Books Magazine

Review: Betrayal by Gregg Olsen

By Bethkemp @BethKemp

Fab YA supernaturally-enhanced crime thriller  

Review: Betrayal by Gregg OlsenI greatly enjoyed Envy, the first in the Empty Coffin series, and found this to be a brilliant follow up. If you haven't read the first one, you may want to check my review of that one instead. I won't have spoilers for Betrayal here, but can't guarantee to avoid them for Envy.
Again, the novel opens with a crime: this time, the brutal stabbing of an exchange student at a Halloween party. We see all the details except the killer's identity, and are then party to the investigation carried out by the Ryan twins, Hayley and Taylor, who share secret psychic/intuitive skills. The writing is detached and very cinematic in feel, as it's descriptive and moves seamlessly between scenes and different characters' perspectives. There are traces of an omniscient narrator, commenting on the personalities of the characters, but this feels interesting and relevant rather than intrusive.
I particularly appreciated the additional insights into the twins' abilities and their history. In Envy, we had learnt about the weird feelings the girls have, and the information they can get access to. We also learnt (along with them) that there were others who knew about their gifts, and this novel develops their backstory further. This information is drip-fed in a natural way through the story and provides an interesting sub-plot which I hope will be taken further with future instalments in the series.
As well as learning more about the supernatural angle, this novel also gives us more insight into the twins' characters, their relationship and other characters in the town of Port Gamble, aka Empty Coffin. I was happy to see more of the girls' friend Beth Lee, and to gain more insight into the twins' family. It's great to read a series book that feels like revisiting a set of friends, and this definitely achieves that for me.
This is still a crime thriller first and foremost and the plotting doesn't disappoint. There are plenty of red herrings and clues to pick through and it wasn't clear to me exactly what had happened and why until the big reveal. As with Envy, I also appreciated the 'true crime' info at the end (some aspects of the story came from the Amanda Knox case).
Overall, this is another hit for YA crime readers, and for those who enjoy stories with a supernatural flavor.

From the Back Cover:

It happened so fast, the way awful things almost always do. The mattress sagged under the weight of another person kneeling on the bed. The first cut wasn't the deepest. It was tentative, a slight jab.
Her manicured fingertips found her abdomen. She barely had time to process the fact that her hand was wet.
The blade of a knife flew at her, burying itself in her throat. It came with speed and fury. Only her killer knew the irony of her last words. That bloody hurts.

Published September 2012 by Splinter
Find more info at Goodreads
My grateful thanks go to the publisher for sending a review copy

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Pineapple Pie


    How are you all surviving these dog days of summer? I have discovered a sweet that will cool everyone down. Pineapple Pie. You can make it with canned... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Kalamitykelli
  • 10 Reasons To Market Yourself More Than A Great Idea

    Reasons Market Yourself More Than Great Idea

    Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
  • In Praise of Liver: Falling in Love with a Widely Reviled Food

    Praise Liver: Falling Love with Widely Reviled Food

    Do you love liver? If you are like almost 50% of Anglo-Western populations, the answer is likely no. In fact, surveys in some countries - UK, US, Canada -... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Infertility, PCOS and the IDM Program

    Infertility, PCOS Program

    Dr. Jason Fung: I was having a discussion with Megan Ramos the other day in our clinic, and she mentioned that yet another patient had gotten pregnant... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Magdalene’s Day 2018

    Magdalene’s 2018

    Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Maggiemcneill
  • Cops and Robbers

    Cops Robbers

    The deluge of GDPR emails has finally dried up, thank the Lord. For the uninitiated, GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Jackscott
  • Holy Grove and Ripple Music Announce the Completion of the Upcoming Album by...

    Holy Grove Ripple Music Announce Completion Upcoming Album Portland's Epic Heavy Doomers

    Ripple Music is thrilled to announce that Portland, Oregon, heavy rockers Holy Grove have just completed the recording of their second full-length, to be... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Ripplemusic

Paperblog Hot Topics