The Garden of Betrayal – Lee Vance

LeeVanceTGOB As part of their promotional activities, Corvus Books in the UK selected this novel as their ‘Thriller of the Month’ for August last year.  It looked like a debut, so I did a little investigation and discovered and that it was not eligible for the CWA New Blood Award.  It’s the author’s first novel published here, but there was one previously which can be imported from the US via Amazon.


With a focus on bankers due to the credit crunch, the world of finance is making a bit of a comeback in the thriller market these days.  But before you rush off to burn your monopoly money in protest, I’d like to let you into a secret.  The Garden of Betrayal is a wonderful thriller that mixes the very topical economically (finance and oil) with the complexity of human relationships and the ultimate fragility of humanity.  It’s one of those novels that sheds light on our lot from another angle, leading to the question of how on earth do we actually manage to achieve the world order that we do?  And when it comes to emotions, this is not a garden of roses but a garden of raw heartbreak.

When a new Russian oil pipeline explodes, Wall Street energy analyst legend Mark Wallace knows that it was not an accident.   Seven years before, Wallace lost his young son who was kidnapped.  The case remains unresolved as there was no apparent motive and the police had no leads.  But now, Wallace receives the first ever lead and wonders if it is just coincidence or if it is linked to the pipeline attack…

Within an intriguing plot, Wallace also quietly takes the lid off the family’s relationships and how they have learned to behave to cope to with their loss, which is not necessarily for the best.  And when it comes to Wallace’s office environment, Vance avoids the happy, clichéd route and throws in a shocker.

More than a thriller, this is a very fine thriller full of depth and questions, with the family's story at its heart.

The hardback was published in August last year; the paperback and Ebook follow later this year, at the start of December in the UK.  (Amazon UK links.)