Excerpt from The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Betrayal

A Novel

by Helen Dunmore

The Betrayal
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2011, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


'You soon will be, if he has his way. And he'll be out of them.' Lena's clever, slanting green eyes scan his face anxiously. 'You've never agreed?'

'I've said I'll talk to him tomorrow.'

'Listen to me. I know about these things. Tomorrow you'll call in sick. Promise me.'

'I can't do that.'

'Do you think Russov would do anything for you if you were in his position?'

'No. Probably not.'

'Well, then.'

'But, Lena, we're medics; we have to cooperate. It's perfectly legitimate for Russov to call on a second opinion.'

'Is that what he calls it? He's going to be the first opinion, then?'

'Well - '

'Just as I thought. It'll be you in the firing line, and no one else.' She lowers her voice again. 'You should keep out of it. Remember Court of Honour.'

Of course he had seen the film. He and Anna had watched it in silence, and left the cinema without comment. She had held his arm very tightly on the walk home. The film was fiction, but its targets were real. Kliueva, Roskin and Vasili Parin. Brilliant, innovative research scientists. Kliueva and Roskin pioneered biological drug treatments to shrink tumours. They'd seemed invulnerable. State funds poured into their research institute. Kliueva was awarded a Stalin Prize. The charges brought against them were that they'd betrayed Soviet scientific research secrets, which belonged to the State. Either they'd been tricked by the Americans into disclosure, or there was a more sinister explanation. But everyone knew it was inconceivable that they'd made these contacts with the Americans without permission. No scientist travelled to the USA without a full and thoroughly understood set of instructions. Whispers said that everything was done on clear State orders. Policy had changed overnight, as it did so often, and the scientists paid the price. Parin, who'd actually handed over the research material, was sentenced to twenty-five years as a spy for the Americans. Somehow, by the skin of their teeth, Roskin and Kliueva survived their Court of Honour, their severe reprimand and the barrage of claims that they too were spies, hoodwinked by the Americans. They'd been unbelievably lucky; Parin not so. The warning was there. Don't think, however eminent and crowned with prizes you may be, that you can't be destroyed. Don't think that the scientific or medical community can expect any special favours because of its particular expertise. The same stringent standards apply to everyone. Scientists can be spies; doctors can be anti-patriotic saboteurs. Anybody can go out of favour in the blink of an eye. The State is tire less in exercising the utmost vigilance over scientists and doctors who present themselves as 'dogooders', thinking only of the needs of humanity and of their patients.

Lena is watching him. She'll know exactly what he's thinking. Everyone saw Court of Honour. She glances around her again, and says very quietly, 'I know it's not quite the same thing, but it'll turn out the same way, believe me. They believed that they were acting in good faith and so they would be all right. All they were thinking about was the cure. That was their mistake.'

He nods. Not for the first time, he's amazed by Lena's trust in him. 'I understand what you're saying, Lena,' he answers.

'Do you? I hope so. You've got too much faith in people, but to me all this smells wrong. Did he tell you what's wrong with the boy?'

'Not yet. What do you know, Lena?'

'Not a lot. No one's been allowed near him except Russov. He's had X-rays done already, did he tell you that?'

A wave of anger courses through Andrei. How can that be possible? To have X-rays done, but not to tell him! Was Andrei supposed to order more X-rays and so give the patient a double dose of radiation?

The Betrayal © 2010 by Helen Dunmore; reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Doctors' Plot

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.