Plot/Idea: One Last Betrayal is rippling with action, although some tense moments lack buildup, and the ending feels a bit underdeveloped. Thriller fans will embrace the story’s twists while finding themselves caught up in the dark underbelly of the mob—and the tangled web of rogue agents that Brooks weaves throughout.
Prose: This is a story of ruthlessness and shadows, and Brooks’s prose mimics those themes throughout, drawing out the novel’s settings subtly and with ease. Dialogue is effortless and rolls instinctively across the pages.
Originality: Brooks has crafted an exciting mix of suspense, thrills, and loads of intensity—and the added hints of sexual chemistry between the main characters boosts the storyline.
Character Development/Execution: Brooks shines with skillfully drawn characters who naturally fit into the story’s themes. Angeline is teeming with internal conflict while trying to protect what’s most important, and her blend of distrust and naivete sets up the novel’s surprises perfectly. The book has plenty of villains to go around, some predictable and others more unexpected, but Brooks suitably intertwines their relationships in a way that meshes with the storyline.
Date Submitted: August 18, 2022
“1 Last Betrayal, the explosive third installment in the Angeline Porter Series, brings the heat, intrigue, and grit that we’ve come to love from Valerie J. Brooks, the queen of the femmes-noir thriller. Steeped in suspense, chilling encounters, and shocking twists, Brooks drops us into the dark underbelly of organized crime, and we love her for it.”
“The third book in the Angeline Porter femme noir trilogy begins with a bang when our heroine races to Florida only to find her half-sister is missing. Hot on the trail, Angeline is thrown into a life-or-death fight with the Boston mob. A twisty plot, great locations, and a gutsy protagonist you’ll root for all the way. A fabulous finale to a sophisticated series that can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone title.”
“With 1 Last Betrayal, author, Valerie J. Brooks, has delivered a seductive, intricately twisted suspense-thriller that’s nearly impossible to put down. When onetime defense attorney, the tough-yet-vulnerable Angeline Porter, investigates the disappearance of her half-sister, she’s plunged into a sinister underworld of double-dealing, corruption, kidnapping, and murder. Nothing is what it seems, and no one can be trusted. As you start 1 Last Betrayal, get ready for a wild ride with plenty of suspense, action, and shocking surprises.”
“Like the first two books featuring the disbarred Oregon attorney Angeline Porter, 1 Last Betrayal is meticulously crafted by a writer who never seems to take a false step: every clue, every revelation, every betrayal dovetails into the next one. The secondary characters – a conflicted detective, a cold-blooded mobster – are expertly drawn, and the narrative’s sexual aura, like its portrayal of grief, is refreshingly realistic. But in the end, Angeline – analytical, morally grounded, deeply courageous – remains the book’s anchor, a principled woman who refuses to give in even as the walls close around her in what, for my money, is Valerie Brooks’ finest novel to date.”