In this action-packed thriller sequel to Envy, foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death after a party–and the prime suspect is her best friend. As twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan get pulled into the aftermath of this Amanda Knox-like crime, they realize nothing is what it seems. Could it be betrayal of the ultimate kind?
Betrayal features real-life crime-solving techniques, heart-stopping suspense, plenty of red herrings, hard-hitting ethical questions, and information about the Amanda Knox case that inspired the novel. As the crime unravels, so does the twins’ past…and they must face off against a family member who may unexpectedly have carried out the worst betrayal of all.
Before I begin this review with my thoughts on Gregg Olsen’s Betrayal I have to admit I very rarely read YA titles – Young Adult. I’m not sure why but I’ve tended to stay away from them over the last couple of years but given the fact I thoroughly enjoyed Gregg Olsen’s Victim Six – reviewed last year – I thought I’d give it a go.
Victim Six is the story of a depraved serial killer and a book I couldn’t recommend highly enough. It’s a terrifically strong adult title that leaves very little to the imagination. With this in mind I tackled Betrayal.
Filled to the brim with references to Twitter and popular culture among the younger element the book is obviously written with the youth in mind and to be honest a big portion of the book was lost on me! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the twitter references and how the author used the #hashtag popularity used today – this was handled well and never took precedence over the story.
I followed the Amanda Knox case – as did many of my generation – and thought the premise behind this book an interesting one. The story is well paced and keeps the reader guessing until the dénouement, the author well used to sending the reader down one path and then another – this novel is no exception.
Characterisation is an interesting one. The majority are spoiled and self-centred, I just didn’t take to anyone apart from Beth. Young or old, sister or mother, no one seemed to care about anyone but themselves but I daresay this is what the author intended, to evoke a passion in the reader. Whether it’s one of love or hate, Olsen certainly succeeds.
Forensics and an introduction to how the police and crime scene operatives investigate a murder was well thought out and delivered. I really enjoyed this part of the book.
As I have already alluded, I do not make it a habit of reading YA titles and although I enjoyed the story – given my interest in the Amanda Knox case in Perugia – I didn’t like it as much as Victim Six – but then for me that book is going to be hard to beat. Given that the author has included copious references to the kids in school I have no doubt this book will hit the proverbial spot with kids and young adults alike. Unfortunately I am no longer in that category!
The second in the Empty Coffin series I would recommend reading the first book – Envy – as there are a number of references that would make more sense if the reader read both in the intended order.
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Splinter (22 Aug 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1454903503
- ISBN-13: 978-1454903505