Book Review: The Paris Betrayal

23 Nov

I love a good spy novel! I read them exclusively when I was in high school. So when I found a Christian fiction author who writes so well in the genre, I was sold. The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal is on its face a political thriller with the balance of world power at stake. The twist is that it is inspired by the book of Job. That takes it to a whole new level. I used it in my Faith And Fiction Bible Study — we loved the inventiveness of this retelling. Recommended.

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.

Former stealth pilot James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up with surface to air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries, a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series, and a Selah Award finalist for his Clandestine Service series. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.

My Impressions:

Ben Calix is at the top of the game as a spy with the Company, a US spy agency that is super secret. Until he’s not. After a botched mission, Ben is cut off and has no idea why. With super-villains tracking him, his own teammates abandoning him, and the Director who he reveres keeping silent, Calix makes it his new mission to save the world and prove his innocence. The Paris Betrayal is pure adrenaline-laced action that will appeal to those who love a good spy novel. This reader soon became deeply engaged with Ben’s plight, hoping against hope that his spy-craft would keep him alive as he sought to redeem himself. Action-packed, on the surface this novel is a rousing good read. But if you look a little deeper you will see parallels to the Book of Job. I actually discovered the connection after about 30 pages — I snuck a peek at the back of the book. The Author’s Note details the inspiration for the the character and the story line. I found it very inventive, as well as a great what-if of Job’s life in the modern-day world. I also included it as a the book club portion of my Faith and Fiction Bible study. My group had fun discussing the book in light of what we had studied the previous weeks. The book has few references to faith, but its Christian worldview shines through. I very much enjoyed the wild ride I took with Calix. I would love another book starring Ben, Clara, and the intrepid Otto (the cutest dog in fiction this year 🙂 .


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell and LibraryThing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Paris Betrayal”

  1. Cindy Davis November 23, 2022 at 11:09 am #

    We enjoyed this one too! I also loved Elysium Tide by him, have you read it?

    • rbclibrary November 23, 2022 at 11:25 am #

      Not yet. It’s on my NetGalley shelf.

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