Sep 14, 2016

Review--Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong

When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Betrayals is the fourth installment in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series and this is truly a series that just keeps getting better and better! Naturally, my memory isn't so spiffy trying to recall what Deceptions was about, but thankfully we get enough of a recap, or are reminded of the more important details as the story moves forward. It almost seems like whatever happens momentously in the previous book doesn't have such a deep impact on the current book. In some ways it does lead to the start of this or that in the little things, but as for moving the plot forward, it doesn't have a huge impact. If anything it's the previous book's little details that matter and that's what is also recapped.

If I haven't confused you yet, please move forward with me on this review! LOL! In this one we have quite a mystery on our hands. Ricky is being framed for the murders of some lamiae which is a new kind of paranormal for me, yet still rings of some familiarity. But regardless, Ricky is being framed so naturally Liv and Gabriel are on the case.

There's still a lot of tension between Liv and Gabriel over what happened last time. He didn't come when she called and it lead to her being injured. Gabriel fears Liv will hold it against him, when really Liv has already forgiven him for that. Yet it seems almost impossible for them to both move forward, they somehow managed though where work is concerned.

This is definitely one of the most complicated love triangles ever! And it's really rare to see that in an adult read these days. While it does seem Liv is with Ricky and has "chosen" him, things are always rather intense where Gabriel is concerned. And since we get snippets of his point of view as well, we can see that he cares for Liv as well. He just has a harder time expressing and showing his feelings. I think that's what makes him such a complicated character. And at times, it makes him hard to like or root for. He's just complicated, but I can't help liking him. As for who I think Liv will choose? I seriously have no clue. And surprisingly I'm okay with that. It's quite entertaining and heart-racing to watch her journey.

The dog on the cover might raise some eyebrows or even illicit fear. A Hound does come into play here. And I won't sugarcoat it; you might cry. It's so minor of a thing for the story at large but I have to admit to getting misty-eyed. I will assure you though, that the pooch doesn't die. Considering the dog isn't really plot material I won't call that a spoiler, but I do know how some readers feel about animal cruelty and what may result from it. Fido's final fate is never really mentioned but you can infer she's definitely better off!

The mystery elements surrounding the lamiae murders had a surprising outcome. Though I was kind of surprised that we don't see a lot of active pursuing from the police in regards to Ricky. He was innocent, naturally, but I would've thought Liv and Gabriel would've had to work harder to prove it. They do continue to work the case but it seemed more like trying to solve it rather than prove Ricky truly innocent. But since it was more of a supernatural matter anyway, the human police are kept out of the picture.

The ending was kind of surprising as well. The mystery is solved, but yet we are given quite a shock by Ricky. Honestly, I didn't really see it coming. It definitely makes me wonder what we'll be seeing next! We still have quite a bit to get answers to; such as trying to help Liv's birth parents out of prison, the whole Cwn Annwn matter, this complicated love triangle and just other oddities that are likely to continue to pop up. I absolutely love this series! It can be a bit odd, but I like it because of that oddness.

This is a series that will continue to spin your head but can't help but enjoy it too! Can it be confusing? A little, at times, but it never deters me from enjoying it. And I feel like the confusion is almost warranted as Liv continues to navigate the oddness that is Cainsville. And I for one cannot wait to return next year for Rituals!

If you haven't read any of Kelley's books, I implore you to get to a bookstore and have at it!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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