Book Review: The Lane Betrayal, John A. Heldt

The Lane Betrayal


Borrowed from

Virginia physicist Mark Lane has a problem. Weeks after privately creating two time machines, he learns his corporate partner wants to use the portable devices for nefarious purposes. Rather than give him the chance to do so, Mark takes the time boxes and escapes to the relative safety of 1865.

For Mark, wife Mary, and their children, the adventure is a chance to grow. Mary runs a business. Jeremy, 19, and Ashley, 12, befriend escaped slaves. Laura, 22, finds her place as a nurse. Jordan, 25, falls for a beautiful widow. All hope to find peace in the past.

Billionaire Robert Devereaux has other ideas. Shortly after Mark’s betrayal, he sends an assassin to 1865 to retrieve his property and set matters straight.

Filled with romance, suspense, and history, THE LANE BETRAYAL follows a modern American family as it tries to find security and contentment in the final weeks of the Civil War.


I am going to preface this with saying that John has come a very long way in developing both his characters and the antagonists he creates.  I have to say he’s crawling into the mind of the antagonist quite well, and this time around he certainly did that with both Robert Devereaux (RD) and his assassin, Bain.  When I was reading this book I was definitely cheering for the Lane’s, there’s no real way anyone couldn’t.  They did what they had to in order to prevent the all-out anarchy and corporate takeover that Deveraux was planning.  However, we soon look that RD, like so many nefarious and greedy persons will do absolutely anything he can to prevent Mark and his family from blocking him.  When there’s money and power involved just about anyone can do anything.

Ok, back to my review – John has done a fabulous job researching the history, people, and locations surrounding Washington DC in the midst of the Civil War. It’s always interesting to me to hear about how much the city has changed and what it was like to live and function during the era of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.   Being from that area I was very familiar with all the locations mentioned, and have actually had a chance to see a show at Ford’s Theater.  This particular novel takes us on that tour of our Nation’s Capital while laying the groundwork for the very story that will captivate and draw you in from the word go.

I really enjoyed this story and as soon as I started reading it I could not put it down, reading until well past midnight.  I felt connected to the story and could really just see why each character does what they do.  I crawled into Mark’s head and knew kind of how he was processing information and making plans, I could almost walk in Mary’s shoes and be the protective mother she was all the while trying to manipulate some of the country’s most powerful men to bend to her will.  I felt the heartache Jordan felt when he spoke of losing his college girlfriend, and yet the joy he felt when he was with Rebecca (there’s more – no spoilers).  I sincerely look forward to seeing where the Lane’s will go to next!

Again, a 5 out of 5 for The Lane Betrayal.

About the Author John A. Heldt

John Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past.

Connect with John

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