Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review of "Betrayal of Trust: A J.P. Beaumont Novel" by J.A. Jance

When Governor Marsha Longmire of Washington finds a snuff film on her step-grandson Josh's cell phone she calls her old classmate, Detective J.P. Beaumont (Beau), to investigate. The film shows the death of a young girl during "the choking game", apparently a fad among some teens. Beau and his wife Melissa, also a homicide detective, get on the case. They question Josh, who purports to know nothing about the film. Josh is uneasy however, and further developments suggest he might know more than he admits.

Beau and Melissa soon trace the dissemination of the film to "Janie's House", a facility where poor or homeless teens can hang out, shower, wash their clothes, have access to computers and cell phones, and so on. The detectives find that the Governor's family has a connection with the facility since Longmire's daughter - along with some of her private school classmates - volunteer there. They also discover that bullying emails found on Josh's computer were sent from Janie's House.

Additional deaths complicate the case, as does sabotage at Janie's House. With the involvement of the Governor's family the detectives need to tread carefully. Nevertheless, they skillfully navigate the investigation, and the case is resolved in a highly satisfactory manner.

There's also a sub-plot in which Beau finds out more about his father (who died before he was born) and the Texas family he never knew. This helped round out Beau's history but didn't add much to the plot.

The book is well-written with believable characters and interesting twists. Good mystery, highly recommended.

Rating: 4 stars

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