Betrayal at the Border

A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - Legal
293 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez emigrated from Venezuela to Lincoln Park, a suburb of Detroit, in 2011. They have two children, 9 and 7 years old, and both work in a nearby plant. Although they entered the country legally, they never sought citizenship due to their fears about governmental authority. Canan and Karim Izaly are naturalized citizens of America; they were from Kurdistan and citizens of Syria. They fled their home in 2014 when ISIS came to their city. Although Karim had many concerns about Canan’s insistence in taking their young daughter to meet her relatives, he eventually relented. He called upon a friend to escort Canan and their daughter from the airport to their hometown. Both scenarios resulted in major immigration cases. Attorney Marshall Mann, a partner in Blake’s firm, is an immigration law expert and led the defense in both cases. These cases are featured in the novel, Betrayal at the Border, written by Mark M. Bello.

The storyline in this seventh book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series has many compelling features. Mark M. Bello writes in a fast-paced manner, filled with exciting and intriguing moments. He also includes constitutional and legal information in easy-to-understand terms. The characters are developed in balanced ways. For example, although Zach Blake likes the publicity he receives, he is a strong advocate for human rights, his clients’ well-being and is generous in supporting their causes. Author Mark M. Bello skillfully depicts two aspects of American immigration laws in Betrayal at the Border. The book is engaging and informative – an exceptional legal thriller.

Jennifer Ibiam

Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzales were Venezuelan immigrants who had outstayed their visas in the United States. However, their children were citizens because they were born there. When the Golding administration sanctioned a raid on illegal immigrants, the Gonzales family was trapped. Enter Rima from Syria, the wife of a renowned terrorist. After she helped rescue the Izady women from death in the terrorist camp, she became a target for the terrorist group. She went to the United States of America to seek asylum. Is there hope for the Gonzales family and Rima? Read Betrayal at the Border by Mark M. Bello as their high-powered attorneys Zachary Blake and Marshall Mann rise to the occasion as usual. They were a force to reckon with. But can anyone successfully take on the government?

Betrayal at the Border by Mark M. Bello is an installment in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series. It was a riveting tale that will appeal to legal minds or people who love such thrillers. This novel takes us behind the scenes of what immigrants go through and the government’s current position on them. Many want to live the American dream. However, the journey to being an American isn’t a walk in the park. I loved the plot and storyline, which had depth and were realistic. Bello must have either written from experience or did thorough research that paid off. I was so angry with Canan and couldn’t forgive her for putting Hana in harm’s way because of her stubbornness. Bello narrated the story a bit and stepped back for the characters to shine, which I loved. I can’t wait to read more from him.

Rabia Tanveer

Betrayal at the Border is the seventh novel in Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series by Mark M. Bello. Just when Zachary thought nothing could faze him, his new cases stumped him. Miguel and Mary Gonzalez were undocumented immigrants who came to the USA chasing the American dream. However, their dreams became a nightmare when ICE raided their life. On the other hand, Karim and Canan are legal immigrants from Kurdistan. Their daughter Hana was born here, and that meant she never met her maternal grandmother. The little family decided to visit the old lady before it was too late, but the war there made everything devastating for them very quickly. Both their cases were unique and a little out of touch for Zachary. Of course, Marshall Mann and the rest of Zachary’s most trusted people join in to help him find a solution for these families before it is too late.

This was my first time reading a novel by author Mark M. Bello and I am kicking myself for not finding this series sooner. The tension was high from the beginning of the story, always enough to keep me reading. The author gave two very realistic scenarios regarding the current immigration issue that the USA has faced daily for the past few years. The author highlighted the issues without being biased. The narrative kept the story's focus on the actual plotline without distracting readers with needless subplots. There was action on every page and a new twist appeared often to keep the reader’s interest. Out of all the characters introduced, Micah was my absolute favorite. He was a genius and a smarter man than I anticipated. I will be reading all the previous novels in the series now.

Susan Sewell

Lawyers rush to save the lives of those caught in the middle of immigration laws and freedom in the exciting legal thriller, Betrayal at the Border by Mark M. Bello. Wanting to show her infant daughter Hana off to her mother and grandmother, Canan Izady pushes aside her husband Karim's advice and flies with Hana halfway around the world. However, soon after her arrival, Hana and Canan are abducted by a terrorist group. Mary Carmen Gonzalez and her husband Miguel entered the country legally, but they overstayed their visas. ICE arrested them during a raid at their work and then turned around and kidnapped their children Emma and Emilio from their elementary school. The team at Blake and Associates works to get the Gonzalez family released and negotiate a rescue plan for the Izady family. In the meantime, Emma and Emilio have disappeared, and no one knows where they went. While Zachary Blake is in Syria securing Canan and the woman who was instrumental in saving her, Marshall Mann is searching detention camps for the missing children. Can Blake and Associates make a difference? Or will the families remain separated and incarcerated, or even worse, deported?

Intense and exciting, Betrayal at the Border: A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller by Mark M. Bello describes the horror and fear that immigrants encounter, even when they are legal. Containing realistic and frightening scenarios based on recent history, it is a disturbing and eye-opening story. Compelling and dramatic, the tale depicts the trauma, heartache, and fear that those born outside America can experience. It was interesting to note why they don't always apply for citizenship. The characters are remarkably lifelike, and it is easy to relate to them and their situations. Betrayal at the Border is a stunning novel with a breathtaking plotline, and I recommend it to everyone who loves courtroom dramas with a hint of action.

Tammy Ruggles

Betrayal at the Border: A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, by Mark M. Bello, is a taut drama set against the polarizing backdrop of immigration. The seventh offering in the Blake series, this one has the Perry Mason-like attorney taking on not one but two immigration-related cases. The Gonzalez family lives in Michigan, undocumented, but are here in America to fulfill their dream of working and raising a family until an ICE raid disrupts all that. The Izadys, from Kurdistan, are the second family. Their immigration was legal, and they became naturalized citizens. They would like their daughter to meet her grandmother, so they set out for an ISIS breeding ground, assuming they are safer now that the war is over, but are they really?

Mark M. Bello gives us two immigration stories with similar dynamics but special circumstances, both portraits of the broken immigration system in the United States. These cases cross paths with famed lawyer Zachary Blake, who knows he can't take them on without his partner Marshall Mann, a specialist in immigration law. They make a great team together, aided by top investigator Micah Love. They find themselves embroiled in a terrorist network and the ineffectual immigration system, where maybe the only thing that will work is a miracle. The tense plot, energetic dialogue, and unexpected events keep you racing through the pages to the outcome. But besides a heart-pounding legal drama, you have important social issues looked at in a dramatic, emotional, and personal way. Sometimes it takes a work of fiction to drive home the importance of political and social matters. Our three protagonists are trying to prevent betrayal at the border, but will they succeed in time? No matter how you feel about immigration, this story will show you that immigration is just more than a Facebook rant: it's about human survival, families, and the call for compassionate policies. Betrayal at the Border: A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, by Mark M. Bello, is the one legal fire-starter you want to read this year: full of tension, wisdom, and heart.