Once upon a time a very long time ago now, I attended Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. And in my class was a girl named Jeanette Archer, a missionary kid from Colombia, South America. At the time, she was dating a fellow by the name of Marty Windle, and I later heard that they married and went to Bolivia as missionaries in their own right.
Fast forward a whole bunch of years. My mother-in-law handed me Crossfire, a novel about a naive American girl caught up in the cocaine trade in Bolivia, and I noticed the author’s name was Jeanette Windle. “Hey, I used to know this gal!” And being as I’d visited Bolivia for several months in 1980, I also ‘knew’ the country a little.
Jeanette writes a very tight novel. She’s well acquainted with Latin America and did such a good job of writing about the Drug Enforcement Agency’s work in the southern hemisphere that she’s been questioned about who leaked sensitive information to her (not true). When her most recent novel, Betrayed, this time listed as by J. M. Windle, became available to the book tour, I jumped at the chance to be transported back to the jungle.
Betrayed takes place in Guatemala and deals with the coverup of the American funding of the revolution there since the second world war. Vicki Andrews’ parents, photographers and journalists, were massacred along with a Guatemalan village when Vicki was just a young child. Now an adult working with children at risk, Vicki finds her way back to Guatemala just in time to meet her sister before Holly is found dead in the middle of the refuse dump. Trying to determine if Holly’s death was an accident leads Vicki down the path towards her own childhood and the memories that had been buried all these years by trauma. Can she figure out what happened? And is her future linked to the country of her birth?
If you like a fast-paced suspense novel about foreign lands, you’ll enjoy Jeanette Windle‘s deep love for Latin America and her sharp writing style.