Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review: "Betrayed" by Dee Henderson

During my college years, I probably would have said that Dee Henderson was my favorite writer. Her O'Malley series was one of my favorites, and I devoured everything she wrote. But aside from a novella I read (and reviewed) a couple years ago, I haven't read any of her books in probably ten years.

This novella, Betrayed, appears in The Cost of Betrayal, a novella collection that also includes entries from Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason. (It will also be available for ebook purchase by itself next month.)

Janelle Roberts is freed--thanks to people she doesn't know--after serving six years of a twenty-year sentence for a murder she did not commit. But a murderer is still at large, and Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another betrayal.

As I began reading this novella, I felt like I was coming in partway through the story. Turns out I was, in a way—Paul and Ann, the people instrumental in getting Janelle released from prison (and really the main characters of the first half of the novella), were the protagonists of Henderson's Full Disclosure (which I haven't read).

The first half of the novella focused on Ann's quest to clear Janelle's name, and the evidence she discovered and the conclusions she drew were really interesting to me. This part of the novella reads like a cold case mystery, and it's a bit slow, but it's also totally engaging.

Once Janelle is pardoned, the perspective shifts to Janelle and to Greg, the man helping her mentally and emotionally recover from her ordeal. This portion of the story wasn't nearly as interesting to me ... until Janelle decided to confront the person Ann believed committed the murder. But even then, I expected the suspense to ratchet up, and it didn't. Also, the book ends with zero resolution regarding the murder. It makes me wonder if maybe Janelle will be the main character of a future novel.

There's also a possible romance between Janelle and Greg, only there's no sign that they like each other until Greg's last chapter. The romance isn't built up at all; it's simply stated as a possibility for the future. I didn't sense a bit of chemistry between the two.

Ultimately, I'm torn when I think about this novella. The story is incredibly interesting, and I enjoyed the twists and turns. I definitely wouldn't classify this as romantic suspense or even suspense; it's definitely of a mystery, which is fine if you know that's what you're getting. But the relationships between characters didn't ring true, and that left me feeling a little disappointed.  2-1/2 stars.

Preorder the novella.
Buy The Cost of Betrayal, which contains this novella and two others.
Read my review of Henderson's Missing (2-1/2 stars).

Dee Henderson is the author of 24 novels, including Immortality, An Unfinished Death, Taken, Unspoken and the acclaimed O’MALLEY series. Several titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller list; Full Disclosure has also appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her books have won or been nominated for several industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award and the ECPA Gold Medallion. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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