THE BETRAYAL by Sabin Willett


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An inoffensive Washington bureaucrat refuses to play patsy for some high-level arms brokers--only to bring down all the weight of their wrath and cunning. The chance discovery that she’s been made the signatory on a highly illegal $50 million Swiss account--proceeds skimmed, so it seems, from years of clandestine arms trading by all the wrong people--sends Louisa Shidler ballistic, especially after she confronts her old mentor, Vice Presidential candidate Royall Stillwell, with her discovery only to have him accuse her of fraud and treason. In the blink of an eye, Louisa’s arrested, and then, after she implausibly declines to implicate Stillwell in court, her daughter Isabel is kidnaped to make sure she never does. Even though Louisa manfully bites her lip to every government official who asks her story, it’s obvious to all of them, from suspicious FBI agent Eugene Phillips to kindly Judge Helen Freegard, that she’s lying. Something’s got to give, and the something is Isabel, who escapes from her captors long enough to phone Louisa. With Isabel at least momentarily out from under the kidnapers’ eyes, Louisa saws off the electronic monitoring device the feds have been using to keep her under house arrest and heads for the open road, and the most satisfying part of this lumpy triple-decker: her race to keep a rendezvous with Isabel before either of them can be caught or killed by their legion of well-connected enemies. Bullets fly, accomplices and co-conspirators get mowed down as fast as they pop up, and Willett barely has time for a sly plug of his first novel, the legal thriller The Deal (1996), before his heroine’s back in D.C. trying to build a legal case against the shadowy killers who set her up. Tense action sequences; unexpectedly feisty heroine; dozens of secretly tape-recorded conversations; enough legal detail to keep lawyer-readers contentedly disagreeing for years. (First printing of 75,000)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-44853-5
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998


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