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Mark Bello
Author
Betrayal of Justice: A Zachary Blake Betrayal Series Legal Thriller
Mark Bello, author
In Washington D.C., a newly-elected president promises, in his inaugural speech, to “make America pure again.” What follows is the murder of a white supremacist and a young Muslim-American woman accused of the crime. Zachary Blake is retained to defend the woman and her family in criminal and immigration court, but can this family expect justice in this new, "pure" America? Or will they experience a Betrayal of Justice? In Dearborn, Michigan, Arya Khan watches President John’s acceptance speech in horror while a young white supremacist just a few miles away watches the same speech with joy. To honor the new president, the young man fire bombs a local mosque. The Dearborn Police promise to investigate, but Arya fears that these cops are indifferent to the Muslim community and will let the crime be swept under the rug, so she takes matters into her own hands. Arya identifies a suspect, follows him, and witnesses his brutal murder. But when all evidence points to Arya as the murderer, she’s arrested, jailed and formally charged. When the news story reaches the president, he seeks to deport Arya and her immigrant parents. Zachary Blake (the central character of Bello’s debut legal thriller, Betrayal of Faith) returns as the trial lawyer for the family and drama plays out in both criminal and immigration courtrooms. But as the Dearborn Police seek to complete their investigation, an organization of white supremacists tries to thwart any attempt to tie their group to the murder and mayhem. Can Zachary Blake and his crack private investigator, Micah Love, save Arya from a murder charge and her parents from deportation?
Reviews
Kirkus Review

In Bello’s (Betrayal of Faith, 2016) latest thriller featuring Michigan attorney Zack Blake, a Muslim woman seeking justice for hate crimes becomes the prime suspect for the murder of a white supremacist.

Ronald John won the U.S. presidency on the platform of ridding the country of a “Muslim scourge.” White supremacist Keith Blackwell fully supports the president and, believing it’s time for action, initiates a series of anti-Muslim crimes in Dearborn, including firebombing a mosque. Twenty-five-year-old Arya Khan has serious doubts about authorities’ devotion to finding the criminal, though a task force led by chief of detectives Jack Dylan locks onto a suspect. When Arya learns it’s Keith, she plans to bring him to justice only to inadvertently witness someone stab him to death. She calls 911 and hurries to Keith’s aid, but to police at the scene, the bloody woman looks like a prime suspect. Zack takes Arya’s case, and with evidence stacked against her, he’s convinced the only way out is to identify the actual killer. That turns out to be the most crucial issue, since the killer, presuming Arya saw him, wants to make certain she stays quiet—permanently. Bello’s novel is unmistakably topical. President John’s plan involves securing America’s borders from illegal immigrants. This further adds another layer to the already sympathetic Arya; her parents are just two of the numerous Muslims in danger of deportation. Notwithstanding a spotlight on the recurring protagonist, there’s apt coverage of the task force. Jack, who mocks Arya’s profession of innocence, may soon believe her, much like detective (and fellow Muslim) Shaheed Ali. Accordingly, there’s only a modicum of courtroom scenes, but Zack’s legal mindset evokes refreshingly blunt dialogue: he predicts that prosecutors and cops “will not want to admit that the terrorist in this case is the white guy.” The story’s baddies are blatantly villainous, Bello making it abundantly clear that bigotry is deplorable.

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