The Betrayal Path

Written by Brian Van Norman
Review by Steve Donoghue

Allan Nashe, an English spy, is sent to Quebec to discover the state of French defenses during the Seven Years’ War. But within the pit of espionage, fate hands Nashe a conundrum.”

In Brian Van Norman’s expertly-researched and tightly-controlled debut, English spy Alan Nashe is called from his sordid relaxations in the resort town of Bath and sent on a new assignment: make the voyage to Quebec, then a hotbed of political activity in the years leading up to the famous death of General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham, and spy for the Crown in the midst of the province’s treacherous cross-currents of espionage.

The novel is very much Nashe’s show, but Van Norman nevertheless does an excellent job of fleshing out his large cast of secondary characters, and he accomplishes this mostly through page after page of pitch-perfect dialogue and a good amount of wry, Flashman-style humor.