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Authors: Lis Wiehl

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Face of Betrayal

BOOK: Face of Betrayal
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Advance Praise for
Face of Betrayal

“This novel is a blast to read!”

—BILL O’REILLY, FOX TV AND RADIO ANCHOR

“Only a brilliant lawyer, prosecutor, and journalist like Lis Wiehl could put together a mystery this thrilling! The incredible characters and nonstop twists will leave you mesmerized. Open this book and find a comfortable seat because you won’t want to put it down!”

—E. D. HILL, FOX NEWS ANCHOR

“Great characters, compelling storyline . . . a winning combination.”

—EARL MERKEL, CO-HOST OF
MONEY & MORE

“Lis Wiehl’s been there, done that and reported on it all. A riveting and revealing fast-paced look at our criminal justice system and the press who cover it.”

—DR. MICHAEL BADEN, CURRENT CHIEF FORENSIC
PATHOLOGIST FOR THE NEW YORK STATE POLICE;
FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER, NYC; HOST,
HBO’S
AUTOPSY

“Wiehl exposes the malevolent side of power in this murderous thriller. A harrowing tale ripped from the headlines!”

—CATHERINE CRIER, FORMER JUDGE,
JOURNALIST, AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR

“A real thrill ride! Filled with twists and turns you won’t see coming.”

—RITA CROSBY, EMMY AWARD-WINNING TV PERSONALITY
(FORMERLY WITH MSNBC)

“An incredible read. The story grips you from the get-go and reveals a stunning look at what happens when crime and the media meet head-on!”

—NANCY GRACE, CNN ANCHOR AND
FORMER PROSECUTOR

“Feels fresher than today’s headline story. One of the best suspense novels of 2009.”

—SEAN HANNITY, FOX ANCHOR

“Three smart women crack the big cases! Makes perfect sense to me. This book blew me away!

—JEANINE PIRRO, FORMER DA; HOSTS THE CW’S
DAYTIME COURT TELEVISION REALITY SHOW
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO

“Lis Wiehl has done it again! I’m a big fan of her nonfiction books and now the multitalented Wiehl lets loose with this juicy political mystery! A fine mixture of all this savvy commentator has to offer . . . including politics, law, friendship, and even motherhood! Lis is a quadruple threat in my book!”

—HANNAH STORM, ESPN; FORMER CBS ANCHOR

FACE OF BETRAYAL

© 2008 by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected].

HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®. © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

“The Sick Rose” by William Blake, published in
Songs of Experience
in 1794.

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Wiehl, Lis W.
    Face of betrayal : a triple threat novel / Lis Wiehl and April Henry.
        p. cm.
    ISBN 978-1-59554-705-7 (hardcover)
    1. Women lawyers—Fiction. 2. Women television journalists—Fiction. 3. Female friendship—Fiction. 4. Stalking—Fiction. 5. Spousal abuse—Fiction. 6. Abused women—Fiction. 7. Murder—Investigation—Fiction. I. Henry, April. II. Title.
    PS3623.I382F33 2009
    813'.6—dc22

2009000122

Printed in the United States of America

09 10 11 12 QW 6 5 4 3 2 1

CONTENTS

NORTHWEST PORTLAND

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

PIERCE RESIDENCE

PORTLAND FBI HEADQUARTERS

CHANNEL FOUR

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

JAKE’S GRILL

CONVERSE RESIDENCE

CONVERSE RESIDENCE

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

PIERCE RESIDENCE

LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL

NORTHWEST PORTLAND

CHANNEL FOUR

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

HEDGES RESIDENCE

RANGEL RESIDENCE

CITY CENTRAL HOTEL

SAFE HARBOR SHELTER

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

BLUE MOON TAVERN

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

UNITED STATES SENATE

NORTHWEST PORTLAND

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

LAW OFFICES OF STONE, HUTCHENS, AND LANGFORD

SAN FELIPE TAQUERIA

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

SOUTHWEST PORTLAND

HEDGES RESIDENCE

RIVERSIDE CONDOMINIUMS

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

CONVERSE RESIDENCE

FAIRVIEW RESIDENCE

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

CHANNEL FOUR

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

PORTLAND FBI HEADQUARTERS

SENATOR FAIRVIEW’S OFFICE

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

EMERICK RESIDENCE

PIZZICATO PIZZA

DOWNTOWN PORTLAND

FOREST PARK

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

FOREST PARK

FOREST PARK

FOREST PARK

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

FOREST PARK

CONVERSE RESIDENCE

FOREST PARK

FOREST PARK

MULTNOMAH COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

GOOD SAMARITAN MEDICAL CENTER

PORTLAND FBI HEADQUARTERS

FOREST PARK

LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

RIVERSIDE CONDOMINIUMS

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

CHANNEL FOUR

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

FOREST PARK

TOMMY’S BAR-B-Q

TOMMY’S BAR-B-Q

SHAW RESIDENCE

MYSPACE.COM/THEDCPAGE

SHAW RESIDENCE

SHAW RESIDENCE

CONVERSE RESIDENCE

FONG CHONG RESTAURANT

READING GROUP GUIDE

INTERVIEW WITH LIS WIEHL, CONDUCTED BY BILL O’REILLY

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

With love for Dani, Jacob, and Mickey,
LIS

With love for Sadie and Randy,
APRIL

NORTHWEST PORTLAND

December 13

C
ome on, Jalapeño!”

Katie Converse jerked the dog’s leash. Reluctantly, the black Lab mix lifted his nose and followed her. Katie wanted to hurry, but everything seemed to invite Jalapeño to stop, sniff, and lift his leg. And there was no time for that now. Not today.

She had grown up less than two miles from here, but this afternoon everything looked different. It was winter, for one thing, nearly Christmas. And she wasn’t the same person she had been the last time she was here, not a month earlier. Then she had been a little girl playing at being a grown-up. Now she was a woman.

Finally, she reached the agreed-upon spot. She was still shaking from what she had said less than two hours earlier. What she had demanded.

Now there was nothing to do but wait. Not an easy task for an impatient seventeen-year-old.

She heard the scuff of footsteps behind her. Unable to suppress a grin, Katie called his name as she turned around.

At the sight of the face, contorted with rage, Jalapeño growled.

MARK O. HATFIELD UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE

December 14

A
s she walked to the courtroom podium, federal prosecutor Allison Pierce touched the tiny silver cross she wore on a fine chain. The cross was hidden under her cream-colored silk blouse, but it was always there, close to Allison’s heart. Her father had given it to her for her sixteenth birthday.

Allison was dressed in what she thought of as her “court uniform,” a navy blue suit with a skirt that, even on her long legs, hit below the knee. This morning she had tamed her curly brown hair into a low bun and put on small silver hoops. She was thirty-three, but in court she wanted to make sure no one thought of her as young or unseasoned.

She took a deep breath and looked up at Judge Fitzpatrick. “Your Honor, I ask for the maximum sentence for Frank Archer. He coldly, calculatedly, and callously plotted his wife’s murder. If Mr. Archer had been dealing with a real hired killer instead of an FBI agent, Toni Archer would be dead today. Instead, she is in hiding and in fear for her life.”

A year earlier Frank Archer had had what he told friends was a five-foot-four problem. Toni. She wanted a divorce. Archer was an engineer, and he was good at math. A divorce meant splitting all their worldly goods and paying for child support. But if Toni were to die? Then not only would Archer avoid a divorce settlement, but he would benefit from Toni’s $300,000 life insurance policy.

Archer asked an old friend from high school—who also happened to be an ex-con—if he knew anyone who could help. The old friend found Rod Emerick, but Rod wasn’t a hired killer—he was an FBI agent. Archer agreed to meet Rod in a hotel room, which the FBI bugged. In a windowless van parked outside, Allison monitored the grainy black-and- white feed, all shadows and snow, waiting until they had enough to make an arrest before she gave the order. With gritted teeth, she had watched Archer hand over a snapshot of Toni, her license number, her work schedule, and $5,000 in fifties and hundreds. She sometimes understood those who killed from passion—but killers motivated by greed left her cold.

Given the strength of the evidence, Archer had had no choice but to plead guilty. Now, as Allison advocated for the maximum possible sentence, she didn’t look over at him once. He was a small man, with thinning blonde hair and glasses. He looked nothing like a killer. But after five years as a federal prosecutor, Allison had learned that few killers did.

After she finished, she rejoined Rod at the prosecutor’s table and listened to the defense attorney’s sad litany of excuses. Archer hadn’t known what he was doing, he was distraught, he was under a lot of stress, he wasn’t sleeping well, and he never intended to go through with it—lies that everyone in the crowded courtroom could see through.

“Do you have anything you would like to say to the court before sentencing?” Judge Fitzpatrick asked Archer.

Archer got to his feet, eyes brimming with crocodile tears. “I’m very, very sorry. Words cannot describe how I feel. It was all a huge mistake. I love Toni very much.”

Allison didn’t realize she was shaking her head until she felt Rod’s size 12 loafer squishing the toe of her sensible navy blue pump.

They all rose for the sentence.

“Frank Archer, you have pled guilty to the cowardly and despicable act of plotting to have your spouse murdered.” Judge Fitzpatrick’s face was like a stone. “Today’s sentence should send a strong message to cowards who think they can hide by hiring a stranger to commit an act of violence. I hereby sentence you to ten years for attempted capital murder-for-hire, to be followed by two years of supervised release.”

Allison felt a sense of relief. She had an excellent track record, but the previous case she had prosecuted had shaken her confidence. The date rapist had been pronounced innocent, which had left his victim stunned, fearful, and angry—and left Allison feeling guilty that she hadn’t been able to put him away for years. Today, at least, she had made the world a safer place.

BOOK: Face of Betrayal
6.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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