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Book Review: Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

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Seventeen-year-old Katie Converse has just finished a semester as a page in the U.S. Senate. Shortly after her return to her home in Portland for Christmas, she disappears. Federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedge, and television reporter Cassidy Shaw team up to solve the mystery. Can they find Katie before it's too late?

Face of Betrayal marks the debut novel from Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl. Drawing extensively on her experience as a federal prosecutor and television reporter, she brings a healthy dose of realism to these three characters. Many of the events in the book are based on her own life experiences. As she put it in our interview, "names have been changed to protect the guilty". 

Ms. Wiehl and Ms. Henry have created three intriguing characters in Allison, Cassidy, and Nicole. Not only are they friends but they also each have things in their pasts that will no doubt come to the surface in subsequent novels. The relationships between the women are fascinating and it was easy to imagine as I was reading the book real women relating to each other the same way that Allison, Cassidy, and Nicole do throughout the course of the novel. 

One of the more interesting aspects of the book to me was the fact that though the story itself deals with very adult material, there was nothing in the book that I found objectionable. In fact, shortly after I had finished reading the book my 13-year-old daughter picked it up and devoured it in a day. Clearly, Ms. Wiehl and Ms. Henry wrote the book with both adults and teenagers in mind. 

This book accomplishes something very difficult in trying to balance between the relationship story of the three heroines against the backdrop of the ongoing mystery. As a result, it's a book that should appeal to a wide audience and have something that just about any reader can find enjoyable.

There is a definite Christian element to this novel in that one of the heroines, Allison, is a committed believer. However, the novel doesn't try to be a "message" book. Instead, it presents some tough theological questions in the context of the story that will give both Christians and non-Christians a lot to discuss. In fact, a discussion guide provided at the end of the book will give readers a good framework for a small group or book club discussion.

Face of Betrayal is a terrific thriller and a book that I had a hard time putting down. The ending will be a complete surprise but will be entirely feasible to the reader if they pay attention to the clues that are left along the way. This is a great read and by the time you finish you'll be left wanting to read more. Allison, Cassidy, and Nicole are fascinating women and I suspect there will be plenty more to discover in the upcoming novels. Unlike most series novels, I found Face of Betrayal entirely satisfying and believe that the novel can stand on its own. But with this unique trio of protagonists the upcoming novels should be fascinating to read. 

You can also listen to my interviews with Lis Wiehl and April Henry.

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