to eradicate the trail.

Though the murder victims are different the fascinating use of a crime thriller to look at dysfunctional group dynamics will remind the audience of Fritz Lang's classic 1930s movie M (starring Peter Lorre). The investigation takes a back seat to the interactivities and relationships within the two prime groups. For instance, George has no respect for or trusts either his direct supervisor or the sergeant; the same holds true within the criminal circles as Jimmy only relies on his brother while Matt has his machine gun. Fans of tense fast-paced crime thrillers will want to read this terrific police procedural.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
James Patrick Hunt's hard hitting fourth novel, The Betrayers, begins on a cold November night as two St. Louis beat cops, Deputies Chris Hummel and Wade Childers, sit in their patrol car, discussing how to handle the owner of a Pathfinder they've pulled over. Although all seems normal, there's something about the guy that gives them pause. Suddenly, a black Pontiac Bonneville pulls up behind them; before they can react, machinegun fire erupts from that vehicle, killing them both. The driver of the Pathfinder then leaves with his compatriots in the Bonneville.

Enter Lieutenant George Hastings, saddled with the burden of handling the highly volatile situation. With few solid leads, Hastings is forced to follow tips from any source, no matter how tenuous or shaky. One, which posits that Hummel might have been on the take, leads him down a dangerous path, towards a brutal killer with enemies on both sides of the law.

As you might have guessed from the title, the novel delves deeply into betrayal and its effects on individuals and groups. All of Hunt's characters are driven by the act of betrayal, either committing it themselves, or in dealing with the collateral damage those acts precipitate. His examination of this complex milieu is simultaneously horrifying and uplifting, illustrating the heights and depths law enforcement officials and criminals can rise or fall to. Hunt manages this tight rope act beautifully, expertly evoking his eclectic set of characters, sometimes making you despise the cops, sometimes creating sympathy for the crooks, but always holding you spellbound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on March 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
On a late fall evening, two police officers are machine-gunned down on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. The questions asked by the officers on the scene were: Did the cops pull over the wrong person, or did one or both of them have a connection to something else?

Lieutenant George Hastings 'catches' the case. Because his partner is in the hospital, he's paired with the well-connected detective Bobby Cain. The two police officers focus on the slain officers' lives to determine if one or both was involved with something that got them killed.

Slain officer Chris Hummel did a year-long stint undercover and his work contributed to the arrest and conviction of a big-time career criminal. Cain is not sure that Lt. Hastings' take on the case is correct, but he reluctantly follows Hastings orders. The trail begins to lead, not to Hummel's work as an undercover narcotics officer, but to the women in his life.

The Betrayers is filled with good cops, a bad cop, evil mobsters, an assassin and the women these men are involved with personally. The plot is fascinating and it's a fast read. My criticism is that there are so many characters that it's difficult to get to know them very well. Some of them show up and then disappear. And those that stick around, even the bad ones, weren't well-developed enough to really care about them or dislike them.

Armchair Interviews says: This is a good read, but based on the plot, could have been much better.
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By ggma on April 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Didn't get very far with this, started out kind of lame and boring with too background info given on each and every character which just isn't necessary and too much profanity inserted in every conversation and I don't think every police officer has to use bad language. The story just didn't start out with anything to make me want to grab it and hang on and just seemed slow and boring
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