‘Betrayal’ by Sharon Brownlie

Betrayal
Betrayal
4-stars

Caught in an endless spiral of rejection and abuse, Helen King is lured into a life of drugs and prostitution. Struggling to relinquish her addiction, she happens upon a former teacher, an encounter that opens up old wounds and sparks a new challenge – retribution. Trailing the teacher to Scotland, Helen sets out to track down all the people from her past who’ve let her down. And when she finds them, she plots her revenge.

The story alternates between the protagonist and the police team, where, in a male-dominated world, Detective Inspector Belinda Brennan is tasked with investigating an apparently motiveless murder. But the investigation is hindered by lack of evidence and with very little to go on, the motive for the killing eludes them. When a second body is discovered, however, the police begin to see connections between the two murders and soon find themselves in a race against time to identify who will be next on the killer’s list.

The author has an interesting writing style and tackles the uncomfortable subject matter with an unrestrained approach. Some of the characters (such as ‘Toofy’) were particularly well drawn, though I found the members of the investigating team the most interesting. This is not a tale for fainthearted readers, and while I felt empathy for the main character, she is not particularly likeable – her ‘solution’ to dealing with her tormentors didn’t sit easily with me.

Hard-hitting, gritty and at times, a difficult read.

 
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