THE K TEAM by David Rosenfelt

March 30, 2020

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K Team, Book 1

From the publisher:

From bestselling mystery author David Rosenfelt comes a new series – a spinoff of the much beloved Andy Carpenter mysteries – about a dynamic new investigative team featuring a determined former cop and his loyal German Shepherd.

Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, Simon Garfunkel, have recently retired from the police force. Not ready to give up the life yet, they come up with a proposal for fellow former cop, Laurie Carpenter, and her investigating partner, Marcus. Laurie and Marcus – who help out Laurie’s lawyer husband Andy on cases – have been chafing to jump back into investigating on their own, so they are in.

They call themselves the K Team, in honor of Simon. Their first job as private investigators comes to them from Judge Henry Henderson, who’s known as a very tough but fair judge, and they’ve all come up against him in court at one time or another. Though it’s hard to believe, Judge Henderson is being blackmailed and extorted, and he doesn’t want to involve the police–he needs the K Team to figure out why.


The novel is advertised as a spinoff of the very popular Andy Carpenter stories. It is, but not much changes. Andy’s wife Laurie, a former policewoman, the very vocal Marcus and Corey Douglas, a retired policeman, form an investigatory company and decide to take on cases in order to make money.

Corey was introduced in one of the latest Andy Carpenter books when he filed suit against the department he worked for demanding that they retire into his care the K9 that he had worked with. The lawsuit prevailed and the dog named Simon Garfunkel also becomes a member of the team. The group takes the name the K team thanks to Simon and their first job is to investigate a blackmail campaign against a judge with a reputation of being tough but fair. They must find out why he is being blackmailed, put a stop to it and get evidence against the blackmailers.

Corey is the only character that is not a regular in the Andy Carpenter series but takes Andy’s place as the source of wisecracks for the group. Using some personnel from the regular Carpenter family as well as an appearance by Andy himself, the writing is reminiscent of the storylines of the Carpenter series. For fans of those books, the reward is that additional plots not necessarily revolving around court trials can be utilized and still maintain the delightful styling that the reader looks for in a David Rosenfelt book.

A welcome addition to the author’s long list of entertaining fiction and also keeping in the practice of featuring beloved dogs that move in and out of the stories. And yes, the ending is the satisfying one we are accustomed to.

3/2020 Paul Lane

THE K TEAM by David Rosenfelt. Minotaur Books (March 24, 2020). ISBN: 978-1250257192. 304p.

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TRUE PATRIOTS by Russell Fralich

March 29, 2020

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From the publisher:

A country to kill for …

The career of Claire Marcoux, a young naval officer, threatens to come crashing down after she orders the ship under her command to return fire on a boat that she was supposed to rescue. The quiet life of Daniel Ritter, a new professor in a new town, is turned upside down when the celebrity entrepreneur he was unexpectedly invited to meet is found murdered. Thrown together by chance, Claire and Daniel discover that they are involved in the same fight against an unknown enemy — a foe with a plot that endangers the lives of many … and the very existence of the country they both cherish.


An entertaining adventure story taking place in Canada comprises Fralich’s first published novel. He does an entertaining job of putting two quite diverse people together working to solve a mystery that could affect the future direction of the country.

The province of Alberta is getting ready to vote on staying or withdrawing from the Canadian union and there are a great many diverse opinions on both sides of the aisle. The direction taken could make fortunes for people betting on the right side. All of the country is involved in examining the situation, remembering all too well the conditions surrounding the preceding occurrence when Quebec underwent the same path and remained in the union.

Claire Marcoux is a career naval officer and has just taken over her first command of a ship on active duty. She is tested when her ship encounters a probable smuggler who attacks her instead of surrendering as should be. With no choice in the matter, she orders her gunnery mate to fire back with the subsequent sinking of the smugglers’ boat. As commander of the vessel, Claire faces a board of inquiry and enters into a period of uncertainty when she finds herself facing the dislike of an officer over her.

Daniel Ritter is a new professor and falls into a strange problem when a self-made and celebrated entrepreneur invites him to meet and discuss the man’s actions but is suddenly found murdered. Both Claire and Daniel apparently have completely different problems, but strangely find that they have mutual interests in solving what is before them. Claire is not at all backward in handling different and often violent situations, and it appears that Daniel has a background that involved at some point the use of weapons and the fighting arts.

Where this goes is well done and sets the stage quite neatly for future novels involving the two principal characters or if not, other novels that would very well prove entertaining to read.

3/2020 Paul Lane

TRUE PATRIOTS by Russell Fralich. Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1538748145. 384p.

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PRINCE OF SPIES by Alex Gerlis

March 25, 2020

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The Richard Prince Thrillers, Book 1

From the publisher:

Find the truth; risk everything. A gripping WWII spy novel full of intrigue and peril from a modern master.

1942: A German spy comes ashore on a desolate stretch of Lincolnshire beach. But he is hunted down by a young detective, Richard Prince. The secret services have need of a man like him…

In occupied Europe, Denmark is a hotbed of problems for British intelligence. Rumours of a war-ending weapon being developed by the Germans are rife.

Sent to Copenhagen, Prince is soon caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Dodging Gestapo agents, SS muscle and the danger of betrayal, his survival – and the war effort – hangs in the balance.

Gripping and intense, Prince of Spies is the first in a new espionage series that will delight fans of Alan Furst, Philip Kerr and John le Carré.


Alex Gerlis initiates a planned series of novels revolving around Richard Prince, who is by vocation a detective in London. His activities are picked up in the midst of World War II in 1944. Prince already has earned a reputation as a hard worker, a very intelligent and savvy detective and one with a bright future in police work. He has the idea that he would like to do more, increasing his own reputation and earning promotion from the agency he works for.

The opportunity arises in a big way when Prince masterminds the capture of a Nazi spy that has secretly entered the country and who tells of secret weapons the Nazis are developing which could let them win the war. The center of the activity by Germany seems to be centered in Denmark, which is currently occupied by the Nazi army.

The British deem it necessary to get an agent into Copenhagen to begin investigating the facts about the planned weapon. Prince is fluent in Danish due to having lived in Denmark at one point in his youth. He is approached by the British Secret Service and asked if he will take on the mission. Nervous, but anxious to further develop his skills Richard accepts the assignment and is smuggled into Copenhagen.

The events depicted take Prince into Denmark, Germany, and a neutral Sweden while searching for information on what type of weapon is being developed and then where the manufacturing process is centered. Along the way, he meets a woman assigned to help him in Denmark which leads him into a love affair. In addition another woman, actually a member of the German upper class, and the wife of a high-level German army officer who is helping the British due to her distaste for Hitler’s regime has occasion to provide aide to Prince. She takes a liking to him while at the same time getting rid of her husband because of his views on the current German path which include a disdain and slaughter of Jews. This hatred reflects Hitler’s official position and his need to cleanse Germany of Jews and other groups selected for use as scapegoats who are believed to have caused a major recession in the country.

The portraits of Richard Prince, the two ladies he is involved with, and several people involved in the story’s evolution are well done. They act bravely, are motivated by their cause and feel anxiety and fear as would be normal in a titanic stress situation as is war. After an interesting read, it is no surprise that the ending finds Prince accepting another assignment and getting ready to reenter war-torn Europe again.

3/2020 Paul Lane

PRINCE OF SPIES by Alex Gerlis. Canelo Action (March 19, 2020). ASIN: B082FZQHTX. 352p.


A CRIMINAL JUSTICE by William L Myers, Jr.

March 23, 2020

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Philadelphia Legal series

From the publisher:

A man in prison for murder. One woman wants him freed. One woman wants him dead.

Mick McFarland is stunned when he’s arrested for murdering business tycoon Edwin Hanson, brother to David Hanson—one of Mick’s former clients. Mick is even more shocked when he’s confronted with the incriminating evidence: surveillance footage of him stalking the victim and pulling the trigger.

As Mick’s legal team fights against windmills trying to beat the prosecution in court, his wife, Piper, journeys across the country, trying to win her husband’s freedom by going after the man she is convinced is out to destroy Mick and David both. What she doesn’t anticipate is that David’s wife, Marcie, is on a similar mission to shelter her own husband. And the two women may not be on the same side.

Piper has it all right…and all wrong. And her time is running out. Will she be able to save her husband from conviction and clear his name?


William Myers sets up a well done and complete novel touching upon the jury trial of a man facing murder charges, the love of his family, the loyalty of an individual’s coworkers and a fascinating look at the incredible future of computers and computing.

Mick McFarland is an attorney just coming off an important case when he is arrested for murder. Astonished, he is faced with actual video of him walking in front of an individual and then clearly walking back and shooting that man to death. The proof of the crime seems irrefutable; it is shown in a video taken by surveillance cameras with dated impression data and no question of the time is that of the murder.

Going to trial Mick is represented by another lawyer from his own firm. But the evidence brought by the District Attorney filing the case against Mick just continues to pile up with no way open to contest the adverse testimony.

Mick’s wife Piper finally must take it upon herself to go after the party that may have committed the murder and placed the blame on her husband. The final section of the novel is a must-read and involves an explanation of what looks like the future of computing. Some of the technique coming out in the book is available in applications in today’s digital world and the author describes an end product currently available in some areas which are well on their way to making our world a much different place than we think.

A mesmerizing novel that will grab the reader’s attention and open doors that are unheard of by most people. The book is beyond being an all-nighter and could very well be the first written description of a wonderful, but perhaps frightening world opening now.

3/2020 Paul Lane

A CRIMINAL JUSTICE by William L Myers, Jr. Thomas & Mercer (March 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1542005531. 395p.

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THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN by Joel C Rosenberg

March 19, 2020

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From the publisher:

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author!

The enemy is invisible and moving fast. The body count is rising. And time is running out.
Marcus Ryker has spent his entire career studying killers. One thing he knows for sure: a peace summit is the ultimate stage for an assassination.

President Andrew Clarke is determined to announce his historic peace plan from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But when senior American officials who support the plan begin violently dying, Clarke orders Ryker and his team of CIA operatives to hunt down those responsible and bring the killing spree to an end.

When the Palestinians denounce the American plan, the Saudis signal they may be ready to forge a historic treaty with Israel. Could the Saudi king’s support be the missing ingredient that will lead to peace at long last?

Ryker soon uncovers a chilling plot to kill the American president. A well-resourced international alliance is dead set against the peace plan. They will stop at nothing to strike a blow against the Americans and seize leadership of the Muslim world.

With all eyes on Jerusalem and the president in the crosshairs, it’s up to Ryker to eliminate the terrible evil that’s been set in motion. The fate of the region depends on his success. He has 48 hours.


Rosenberg is the author of many books most of which deal with the situation currently prevalent in the Middle East. He has established a reputation as a man whose writings echo the reality of what is happening in that area of the world and whose opinions are sought by many leaders involved in finding their way in the tumult of that region.

The Jerusalem Assassin is a novel that focuses on the interest of the president of the United States in fostering a peace between the Arab nations and Israel. He intends to travel to Jerusalem and set up a meeting between himself, the President of Israel and the ruler of Saudi Arabia. The accord reached by the three leaders is seen to also bring peace between the Palestinians and Israel between whom years of negotiation have not yielded any advances.

A new terrorist group formed in Greece is opposed to such a meeting and commences assassinating Americans sent as an advance group to lay the groundwork for the talks. The US president sends Marcus Ryker and a supporting team of CIA operatives to stop the assassinations and bring the killers to justice.

The work of Ryker and his team in moving the talks forward is handled with a style that creates an impossibility for the reader to lay down the book before finishing it. It is action and more action, but logically handled as the time for the talks to start looms closer and closer with the Terrorist group moving their agenda forward as well. At the same time, Rosenberg keeps the terror state of Iran front and center certainly setting the stage for continuous action for Marcus Ryker in forthcoming novels. I’m certainly looking forward to those when they are published.

3/2020 Paul Lane

THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN by Joel C Rosenberg. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1496437846. 464p.

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THE RED LOTUS by Chris Bohjalian

March 18, 2020

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From the publisher:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant comes a twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm.

Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road.

As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin’s prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in?

Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.


There is no feeling better than to pick up a book by an author that I have read in the past and find that he is not mired in one style of book. That in writing a novel that is nothing at all like the previous one I read, found it as good, and not at all similar to his past writings. The Red Lotus is Chris Bohjalian at his best, a great story, well written with excellent development of principal characters.

Alexis is a young doctor who is one of the emergency room physicians in the hospital she works in. She is dedicated to and good at what she does. While her love life is somewhat limited by the hours she works she does date. The strangest date she manages is when Austin is brought in with a bullet wound in his arm. His story is that he got caught up in a fight between other men in a bar and by bad luck got in the way of the gunshot. Austin, also coincidentally works at the same hospital that Alexis does, although in another department. The two begin dating and seem to be getting more and more involved. Austin’s hobby and greatest interest is bike riding, but not just around the neighborhood, but on long-distance runs with organized groups.

About eight months after the two meet, Austin invites Alexis to go with him on an organized tour sponsored by a professional biker’s organization to Vietnam. He tells her that besides the ride he wants to visit two sites for family reasons. At one, his uncle was killed, and at the other, his father wounded during the Vietnam war. Arriving there Austin decides that he wants to go by himself to visit the two sites and does so. When he doesn’t return and can’t be found by the group searching both the Vietnamese police and the American FBI representative in the area are called in to help.

Alexis has to return to the US and to work but decides she wants to see if she can find out what happened to Austin and hires a private detective. In a short time a body is brought back to the US with Alexis identifying it as that of Austin. What is the reason for his death if not the one of natural causes shown at first sight? The well told story unfolds with Alexis and the private detective looking at a possible connection at the hospital where she and Austin worked. Discovery of facts and clues are found by judicious logic and the reader is left with the obvious desire to get Bohjalian’s next book as soon as published.

3/2020 Paul Lane

THE RED LOTUS by Chris Bohjalian. Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1538748145. 384p.

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THE BOY FROM THE WOODS by Harlan Coben

March 17, 2020

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From the publisher:

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.


Harlan Coben introduces a new character for his readers with this book. It is a man simply called Wilde due to his very unusual past.

Wilde was discovered as a boy roaming free in the woods. He has no memory of where he came from, but does speak and understand English and had lived and survived for years through entering homes of people living on or near the woods and taking food and clothing. Once picked up, he is taken in and adopted by a family, goes to school and serves in the military.

Now as an adult, Wilde makes a living as a person that does things for other people. He learns about the disappearance of Naomi Pine, the daughter of a man that he knew in school but does not react until asked to find her by Heather Crimstein, who is a television criminal attorney. Heather has learned from her grandson that Naomi has been relentlessly bullied in school and may have fled that life.

The search for Naomi and events following her disappearance are action-filled and as described by the author constitute the draw of the book for the reader. The story, while interesting, is not as mesmerizing as the normal Harlan Coben book generally is. The first section features a great deal of conversation with little action and the actions of Wilde in looking for the lost girl come across as a bit disjointed. The book is by Harlan Coben which makes it desirable but an ending that seems to terminate the series without setting up another Wilde novel could be what the author wants in testing the main character.

3/2020 Paul Lane

THE BOY FROM THE WOODS by Harlan Coben. Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1538748145. 384p.

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STOP AT NOTHING by Michael Ledwidge

March 12, 2020

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From the publisher:

The explosive new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of James Patterson’s Michael Bennett series

When a Gulfstream jet goes down in the Bahamas carrying a fortune in cash and ill-gotten diamonds, expat diving instructor Michael Gannon is the only person on the scene. Assuming himself the beneficiary of a drug deal gone bad, Gannon thinks he’s home free with the sudden windfall until he realizes he forgot to ask one simple question.

Who were the six dead men on the plane?

Gannon soon learns the answer to that fateful question as he is thrust into an increasingly complex and deadly game of cat and mouse with a group of the world’s most powerful and dangerous men who will stop at nothing to catch him.

But as the walls close in, Gannon reveals a few secrets of his own. Before he retired to the islands, Gannon had another life, one with a lethal set of skills that he must now call back to the surface if he wants to make it out alive.

As a decade-long James Patterson writing partner, Michael Ledwidge is a pro at writing fast-paced, in-the-moment prose, tightly choreographed action set pieces and plot twists that drop at exactly the right moment. With this novel, he kicks off an unstoppable, gripping new thriller series.


Michael Gannon is an American ex-pat living in the Bahamas where he is a part-time diving instructor, sport fisherman and has his own boat. He is enjoying a relaxed life in the sun with no cares to weigh him down. The novel opens when Michael spots a corporate jet flying low over the ocean near where he is fishing. The plane splashes down and he heads over to see if he can render any assistance to passengers on board. Getting there he finds six dead men on the plane. Diving down to see if any passengers are still alive Michael finds a fortune in both cash and diamonds and thinking that he has come upon a drug deal gone bad takes the fortune and heads home.

A combined U.S. Navy and FBI investigation of the crash brings out what is a plot by certain leaders of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to squelch damning evidence on themselves which is scheduled to be broadcast by a man hiding in an embassy in London. These people find that Michael Gannon has taken the cash and diamonds and a search and kill hunt for him begins. But we quickly find that Gannon has a past which is very helpful in fending off his would-be killers.

Ledwidge is an experienced author with a background that includes collaboration with James Patterson and appears to be launching a series of his own featuring Michael Gannon. These future books may include action in the Caribbean working out of the Bahamas and should prove well worth the read.

3/2020 Paul Lane

STOP AT NOTHING by Michael Ledwidge. Hanover Square Press; Original edition (March 3, 2020). ISBN: 978-1335044952. 416p.

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THE DEEP by Alma Katsu

March 10, 2020

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From the publisher:

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world’s most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic.

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic‘s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past–as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.


Alma Katsu has written a truly unique novel incorporating an eerie twist to the very well known story of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. In 1916 at the height of World War one the ocean liner Britannic was sunk according to accounts by two German submarines. The Britannic coincidentally was a sister ship to the Titanic and had been turned into a hospital ship for the duration of the war. The novel moves from one point to the other effortlessly as the story unfolds.

The action swings back and forth between 1912 and 1916 and uses two protagonists to tell the story. Annie Hebbley is a young girl that has left her home in Ireland due to the horrific conditions she was suffering there. She manages to luckily get a job on the Titanic as a room steward serving twelve of the first-class cabins on the ship. Among the passengers she serves are John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, well known multimillionaires of the day.

The second individual playing an important role in the book is Mark Fletcher, an American returning home with his new British wife and their baby. From the sailing date, both passengers and crew shrug off odd happenings including the sudden death of a young boy sailing as caretaker to one of the millionaire’s dogs. The chairman of the White Star Line owners of the Titanic is aboard and hastens to assure everyone that the ship is unsinkable. People should not worry and just enjoy the luxury of the cruise bound for New York.

The story finds Annie in a mental institution four years after the Titanic tragedy unable to cope with the horror she has undergone. She is released by her doctor and reluctantly manages to obtain a job as a nurse on the Britannic finding an aptitude she doesn’t know she has to do the work. In inspecting the wounded men under her care, she comes upon Mark Fletcher. While on the Titanic she had met Mark, who was a passenger in one of the cabins she attended. She had developed a crush on him and in a wild moment has a one night stand. Her feelings come out and her imaginings lead her into thinking that Mark was in love with her and this feeling just has to be rekindled.

Katsu changes the actual destruction of the Britannic from sinking by submarines to something else based on the love Annie thinks she can rekindle with Mark. The novel is absolutely compelling, grabbing the reader and bringing him or her into another era and a possible link into the macabre. I certainly hope that Alma Katsu comes out with her next book soon and indicate my recommendation to pick it up as soon as published to enjoy.

3/2020 Paul Lane

THE DEEP by Alma Katsu. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 10, 2020). ISBN: 978-0525537908. 432p.

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WITHOUT SANCTION by Don Bentley

March 9, 2020

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A Matt Drake Thriller, Book 1

From the publisher:

After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure in a debut thriller Lee Child calls “sensationally good.”

Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he’s paralyzed by survivor’s guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn’t left him.

In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive—Matt Drake.


This is the first book in a new series featuring Matt Drake, a flawed hero, but one with the brains, patriotism and the will to get things resolved. In a mission taking place before the beginning of this novel, three men were killed and his best friend, also with them, was permanently crippled. Matt blames himself for the failure of the botched action.

After three months of feeling sorry for himself and drowning his sorrows, he is unexpectedly called back by his supervisor to undertake a mission into Syria. The task will be to extract a Pakistani scientist working for ISIS who has perfected a new and terrible chemical aimed at killing Americans. He has offered to bring the formula to the United States in payment of being taken out and granted asylum there. The condition put is that he wants Matt to handle the operation.

Matt undertakes the job after learning that an American agent, the only survivor of a raid into the area has been captured and will be beheaded by his captors with the execution filmed to be used as propaganda. There is also a background scenario that takes place in the White House. The president is facing reelection for a second term and there are two high-level officers of the government that are looking to control his actions to control events for their own benefit. The background action is a great piece of writing to underline the actual scheming, plotting and double-dealing that occurs in government circles. And of course, plans are laid, discarded and done again by the people working behind the scenes.

Unfortunately for Matt, the president and those on his high-level staff are playing off the rescue of the captured American in different ways in order to seek their own gain. Bentley does indeed have a low opinion of politicians and their maneuvering to bring themselves the greater good by just discarding the needs of those caught in their schemes.

Don Bentley has done a great job in building Matt’s character. He has his faults, his missteps, but in the final analysis, will do the right thing to protect lives and punish his enemies. An excellent beginning to what I trust will be an anticipated series based on well-described counter-terrorism operations.

3/2020 Paul Lane

WITHOUT SANCTION by Don Bentley. Berkley (March 3, 2020). ISBN: 978-1984805119. 384p.

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