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The Garden of Betrayal Kindle Edition

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Length: 449 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vance follows the success of his first book, Restitution, with another engrossing financial thriller built on his 20 years of experience as a trader at Goldman Sachs. One night in 2003, Mark and Claire Wallace's 12-year-old son, Kyle, goes out to rent a movie on Manhattan's Upper West Side and never returns, leaving his family devastated. In the present, Mark's career as an independent energy analyst gets an unexpected boost when he's offered secret research that appears to predict just how much crude the Saudis expect to pump before the depletion of their oil reserves. In the course of authenticating this data, Mark finds himself increasingly entangled in an ever-widening mystery that includes the murders of several of his friends and eventually encompasses the fate of his missing son. Vance is adept at inserting complex information without slowing the pace of the action or disrupting ongoing suspense.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Seven years after the abduction of their 12-year-old son, the marriage of Mark and Claire Wallace remains deeply strained. But Mark is back at work as an energy-industry analyst, selling his insights into the “sleaziest corner of the financial universe” to hedge funds and still working with a determined NYPD detective to find the person who abducted Kyle. On the day a new natural-gas pipeline is destroyed in Russia, seemingly by terrorists, a new lead reopens the search for Kyle's abductor, creates even deeper fissures in his marriage, and threatens the lives of Mark, Claire, and their now 17-year-old daughter, Kate. To protect them and find Kyle's kidnapper, Mark must thwart a labyrinthine plot to create a global energy monopoly. The Garden of Betrayal is a skillfully crafted, highly intelligent, page-turning thriller, even better than Vance's fine debut novel, Restitution (2007). It's filled with arresting characters: hedge-fund sharks; a wise, kindly OPEC insider; an overly ambitious senator; his odious fixer; Czech killers; Mossad agents; a dazzling Latina petroleum engineer; and Mark's daughter, Kate, whose computer skills help keep her family alive and her parents' marriage intact. The tension mounts relentlessly. Every short chapter offers a jolt. Plausible red herrings abound. Alex Dryden's Red to Black (2009) also used the same energy-monopoly scenario to fine effect. Vance's readers will also wonder if that scenario isn't already underway. --Thomas Gaughan

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom G on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author does a good job of building the plot and the main characters. The story line has emotional interest and the characters are believable. I liked the description of the trading desk atmosphere and the author's understanding of oil depletion as a geopolitical factor. The hero's motivations make sense. Good enough.

The book could be improved by a better development of settings, tensioned interpersonal dialogue with the bad guys, and a more generous socioeconomic mix of people. The storyline had me engrossed for 2/3 of the book and then it went bad. When our hero is in big trouble and just about to go under, the super-jews from Mossad save the day. Where did these guys come from? I don't know how many times I've seen this corny plot element in bad books and tired TV shows. These guys can apparently run through NY with automatic weapons impervious to the local law. The yiddish knuckle busters understand geopolitics, technology and can pull political levers. They operate as illegal spies within America and are loved by all. For me, it was like a pin popped the balloon when this hackneyed plot element rolled in on a white van. It seems the author got tired and needed to end the book.

I'd also suggest staying away from technology like routers and networks unless there's a good grasp of what's really doable. For example, an access point probably can't broadcast into a concrete/steel stairwell. External hard drives are attached to a computer and can't be browsed simply by connecting to a router. Network authentication (a password) is required for access even on a home network. Finally, resetting a router to the default setup would likely terminate Internet connectivity for network users because of an incorrect IP configuration.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alison H on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of "airplane"-type thrillers and many of them are wildly implausible or really badly written. Vance avoids those pitfalls and delivers a well-crafted story with just enough detail about the Wall Street/fossil fuel industry background to keep it interesting. But it's the hero who grabs you--a regular (smart and successful) guy dealing with family issues and work issues and some serious criminals as well, all with insight and a sense of humor. An affecting page-turner. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shauna Holiman on August 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I tucked into the hammock this weekend with Lee Vance's latest, The Garden of Betrayal, and didn't get up until I had devoured every last page. A wonderful, fun read with loads of unexpected plot twists and fully formed characters. There wasn't a single false note. Don't miss it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 2003, three men kidnap twelve year old Kyle Wallace off the streets of Manhattan. Seven years later his parents and sister remain grief-stricken due to their loss lacking any closure as nothing has come of what happened to the boy.

Kyle's father oil analyst Mark Wallace is considered an energy guru on Wall St. However, he finds the recent international scene disturbing. In the Baltic terrorists blow up the pipeline that delivered oil from Russia to Germany. He meets Theresa Roxas who gives Mark information on the Saudis oil reserve that she apparently received form a US senator. Mark's friend hedge-fund player Alex Coleman obtained the same data, but he is found dead in his bathtub. Meanwhile NYPD detective Reggie Kinnard continues when he can to work the now cold case of Kyle's abduction; recently he has begin to link the snatch to Mark's work.

The Garden of Betrayal is an exhilarating financial international thriller that never decides between a family drama and a conspiracy novel. The insight into the finance world is clever especially the brilliant setup that looks like a class in Advanced International Finance 401; while the grieving Wallace trio comes across as genuine. Although the convergence of the two subplots occurs too early, which leaves a long denouement that feels padded; sub-genre fans will appreciate Lee Vance's thriller (see Restitution).

Harriet Klausner
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An exciting, fast-paced thriller that I couldn't put down. I've been disappointed by some of the 'thriller-by-number' books on best-seller lists recently and was wary about spending the money to buy something by a new author. The starred review by Booklist convinced me; it was worth every penny. Appreciate the work Vance put into constructing a complex and well-researched scenario involving energy reserves, world politics and finance. This guy knows what he's talking about and writes well enough to reel you in from the first page. Enjoyed his insights, including touches of humor about the French, plausible twists and turns and unexpected ending. Move over Michael Connelley and Richard North Patterson. Don't care how hard it is to write your third book Mr. Vance, we're waiting!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric F. Facer on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I always find it difficult to rate books of this type. Great literature, it is not. Informative? A bit more so than most thrillers. The author's knowledge of the investment world and the oil industry taught me one or two things. And as far as thriller writers go, his prose is better than most, along with his character development.

But as to the plot, it was far too convoluted, implausible and byzantine. I realize that you always need to suspend disbelief when you read books of this genre; nevertheless, the story line towards the end took so many twists and turns and involved so many different players, countries and governments, it would be easier for me to tell you who didn't participate in the evil conspiracy than who did. And to illustrate my point without giving too much away, at one point in the story France executes an audacious military maneuver with exceptional competence and great success. I can suspend disbelief as much as the next guy, but I'm afraid this stretches me to the breaking point.

Also, the author uses the book's hero to advance his obvious affection for the green agenda and alternative energy sources. Someone needs to let Mr. Vance know that our salvation does not lie in wind power and that virtually every government energy initiative has been an abysmal failure, often doing more harm to the environment than good (Exhibit A: ethanol).

In sum, the book was mildly entertaining, but not one I would heartily endorse.
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