“Supreme Betrayal” by Mark M. Bello

Supreme Betrayal
Mark M. Bello
8Grand Publications (2021)
Review by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (1/2021)

Supreme Betrayal by is the latest book in Mark M. Bello’s, “Zachary Blake Legal Thriller” series. It’s a dynamic and action-packed journey of injustice, betrayal, murder and revenge as white privilege, partisan politics and greed take precedence over the truth.

The Wilkinson brothers were notorious for the parties they held in their parents lush lakefront home. And though Hayley Larson was certainly no party girl, she was tired of being teased by her friends and considered this party her coming out event in anticipation of starting college in the fall. When Oliver Wilkinson and Shane Marbury corner Hayley in a bathroom, things escalate beyond the trappings of a harmless gathering, and those few fatal moments change the course of Hayley’s life forever. Twenty years later when Hayley learns Oliver Wilkinson is nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court, she knows she can no longer remain quiet about what happened.

Once again, Mark Bello crafts an electrifying story straight from one of the most sobering headlines of recent years – the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge with, shall we say, less than stellar attributes? As an attorney and social justice advocate, Bello’s passion for equality shines through his writing. He is in his element in “Supreme Betrayal,” successfully delivering an effective tale of David versus Goliath. What I enjoy so much about Bello’s style is that no matter your political preference, he encourages thought-provoking reflection of both sides through the power that can only be inspired through the well written word. He knows how to keep the reader glued to the story in a manner that combines an educational background of the justice system with amazing fictional characters, and a pace that propels you forward with each page.

The characters are real people with real strengths and weaknesses. Fans of the series will come to rely on the dependability of Zachary Blake. His strong convictions and determination to lead his clients to victory also comes with a bit of arrogance and a healthy dose of ego, but it’s exactly those traits that make him good at what he does and appealing to readers. Hayley Larson Shultz is a commendable female protagonist who doesn’t take things lying down, so-to-speak. Though she keeps her secret for twenty years, she spends her life helping others going through the same experience, and while she does have moments of doubt, she inevitably faces her fears to do the right thing. I loved watching her transformation play out through the story. Oliver Wilkinson is the quintessential antagonist – a guy you truly love to hate with his privilege, his self-serving motives and complete disrespect for life and the law, something he is sworn to uphold as a high-ranking judge.

“Supreme Betrayal” is not only an epic battle for justice, but a clear representation and warning of what could (and does) happen when we the people normalize abuse of power by the wealthy and influential, including those in the government, and all those sworn to protect and administer justice for all the people. “Supreme Betrayal” expertly weaves the non-fiction elements of history, politics, and societal issues with the fictional counterparts of historical fiction, murder mystery and political intrigue. It’s a truly engrossing read for all literary tastes.

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