4 out of 4 stars
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The Betrayal of Justice (The Zachary Blake Betrayal Series Book 2) by Mark M. Bello is about a community in a town called Dearborn. After the recent election of a very divisive president, Dearborn finds itself in the center of attention as multiple attacks against the Muslim community escalates into the perpetrator’s murder. Arya Khan, a young Muslim lady who had been on the search for justice for those attacked, finds herself blamed for the murder. In need of a good lawyer, Zachary Blake takes her case and works to uncover the story to prove her innocence.
I was hooked by this story within a few pages and continued to love it until the end, prompting me to give this novel 4 out of 4 stars. The writing style is very easy to read and is professionally edited. The mistakes that were found were minimal. I also enjoyed the plot and getting to know the many characters that were introduced throughout the story. Readers get to see the point-of-view of most of the characters at least once, something that could have been overwhelming but was not. Instead, it allowed the readers to be aware of multiple sides of the plot without revealing everything. The story was well planned and kept me hooked all the way through.
While I loved the story, the thing that I disliked most was the lack of a middle ground. The story was very black and white, with characters who were either good or were bad. I can think of only a few characters who found themselves within a grey area. One of these characters actually had some amusing motivations behind his career choice. While many stories make use of this dichotomy, the level of realism behind the story made this aspect a little jarring to me. Life is so very rarely purely black and white. However, while jarring, I admit that this setup allows for the themes that the author wishes to get across to be portrayed very clearly.
I think the audience that suits this book the best includes those who love crime stories above the age of thirteen. I would like to make a note that this story confronts prejudice head-on, so if that makes any readers uncomfortable, do not read. I can say that Mark M. Bello uses his story to preach love and acceptance as much as he possibly can, but the setting makes it extremely difficult to separate from the current political climate. While I think this story can be enjoyed by many who have their own strong senses of justice, The Betrayal of Justice does not have lessons that can be taken lightheartedly.
Aside from loving the novel, I also loved how frequently the characters preached love and acceptance. It was nice to see so much diversity in the book, even if it was mostly based on religion for this particular novel. It was even nicer to see how many of these people reached out to each other to demonstrate support in the face of their differences. I think that this lesson – and the others presented in the book – makes The Betrayal of Justice a worthwhile read.
Betrayal of Justice
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