Wednesday, April 23, 2008

John Lescroart: Betrayal

I’ve only read one John Lescroart novel before – The Hunt Club. But I enjoyed it, so I decided to try his latest – Betrayal. As it turn out, Wyatt Hunt makes a cameo appearance in the new book.

The book opens with a Prologue set in 2006. Dismas Hardy is a San Francisco lawyer who agrees to clean up the open cases of a lawyer who has disappeared. The only interesting case deals with the National Guardsman Evan Scholler and the ex-SEAL, contractor Ron Nolan, and an apparent dispute over the beautiful teacher Tara Wheatley.

Oddly enough, after the Prologue we drop back in time and place to 2003 in Iraq. Scholler and his platoon end up providing security for Allstrong Security, a private contractor in Iraq. Allstrong tends to play fast and loose with rules and cash. Nolan is one of their principle trouble-shooters – pun intended. Scholler and Nolan become friends of a sort in Iraq.

Scholler ends up with a traumatic brain injury, and most of his platoon end up dead. Nolan returns to San Francisco, and after his recovery, so does Scholler. But in the mean time Nolan has made a move on Tara Wheatley. She is somewhat confused over whether she is Scholler’s girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend. Nolan plays fast and loose with the truth in making his move. He also still works for Allstrong Security, a company we don’t particularly trust.

Nolan ends up dead; Scholler ends up accused; one of Scholler’s lawyers ends up missing. The rest of the book follows trials, investigations, and theories. There are enough complexities to keep us interested.

The book paints a pretty bleak picture of contractors in Iraq. But it tells a pretty good story of court maneuverings, spun around interesting characters. All told very enjoyable.

1 comment:

Kit said...

Hmm. The first part of the novel, set in Iraq, sounds like it's covering the same ground as John Cusack's new movie, War, Inc. I haven't seen it yet, but I hope to when it comes to Eugene.