Book Review: Without Sanction – Matt Drake #1 by Don Bentley


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.

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.

 

GoodreadsAmazon | Audible

 

Author Don Bentley bursts onto the thriller scene like a bowling ball!!!  Without Sanction, the first Matt Drake book is a THRILLER in every sense of the word. It has everything a thriller buff would want in a story. Great characters, high stakes, superb plotting, gripping conflict…It has it all. There’s good writing–and then there’s exceptional writing that jumps off the page into a blistering page-turner. That, is WITHOUT SANCTION.  I love how Bentley places the beginning of the story with Matt Drake contemplating his demons from the past. I believe it’s called, In media res, if I’m not mistaken. This immediately hooks the reader from the get-go and leaves us wanting more. This wasn’t a typical bare-knuckles brawl action adventure–it had superb plotting, with Matt Drake undergoing a complete character arc. Those are the absolutely BEST stories to read.

Without Sanction was aptly named given the circumstances DIA agent Drake was put in. Absolutely no mercy! He really gets put through ringer. On the verge of quitting, he gets called back into the game by hard-ass James Glass; and sent on a mission into one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Syria.

I have to say at this point, I consumed the audiobook version of Without Sanction narrated by Jack Armstrong. If you’re a thriller writer and haven’t invested in a quality narrator, you’re seriously missing out. Jack Armstrong nails it. He matches the tone, spirit of the characters and the entire book. It adds an edge-of-your thrill to the overall reading experience. If Don Bentley isn’t on your radar yet–you need to do some serious reconnaissance.

 

“Sensationally good—I want more Matt Drake.”
Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Don Bentley’s Without Sanction is seriously one of the most compelling debuts in recent memory.
Brilliantly crafted and written, this book is a thoroughly riveting read and Don Bentley is an exciting new voice in the thriller world.”
Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Without Sanction knocks it out of the park! His hard won wisdom and experience from time downrange grip the reader from the first page to the last. Sign me up for an early read of book two!”
Jack Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Savage Son


 

The Outside Man – Matt Drake #2 is out March 2nd, 2021!

 

The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world’s most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door.

Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him?

The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It’s a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake’s wiles to get out alive.


Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot during which time he was stationed in South Korea, Germany, and Texas. While deployed to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VI, Don was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with “V” device for valor. Following his time in the military Don worked as an FBI Special Agent and was a member of the Dallas Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

Don is the author of the Matt Drake thriller series including WITHOUT SANCTION, THE OUTSIDE MAN, and two forth coming titles, as well as TARGET ACQUIRED, a Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Jr. novel.

 

donbentleybooks.com

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