4 out of 4 stars
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Betrayal of Faith is a legal thriller about down on his luck attorney Zachary Blake. It begins with the story of two young boys who return from a church camping trip and are not acting the same as when they left.
The Tracey family were happy and very active in their church. Jim Tracey then dies in an accident, leaving the boys fatherless. They then become close to Father Bill, who is almost a surrogate father for them and helps them through this difficult time. Father Bill is transferred out and in comes Father Gerry. The boys do not take to him as they did with Father Bill. However, the family continues to stay active in the church.
Father Gerry then takes them on a weekend camping trip, but they return emotionally distant, quiet, and angry. Obviously to their mother Jennifer, something happened on this trip. As she always did, she discusses the issue with Father Jon, the Pastor at the church. He recommends the boys see church psychiatrist, Dr. Rothenberg, which the church gladly pays for.
Unbeknownst to Jennifer, there are calls made and instructions given by the “Coalition” to both the Pastor and psychiatrist to help the boys, but to protect the church. Jennifer then finds out her boys were sexually assaulted by Father Gerry on the camping trip. The Pastor and Dr. Rothenberg do not agree with keeping it quiet. They suggest bringing a civil suit against the church.
Jennifer contacts the attorney that handled her husband's accidental death suit, Zachary Blake. He has fallen a long way since she last saw him. From a multi-million dollar firm, to a small, dark office in a bad part of town. When Zach agrees to take her case, all he can see are dollar signs and a line to his old life. However, Jennifer is not in it for the money. She wants her boys to be able to find justice and prevent this from happening to others.
The story turns to trying to outsmart a group that is trying to sweep the problem under the carpet and get justice for the boys. It shows the good aspects and people of the church, how to decide what is good for you versus the good of all, and some of the legal process that goes on behind the scenes.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and thrilling. In this day when sexual assault in the church is always in the news, it covers what may or may not happen on both sides. Though we know from the beginning what happened to the boys, it was not done distastefully or too graphically. It was not a bashing of any specific church or religion. Being written by an attorney, it included legal information, trial procedures and practices, but not overly complicated.
I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of the legal information was written so that I could understand it and not over my head. I found it intriguing and informative. It did not detract from the story, it added to it.
Character development was just right. I found the hero characters likable, even with their faults. No characters were so good or squeaky clean that they were unlikable and not believable. The bad people were developed and written that they were more narcissistic and never believed what they were doing is wrong.
The story makes you think that some of things could be true, without saying that they are. Groups like the “Coalition “, do they really exist and would a religious order condone blackmail and murder? This is what makes a good book of fiction.
There were very few grammatical errors and it was a good read. Fast-paced, but not too fast. For these reasons, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. Can't wait to read the next book.
Betrayal of Faith
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