Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles

About the Author:

Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of two acclaimed novels in the Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel, and The Deceived, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller. He is at work on the fourth book in the series.

You can visit Brett Battles online at

About the Book:

The meeting place was carefully chosen: an abandoned church in rural Ireland just after dark. For Jonathan Quinn—a freelance operative and professional “cleaner”—the job was only to observe. If his cleanup skills were needed, it would mean things had gone horribly wrong. But an assassin hidden in a tree assured just that. And suddenly Quinn had four dead bodies to dispose of and one astounding clue—to a mystery that is about to spin wildly out of control.

Three jobs, no questions. That was the deal Quinn had struck with his client at the Office. Unfortunately for him, Ireland was just the first. Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend—the lethal Orlando—has a new assignment touched off by the killings in Ireland. Their quarry is a U.N. aide worker named Marion Dupuis who has suddenly disappeared from her assignment in war-torn Africa. When Quinn finally catches a glimpse of her, she quickly flees, frantic and scared. And not alone.

For Quinn the assignment has now changed. Find Marion Dupuis, and the child she is protecting, and keep them from harm. If it were only that easy.

Soon Quinn and Orlando find themselves in a bunker in the California hills, where Quinn will unearth a horrifying plot that is about to reach stage critical for a gathering of world leaders—and an act of terror more cunning, and more insidious, than anyone can guess.

Fast, smart, sleek, and stunning, Shadow of Betrayal is vintage Brett Battles: a gritty, gripping masterpiece of suspense, a thriller that makes the pulse pound—and stirs the heart as well.

I was lucky enough to get the author to agree to an interview. This is what he answered:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Quinn had previously promised his primary client that he would do three jobs without any questions to pay them back for help they gave him when he was working on a private matter. In Shadow of Betrayal, those jobs markers are called in. Quinn finds himself looking for a woman who is traveling with a child not her own, and not knowing why until a larger conspiracy begins to be revealed. It’s a conspiracy that reaches into many levels of the U.S. government, and threatens the stability of not only the United States, but also of several of its closest allies.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

Two causes are very dear to my heart. One would be the treatment of people with special needs, specifically Down Syndrome, as my own son was born with Downs. And the advocacy of adoption. Adoption has played a large role in my family, both extended and immediate. It’s a wonderful thing for all involved.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

I hope so. I hope that I’m constantly doing that. That each book ends up being better than the last because of my desire to always get better.

Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?

There have been so many, of course. Our best teachers as writers are the books we read, and, therefore, the authors who have written them. For me it’s been authors like Graham Greene, Robert Ludlum, Alistair MacLean, John le Carre, Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, and so many others. I was also very influenced by the late author William Relling, Jr. Not so much for what he wrote, but because he was my mentor and my friend, and helped me to constantly work at improving my craft.

What are you currently working on?

I’m actually working on several projects at once, each at a different stage. I’m finishing up the revisions on the next Quinn adventure. I’m in the planning stages on the Quinn adventure I’ll start writing in the fall, and I’m working on a story outside the series, though not quite sure when that one will be done.

You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?

Okay, the smart move would be to take something like The Ultimate Survival Guide, but who needs to know how to stay alive? You want to be entertained! Me, I’d probably take something like Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s an excellent, lengthy read, and when you’re done it would probably make a handy hammer.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

That what keeps us alive is the desire to keep learning.

What is your favorite past-time?

I love to travel. I love going to places I’ve never been and returning to places I’ve spent a lot of time at. Probably my favorite thing is to go someplace that is truly different from where I grew up. Everything becomes fascinating there, even down to how they cross the street or package their gum. Put me on a plane heading almost anywhere and I’m happy. Put me on a plane as it’s pulling up to the arrival gate so I don’t have to experience the multiple hours in the air, I’m even happier!

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