State of Betrayal (Detective Virgil Jones Mystery Thriller Series) by Thomas Scott

Reviewed by Allen Hott

A very interesting, although somewhat complex, read about Virgil Jones who is and has been a state cop for many years. The story begins actually twenty years ago when Jones, in the line of duty, has to shoot and kill a man. The man was beating another man to death with a piece of steel in the back of a pickup. At the time Virgil didn’t realize it nor would it have mattered but the two children of the man he shot to death were sitting in the front seat of the pickup.

And though it doesn’t come out immediately those two youngsters will show up again in the story some twenty years later and they will in fact have dealings with Virgil Jones.

What turns out is that Nicholas Pope, who was in fact the five year old son in the truck, becomes a highly skilled computer technician. Because of his great skills a coder he works his way up into a pretty good position in the state’s lottery program. He is one of those who have to keep track of the numbers and insure that they are definitely “mixed” well before each lottery drawing. And his twin sister, Nichole, is also involved in his latest operation which they both believe will help pay back in a monetary way the loss of their dad many years ago. The state lottery is a giant pot for them to shoot for and especially if they can pull it off using Nicholas’ skills.

They had also kept track of the man who had started the fight with their dad. That man, Bradley Pearson, eventually moved up into the state political scheme of things, and though he always seemed to be somewhat on the shady side he did prosper. Many who worked with him however were pretty aware of his maneuvers and tried to stay clear of too close of any associations.

All the while these things are going on Virgil Jones is having his own problems. Most likely because of that unforgettable shooting his conscience has always seemed to be in a twirl and he constantly had to fight it off with medications as prescribed by his doctors. He had grown up as a true fisherman and still partook of that sport as often as he could. Now though even while fishing he was having mental problems some of which involved many conversations with his father who had been dead for many years. In his honor Virgil’s friends had planted a special tree for his dad on his death and Virgil would go out and sit under that tree and have long conversations with his deceased father.

Although he had worked his way up in law enforcement he had finally been forced to leave and from then he works on various cases but is doing so somewhat freelance and all the while battling in some degree with Pearson and others. But he is getting the job done and is well appreciated by the governor and others in law enforcement.

The story winds around a bit but all eventually comes to a very interesting ending and one that satisfies most readers. It is a good read overall but just seems to have a few too many characters and too many subplots. But as I say it is a good read that hold the reader’s attention all the way.