Monday, December 2, 2019

"Betrayal in Blue" by Mark M. Bello

Betrayal in Blue
(Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 3)
by Mark M. Bello

Betrayal in Blue (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 3) by Mark M. Bello

Mark M. Bello stops by today to share an excerpt from Betrayal in Blue, the third book in the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series. Also available: Betrayal of Faith (read my blog post), Betrayal of Justice (read my blog post), and Betrayal in Black (read my blog post).

Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series by Mark M. Bello

Cut off the head of a snake and another grows in its place ...
Zack and Jack are Back!
White Supremacy again rears its ugly head in Dearborn ...
Trial lawyer Zachary Blake tackled The Church and clergy sexual abuse in Betrayal of Faith and white supremacy and a bigoted POTUS in Betrayal of Justice. The super lawyer returns along with Dearborn Police Captain Jack Dylan for this third installment of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller series, an exciting journey through investigation, chase, deception, forensics, and trial.
Jack is in trouble with the law in a quaint northern Michigan fishing town, accused of murdering a terrorist. The local police and the FBI join forces to take him down. To prove his innocence - Captain Jack turns to an old nemesis ... Zachary Blake.
A dynamic cast of characters converges on Manistee, Michigan for the biggest trial this small fishing town has ever seen. Can Zack and Jack prevent the brotherhood in blue from morphing into a Betrayal in Blue? Part police crime novel - part courtroom drama. Grab Zachary Blake’s exciting new courtroom challenge today!

Book Video

Chapter One
The men around the table became quiet as they absorbed the news. They were an elite unit of Dearborn Michigan police officers, a task force that achieved some notoriety for bringing down a group of white supremacists after one member bombed the local mosque and an Islamic museum. In the process, the task force exonerated and rescued Arya Khan, a young Muslim woman falsely accused of murdering the mosque bomber and who, later, was held hostage by these homegrown terrorists.
Their leader was Benjamin Blaine, head of the “The Conservative Council” and an icon/exemplar for numerous, similar groups. After their capture, trials, and many plea bargains, Blaine and seventeen others were now serving multiple life sentences in a Michigan prison.
“What do we know about sarin gas? How is it released? What kind of damage does it cause?” Jack Dylan’s mind was racing as he addressed his elite group of cops.
“According to my limited internet research, sarin was developed by the Germans in 1938. No surprise there, I guess,” Noah remarked.
“Go on . . .”
“It has been associated with acts of terror in the past, as you probably know. There was the Japan subway attack in 1995 which resulted in twelve deaths, fifty injuries, and five thousand afflicted with temporary blindness of some sort.”
“Keep going, Noah,” coaxed Shaheed Ali, Jack Dylan’s right-hand man. Shaheed was lieutenant on the task force and its only Muslim. He and Arya Khan became “an item” following her rescue. Their relationship was the talk of the task force. Shaheed refused to provide the level of prurient detail his nosy and obnoxious colleagues were interested in, which caused them to be more curious and more obnoxious. Such was life in the brotherhood in blue.
“It was used more recently in Syria last April, where more than ninety civilians were killed by the Syrian air force rockets of Bashar al-Assad. United Nations weapons inspectors have confirmed this incident. This stuff is lethal, guys. Sarin is a clear, colorless, tasteless liquid. Exposure to as little as a couple of drops of it in liquid form might cause death. It is incredibly volatile, turns to gas at room temperature, and can penetrate the skin. It attacks the nervous system, over-stimulating nerves that control muscle and gland functions. Sarin is almost thirty times deadlier than cyanide, if you can believe that.
“A victim might inhale or ingest it or might be exposed to it through skin or eye contact. It can remain on an affected person’s clothing for thirty minutes or so, which will not only expose that person but all the people he or she comes in contact with for that period.” Noah stopped and surveyed the room. His colleagues were digesting the information, in stunned disbelief.
“What happens to someone exposed?” Shaheed inquired.
“The victim will first experience a runny nose, chest tightness, and eye problems. After those initial symptoms, the person becomes nauseous and begins to drool as he or she loses muscle control in the mouth and throat. The next progression is full-fledged vomiting, loss of body functions, perhaps twitching, shaking, and jerking. Finally, the victim chokes, convulses, and dies from asphyxiation. The whole thing is over within minutes of exposure,” Noah advised.
Jack rose and began to pace around the room, thinking, indifferent to the presence of the others, virtually ignoring them, muttering to himself. He was a distinguished-looking middle-aged man, graying at the temples. Being a no-nonsense cop, he took this threat very seriously. Because of Arya Khan, Shaheed Ali, and the events of last year, Jack became a better cop, more aware of racism and bigotry in his community, someone whom the citizens respected.
Suddenly, he stopped pacing and sat down at the head of the table, eyeballing his colleagues.
“These internet ramblings are obviously not enough to do anything with at the moment.” Turning to Noah, he ordered, “Noah, you and your team continue to monitor all internet activity. We need more details. Shaheed, I want you to investigate all white supremacist or nationalist groups in the area. I know the activity among such groups has been increasing over the past year. Look for which groups are most active in the Detroit Metropolitan area and which have close ties with Blaine and The Conservative Council. We are still recovering from the last incident. We have to stop this plot if that’s what it is. We have to stop it cold before it gains any traction.”
“Got it, boss,” Shaheed acknowledged.
“And by the way, Shaheed, get together with Noah and investigate whether or not the threat may be foreign rather than domestic. Sarin may have been invented in Germany, but its recent use has been limited to Middle Eastern countries and Islamic terrorists. The noise on the web could be a smokescreen for all we know. Better to be safe than sorry.”
Jack turned from his men and gazed out onto Michigan Avenue. It was a dreary spring day. The nasty weather mirrored how he was feeling after hearing the news of another potential terrorist attack in his beloved city.
The leaves on the trees were in bloom. Dark clouds still blanketed the sky. A storm recently passed. Jack could hear an occasional angry horn as drivers weaved in and out of stop-and-go traffic.
Commuters with their morning cups of coffee hurried along the sidewalks and streets of the city. The enveloping fog was eerie, like a tightening vice, given the possibility of a sarin gas attack in Dearborn proper. Was the fog a sign of evil about to descend on the city? Jack was startled out of his deep, trancelike state by Shaheed Ali.
“Boss? Jack? Earth to Jack?” Shaheed interrupted his thoughts, amused.
Jack shook himself back into the meeting and immediately turned to Andy Toller, a new cop on the task force. His primary talent was research and operational planning. Andy replaced Asher Granger, once a good cop and a trusted friend. Granger, it turned out, was more invested in the white nationalist agenda than being a loyal officer of the law. Ultimately, Benjamin Blaine killed him after Asher attempted to betray Blaine.
“Andy,” Jack continued, “I need you to get me everything you can on a black-market distribution of chemicals. If someone wanted to smuggle sarin gas into the city, how would they do it? Where are the obvious and less obvious points of entry? How would they weaponize it? Talk to narcotics officers in all local police departments. Talk to undercover operatives and snitches. I want to get a handle on the situation before making any decisions involving the Feds and Homeland Security. Got it?” Jack was determined—all business.
“Got it, boss. Glad to be of service,” Andy confirmed, pleased to be seeing some action and excited to prove himself to Jack and the others.
“Anybody have anything to add?” Jack queried, looking around the room. Silence.
“Then let’s get to work. Sarin...shit! We must stop these guys...again.”
The men nodded, stone-faced. Was it déjà vu all over again?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“This a mind-blowing story with a shocking and intense ending that will have readers sitting on the edge of their seats.”
“An exciting Police Procedural/Legal Thriller.”
“Excellent courtroom drama.”
“Mark Bello is quickly becoming the go to author for intense crime drama that is written with a finger on a he heartbeat of contemporary times. Thrilling action and drama in Betrayal in Blue will hook you from the start and keep you turning pages.”
“Mark M. Bello has crafted an exciting mixture of a crime and legal thriller which takes the reader on an exciting journey through the investigation, the chase, the deception, and then the legal trial, so just when the reader thinks the story is done, more is to come. Nicely done.”

About the Author
Mark M. Bello
Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of realistic fiction and political legal thrillers.
Retired from handling high profile legal cases, Mark now gives the public a front-row seat watching victims fight for justice in our civil and criminal justice systems. Mark's award-winning Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers mirror our times and the events that shape our country.
In addition to writing captivating legal thriller novels, Mark writes a civil justice blog and co-hosts a weekly podcast, Journey into Justice. He has written articles for numerous publications and made guest appearances on radio and talk shows.
In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. He and his wife Tobye have four children and eight grandchildren.


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