Day 51: Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
Favorite quote: “Besides, when she made it big, she’d be able to look Anderson Cooper in the face and tell him the backstory that made Hollywood’s misadventures seem like the boring middle part of a YA novel”
When I wrote my review of Envy I said at the end that if the positive elements were carried through and some adjustments were made that Betrayal could be stellar. I’m thrilled to say that I was exactly right. Betrayal was everything I had hoped for after reading Envy. I knew that the characters were already compelling, the storytelling talents of Olsen were excellent and so this was Envy minus the few flaws of the first book.
The story of Betrayal is wonderful in its execution. The intertwining arcs between the murder of Olivia Grant and that of the twins works beautifully, and with the foundation having already been set there didn’t have to be such a major focus on the powers that the twins have. I can’t overstate enough how much of a difference that made. Gone is the cheesy factor, the repetition and the sillyness. In its place is a thrilling murder mystery that seems to be linked to just about everyone in Port Gamble in some way. The different points of view that were used in Envy no longer drove me crazy, but were executed so well and so seamlessly that the flow of the story was never interrupted and the story just received the enriching side affect of having more details to go on. We knew more about what the supporting characters were thinking, and it was fantastic.
Speaking of the characters, talk about refined! I said in Envy that because of the massive amount of character points of view there were a lot of info dumps to compensate. In Betrayal we know about the vast majority of the characters that are used and are given just slight reminders as to what role they play. Again this helps the flow of the story while keeping the characters both interesting and fresh. The twins don’t seem as cartoonish in quality, Beth actually (in a stunning turn of events) becomes human, or at least close, and a plethora of other characters are defined further in a more natural way. Even with characters that were unpleasant (Brianna anyone?) I found that I enjoyed reading about them, something that isn’t easily done.
The murder mystery in Betrayal will leave you breathless until the end. The book as a whole left me pining for a third book and while I don’t know for certain if there is one I have heard about a possible title Guilty. I can’t wait to read it if and when it comes out. I definitely enjoyed Betrayal and I think any reader, especially YA fans would too. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 52!