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Betrayal Paperback – 25 May 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; New edition edition (25 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841957097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841957098
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,250,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'This dark psychological novel is reminiscent of Ruth Rendell at her best' HERALD 'Relentless and frightening' GUARDIAN 'A compulsive thriller' METRO 'Alvtegen keeps up a cracking pace' UNCUT"

Book Description

When you're confronted with the ultimate betrayal, how far would you go for revenge? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. Even better than last year's "Missing", which I read during a binge of Scandinavian crime writing. Alvtegen's possibly the brightest young talent in Europe (that we've been treated to by translation, anyway - it's clear that the mine is deep and rich, so let's hope there are more to come too!). Betrayal is an excellent crime novel, very much in the vein in Ruth Rendell. Certainly, Rendell fans will see that creepy Jonas could easily have slipped from the pages of one of her novels. Alvtegen treats the theme or normal people becoming endangered by the delusional few around them with sensitivity and ease. Her writing is flowing and perceptive, her plotting is excellent: the way the lives of the two characters gradually bump together a bit then crash into each other is handled superbly (again in a way reminiscent of Rendell).
Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By liveenl on 18 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
It's been a while since I read a book in one sitting, that's how good this book is. Very reminiscent of the Ruth Rendells and Barabara Vines I used to devour years ago. Unsettling and well-paced, I'll be reading as many of her books as I can find
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bloodsimple on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Karin Alvtegen impressed previously with Missing and with Shame. This book lies somewhere between the two.

Alvtegen's strongest characters are women - even when they are falling apart. There is a profound sense of empathy for the woman whose life spirals away from her, usually because of some genuine, or misguided, sense of duty and integrity. Such is the case with Eva, the main character here. As with Shame, it is the heat-of-the-moment decision, which seems so reasonable or justifiable, which kicks off a maelstrom of problems.

For my money her male characters are less successful, but this book hangs together well. Jonas is genuinely creepy, in a way that we've all seen in someone at some point in our lives.

Above your average thriller, for me Alvtegen is far more readable than Ruth Rendell's often turgid prose.
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is not really a crime book, more a first rate psychological thriller. The title is certainly apt, acts of betrayal pervade the book. Jonas Hansson, one of those weird characters that seem to crop up in Scandinavian thrillers, betrayed his mother’s trust by covering up his father’s serial infidelities; Eva Wirenström-Berg discovers that her husband, Henrik, has been having an affair, because ‘We don’t have fun anymore.’ Other betrayals are revealed as we learn more about these characters.

Karin Alvtegen takes these commonplace stories and intertwines them into a disconcerting and chilling narrative. The first two chapters, which introduce the reader to Eva, rather controlling and dominating, and Henrik, whose confidence has been knocked following illness. In the next chapter we meet Jonas and his girlfriend, Anna. This beginning is enthralling and the author does not let this standard drop over almost 300 pages. The English translation by Steven T. Murray is pacey and tightly controlled.

The background stories of the three characters are presented; Eva and Henrik are a modern couple, married for 15 years, who appear to have everything, money and security, a young son, Axel, and in-laws who are ready to baby sit whenever they are needed. Jonas, more of a loner, has just one interest in life, Anna. Alvtegen constructs a plausible reason for Eva and Jonas to meet and the expected happens. Events in the Wirenström-Berg household are described from the perspective of both parents, the same dialogue being repeated and interpreted very differently by each person.
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By milmol on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This was the first of Karin Alvtegen's books I've read, and I'll definitely be reading more. It's also the first time I've read foreign fiction, always being put off by thinking I wouldn't identify with the characters as well as thinking elements would get 'lost in translation'. Both were groundless assumptions and both were wrong.

The situation in the story was easy to imagine and identify with, and brilliantly portrayed as were the characters. The translation issue was even less of an issue, you'd never have know it was a foreign novel. A whole new avenue of fiction has been opened up by reading Betrayal, I even felt slightly embarrased by my ill-founded preconceptions!

The novel was really gripping and quite fast moving, and I liked Alvtegen's approach in several times describing the same situations from different characters' perspectives. The ending was also quite chilling which is also something I like. Another plus for me was that it wasn't too long (in fact quite short) and the characters were few, so this made it easy to follow and a real page-turner. I read in two sittings. Really, really good.
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By JM VINE VOICE on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an engrossing, if fairly short, thriller at around 300 pages. I think what makes it all the better is the fact that it revolves around an ordinary woman in an ordinary situation, it's the sort of thing that could happen to anyone and has a very tragic outcome.
Eva is married to Henrik and they have a young son. One day Henrik reveals that he is not happy with the marriage and does not really want to be there anymore. When Eva discovers that he is involved with another woman, there follows a quest for revenge but no one could guess the devastating consequences that will arise.
I thought it was very well written (and translated), the feelings Eva has when her husband tells her he no longer wants her are of devastation and horror at her life and family shattering, and I felt they were very true to life and real. The baddie is well depicted and downright weird, and I loathed the cold, aloof Henrik and his lack of regard for his wife.
An enjoyable read with an unexpected and clever ending.
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