4 out of 4 stars
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Betrayal of Faith is a shocking, poignant and memorable book written by Mark M. Bello.
As soon as Jennifer Tracey sees her sons, 14-year old Kenny and 12 year-old Jake, when they return from a camping trip with the new assistant pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Church, she knows something is terribly wrong. As a faithful believer, Jenny turns to the church for help. When she learns the reasons for her children’s altered behavior and the extent of the harm done to them, Jenny starts a crusade against the perpetrator. Her fight for justice, however, is not going to be easy, as the Coalition, a secret church organization that controls or prevents any possible damage to the integrity of the church, is aware of her every move.
Her lawyer hires an investigator who soon discovers that there are two other families in Ohio who may have the same experience as the Traceys’. The families disappear without apparent reason and the only person who might have some answers just ends up dead.
With a fast pacing and told in the third person perspective, Betrayal of Faith is a shocking, touching, and a moving book about religion, faith, love, friendship, abuse and betrayal. It is a story about doing what is right and seeing it through. It is about redemption and vindication and is written in easy to read style. Scenes are vividly described and dialogues are realistically phrased. The author creates a set of well-developed and unforgettable characters with solid back stories from Jennifer Tracey, the fearless and loving mother who seeks justice for her children; Zachary Blake, the lawyer who is trying to get his career and life back and Micah Love, the brilliant and caring investigator, among others.
Aside from the touch of romance which lightens up an otherwise serious and egregious subject, the author also, very considerately, includes explanations of court proceedings apparently for laymen. Moreover, the author, very carefully, describes the effects of abuse not only to the victims but also to the entire family. The depiction is so vividly painful that I find myself fervently praying that this story is not based on actual events but a product of the author’s imagination. It is just too terrible and devastating to be true.
All in all, it is one great and very enjoyable book. However, as much as I appreciate the information about court proceedings, the explanations sound like excerpts from a college textbook instead of passages from a novel. Furthermore, the book features a very delicate and controversial issue against men of the cloth particularly the Catholic Church. Though some readers may appreciate the courage and passion of the author for writing this novel, others may find it offensive to their chosen religion.
I, therefore, easily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is interesting, moving, touching, inspiring and memorable. I recommend it to readers who enjoy a good crime and cover-up story. Some subjects and scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
Betrayal of Faith
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