By: Mark M. Bello
Publisher: 8Grand Publications
Publication Date: October 2021
ASIN : B09FYJ6MWN
Reviewed By: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: September 2, 2021
Two family stories, their pasts separated by continents, unite at the conclusion of this highly topical action-packed tale by writer Mark M. Bello.
Bello begins by introducing Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez and their two children, nine-year-old Emma and seven-year-old Emilio. Playing games their mother taught them from her Venezuelan heritage and enjoying going to school in a Detroit suburb while their parents do factory work, the two children little imagine that they might wind up in prison, their loving parents helpless to release them because, although the children are US citizens, Mary Carmen and Miguel are not. The next family saga concerns Cana and Karim Izady, Kurds who fled from Syria in 2014 when ISIS attacked their home city. They attained US citizenship with the help of Marshall Mann, an immigration lawyer in the office of Zachary Blake, and soon had a lovely little daughter Hana. Learning that the US will soon withdraw its support from their home region, Canan is determined to take Hana to visit her extended family while she still can. But when she arrives, she is almost immediately kidnapped, the ransom being set at millions. Fortunately, both these couples will fall under the protective professional assistance of Blake and Mann. Blake is fearless and adventurous; he decides to lead an expedition into Syria aimed at freeing Canan and her little child from the hands of greedy, hate-filled criminals. Meanwhile, Mann, an expert in US immigration law, will make it his goal to locate Emma and Emilio Gonzalez, who disappeared from school the day their parents were rounded up by ICE operatives.
Blake will devise a brilliant, devious, and intrinsically life-threatening plan to get the Kurdish pair out of danger, while Mann will visit the grim El Paso holding pen where Emma and Emilio are being kept in conditions little better than animals. In the end, the two families will find a common ground, and aid and comfort one another; for despite their national and religious differences, they have much suffering and strong determination as transcending bonds of friendship.
Bello has continually given voice in his Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series, of which this is the seventh, to ideals of law rightfully enforced, lawbreakers given the full penalty, and innocents vigorously defended. Through the prodigious talents and character of Blake and Mann he succeeds once again, bringing to this saga a great deal of up to the minute jurisprudence regarding the treatment of immigrants to the United States, the situation at our southern border typified here by the Gonzales couple, and our conflicts in the chaotic ongoing situation in the Middle East, illustrated by the perils of a simple family visit by Canan to her former home. The latter scenario will doubtless stand out even more powerfully in the light of recent headlines. Both these well mated dramas give the reader a well-honed glimpse of Blake as daring and dedicated, Mann as equally determined and rooted in the letter of the law, and both as bold as brass and unafraid to act when they know they are in the right.
Quill says: The action that surges and builds on every page of Betrayal at the Border is incentive enough for Bello’s new readers to delve more seriously into his series, and for fans already familiar with his work to rush to get a copy of this latest international page-turner.
For more information on Betrayal at the Border, please visit the author's website at: www.markmbello.com