The Paris Betrayal – James R. Hannibal

The Paris Betrayal James R Hannibal
The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal
Also by this author: Chasing the White Lion
Published by Revell on May 4, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Thriller
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five-stars

After a rough mission in Rome involving the discovery of a devastating bioweapon, Company spy Ben Calix returns to Paris to find his perfectly ordered world has collapsed. A sniper attack. An ambush. A call for help that brings French SWAT forces down on his head. Ben is out. This is a severance--reserved for incompetents and traitors.
Searching for answers and anticipating a coming attack, Ben and a woman swept up in his misfortunes must travel across Europe to find the sniper who tried to kill him, the medic who saved his life, the schoolmaster who trained him, and an upstart hacker from his former team. More than that, Ben must come to grips with his own insignificance as the Company's plan to stop Leviathan from unleashing the bioweapon at any cost moves forward without him--and he struggles against the infection that is swiftly claiming territory within his own body.
Award-winning author James R. Hannibal rachets up the tension on every page of this suspenseful new thriller.

I only have two words for The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal: HOLY SMOKES. This novel kept my heart jumping into my throat and my gut twisting. The Paris Betrayal was my thirty-third book of 2021. Out of those thirty-three, I awarded two five-star reviews. Without hesitation, The Paris Betrayal received my third. For the first time this year, a book demanded I stay awake until I finished it. And when I did, adrenaline coursed through me for another hour, and I couldn’t go to sleep. My hands trembled, and my voice rose barely above a whisper when I expressed my vocal reaction: “HOLY SMOKES.”

As a spy enthusiast, I appreciated everything about The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal. I grew up watching TV shows like Alias and 24. I’ve dissected numerous documentaries about declassified missions and read countless books on espionage, as well—both fiction and nonfiction. In graduate school, I took classes in intelligence, terrorism, and nuclear threat assessment. My favorite museum in Washington, D.C. when I lived there? You can probably guess: The International Spy Museum. When I read many spy/crime thrillers, I react with “THIS IS ALL WRONG” multiple times. Not once did that happen with The Paris Betrayal. The plot engrossed me too much to contemplate it. From the second I read about Ben Calix conducting an SDR—a surveillance detection route—I grinned, because that’s a term with which I am well acquainted.

This book had the perfect amount of wit. In high-intensity situations—especially in the public service sector—we can have…very dry senses of humor. Hannibal portrayed this wonderfully, and I chuckled aloud. I even went back and read passages multiple times, just because of the cleverness. Granted, I had to read other segments more than once because I swallowed without chewing, so to speak. I raced through it, as The Paris Betrayal was an easy read. But I wish I hadn’t because I think I missed things. It’s one of the many reasons why I’m planning to read the novel again. And recommending it to every friend I know who enjoys spy thrillers…and even those that don’t.

Ben Calix never gave up, even when all the odds stacked up against him. He endured, and he never turned against his moral code. I loved his character, and the fact he went to Rice University. As a native Houstonian, it made me smile to see my hometown represented. Clara was a great character, too. And Otto. And Tess. I wouldn’t say The Paris Betrayal had any particularly memorable life lessons, but goodness, was it entertaining. As I read it, I couldn’t stop talking about it. And when I finished it, I still wouldn’t shut up. Hannibal did leave me with some questions, but they only make me want to reread the novel to find the answers.

The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal is easily one of the best books I’ve read all year, if not the best. I loved every minute I spent in its pages, and I can’t wait to read more of Hannibal’s work.

five-stars