cover image Betrayed


Jeanette Windle, . . Tyndale, $13.99 (365pp) ISBN 978-1-4143-1474-7

Windle, author of the Christian suspense novels Firestorm and CrossFire , pens a flawed but engaging thriller with faith themes. Vicki Andrews, 25, is an inspector for Children at Risk, which funnels money to children’s projects around the world. Her latest assignment takes her to Guatemala City to determine if a faith-based mission may be a model for future partnerships. There, Vicki’s sister, Holly, a passionate environmentalist with Wildlife Rescue Center, is attacked and brutally murdered. In a scene that strains credibility, Vicki discovers her sister just as she is dying. When Vicki journeys to the Sierra de las Minas biosphere, it becomes a journey into her tragic past, which childhood trauma has prevented her from remembering. Her trip also holds the key to the secret of her parents’ deaths and perhaps her sister’s. Despite some slow pacing and too many suspensions of disbelief, Windle is timely in introducing readers to political rationalizations that cost innocent lives and ably paints the landscape of Guatemala. However, she portrays the tensions between environmental groups and children’s mission groups unevenly; greater subtlety would have made her points more powerful. A gratifying twist toward the end will ensure that readers make it to the final pages. (Mar.)