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The Garden of Betrayal Audible – Unabridged

3.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first half of the book is very good and holds a lot of promise. The second half is a rambling, random let down. It introduces a whole range of new characters who are not developed, abandons issues that had been thoughtfully expressed in the first half, and offers an explosion of violence to replace the more thoughtful themes that were set up earlier.

The book set out to be a topical engaging thriller set in the world of high finance, that both entertains and educates. This is not easy to pull off. But the fact that it is difficult, does not justify the author essentially giving up at half time. I think he ran out of time and energy. The author almost suggests as much in the acknowledgments. Its too bad. After all that work, he basicly threw in the towel.

In the acknowledgements, the author says the second book is the hard one. Its sort of an apology as the author is explaining he knows he dropped the ball. Its strange because this is not an author who needs the money, or needs to be beholden to the time pressure imposed by an editor.

Another thing I suspect is that this book is written to try to get picked up for a movie. This explains all the extraneous violence introduced to the main character, previously a believable seemingly normal professional.

Even thought I was ultimately disappointed, I enjoyed the book. I will read his next book. . Its exactly the kind of book I like, but I hope the author is more disciplined on his next effort.
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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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