Betrayed (Black Hat Thriller #2) by Karen E. Olson
Severn House, 2017
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 224 pgs
Source: I purchased a copy of this book for my own reading pleasure.
I have enjoyed the Black Hat series since reading the first book, Hidden. I would strongly recommend starting at the beginning of the series if you are coming into it for the first time as the books do build on one another. Because this book is so wrapped up in the first two, it is hard to talk about it in detail without giving something away. I am trying to be as careful as possible.
Betrayed picks up after Tina Adler (aka Nicole Jones and Susan McQueen) has somewhat settled into her new life. She’s pulled in for an interview by the FBI when evidence of a hit against the notorious Tony DeMarco is found on a computer used at the shop where she’s working. Tina has managed to stay off the computer since the last trouble she ran into, and it seems someone is trying to set her up. Not only that, but the person is also trying to set up Tracker, the hacker who acts as her mentor from time to time. Tina is determined to find out who is behind the set-up and clear her name. The FBI is hoping she’ll do just that, only they want her to work for them. Used to being on her own, Tina isn’t comfortable with that—she works much better alone. The title Betrayed is a fitting one, speaking not just to the possible motive of the villain in the novel, but also to several other characters in the book. I think just about all the major players can claim having been betrayed at some point.
Tina is struggling to unravel her mixed emotions about Tracker’s real identity. And it really is no wonder she is in such turmoil about it, given her past relationship with his alter ego. Can she reconcile her feelings for one and the other? Will she ever be able to see them as the same person? The reader spends a lot of time in Tina’s head as she sorts out just how she feels about everything that is happening—or has happened—to her. This throws Tina off her game a bit, and I figured this was why she wasn’t as clear headed or careful as she usually is.
Betrayed was just as intense as the previous books in the series. There were a couple of instances things fell into place a little too nicely, but I was so caught up in the novel that I did not spend much time thinking about it. Like with the previous books, it was addicting, and I had a hard time pulling away from it once I started reading. As ever, author Karen E. Olson keeps the suspense up at top notch. I guessed early on who was behind everything, but it did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
I am glad I had a copy of Vanished, the next book in the series, on hand to read, as Betrayed left off with the perfect set up for the next novel.To learn more about Karen E. Olson and her books, please visit the author's website. You can also find the author on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.