Review: Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: Betrayals (A Cainsville Novel, 4)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sphere (4th August 2016)

Olivia Jones knows a lot about betrayal. On the eve of her wedding, she discovered she was adopted – and that her biological parents were serial killers.

Liv has found sanctuary in Cainsville, but she’s learned not to trust the town’s mysterious elders. So when her boyfriend Ricky is linked to a series of murders, she’s reluctant to ask for their help. Meanwhile, things have turned complicated with Gabriel Walsh, her boss and sometime friend. The fact that their fraught relationship is connected to an ancient myth in which they were passionate lovers doesn’t help . . .

As Liv fights to clear Ricky’s name, she discovers that her own life is at serious risk. Soon Ricky, Liv and Gabriel are tangled in a web of betrayal. In order to survive, they will have to trust one another. But given their dark history, is that even possible? Or wise?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

BETRAYALS by Kelley Armstrong is the fourth book in the brilliant Cainsville series. It continues the story of Olivia Taylor Jones, who found sanctuary in the town of Cainsville when it came out that she was the biological daughter of convicted serial killers. But Cainsville holds its own secrets. In this book, Liv’s boyfriend Ricky is linked to a series of murders. Determined to clear his name Liv seeks the help of her boss and friend Gabriel. All three soon get caught up in events and with an ancient story hanging over them, complicating their relationships who can they trust?

BETRAYALS was everything I expected from the next book in the Cainsville series. I did find it a little slow going to begin with, but I think that was more to do with me than it was to do with Armstrong’s writing. I really enjoyed the fact that in a lot of ways the murder aspect of the plot in this book works as a complete stand-alone story, but at the same time it worked well as a continuation of the Cainsville series in terms of what was going on with Liv, Ricky and Gabriel. Armstrong does a brilliant job of weaving these two aspects of the story together and making it feel like a cohesive tale.

The series of murders that Ricky gets framed for aspect of the plot, is brilliantly written and planned. Armstrong kept me guessing about what was going on right to the end. I liked the fact that although it was separate from the Cainsville focus, Armstrong still used the urban fantasy elements of the novel to link the two threads together. The resolution of this element of the plot felt a little rushed and unfinished to me in some ways, but as there is one more book in this series to go I’m hoping that Armstrong will resolve my issues in that book.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about this book, and indeed this series, is the way Armstrong uses the urban fantasy elements to tell the story both in terms of how it adds to the plot and the characters, and how she weaves it so seamlessly into the ‘real’ world. One of the things that I particularly liked in this book was that she acknowledged that the majority of the mythology she has based her urban fantasy on comes from mainly Celtic legends, and that actually even within just Europe there are other legends and myths.

It would be impossible to talk about BETRAYALS without talking about the dynamic between Liv, Ricky and Gabriel. Love triangles are really not my cup of tea, but to be honest what’s going on isn’t really a love triangle per se as a triquetra. By which I mean, their lives are so connected for various reasons that I just cannot see them as anything but a triad (and I don’t mean that in a romantic sense) how ever the relationships fall out or not. And on that note, choice is a really big theme in this book and it was interesting to see how Armstrong explored this. BETRAYALS definitely promises an interesting final book to this series, which I am looking forward to. If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the series, then you will love this book too.

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