cover image When Men Betray

When Men Betray

Webb Hubbell. Beaufort (Midpoint, dist.), $24.95 (330p) ISBN 978-0-8253-0729-4

Hubbell, a former Little Rock, Ark., mayor, puts his experience as a public servant to good use in his ambitious first novel. Washington, D.C.–based antitrust lawyer Jack Patterson has struggled to balance professional success with personal turmoil—specifically, the death of his wife, Angie. All of that is forgotten, however, when his best childhood friend, Woody Cole, fatally shoots U.S. Sen. Russell Robinson in the rotunda of the Arkansas capitol, on national TV no less. Convinced by Cole’s mother to come back to Little Rock, the place he swore never to return to 25 years earlier, this Washington insider is soon representing a killer in court amid a media frenzy. Jack must also contend with professional hit men, as well as the ghosts of his troubled past with the city. While the author overloads the narrative with incident, those with an appetite for a cleverly detailed account of political power dynamics and a modern-day witch hunt will be rewarded. (May)