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.

 

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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

Crimson Phoenix: A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book #1 by John Gilstrap

An Action-Packed & Thrilling Novel

Brad Taylor meets The Stand in a riveting novel of suspense kicking off a brand new series perfect for fans of the page-turning novels of A.G. Riddle, Mark Greaney, and Matthew Mather.

“One of the most singular and compelling heroines to come along in years.” —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author

“Snaps with action from the very first page.”—Marc Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of Stone Cross and of Tom Clancy’s Code of Honor

From John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, comes Crimson Phoenix—first in the new Victoria Emerson Thriller series. With America brought to the brink of destruction, one woman becomes the last hope of a nation and its people . . .


Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.

A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.

Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .

“Just the thing for readers who feel oppressed by the pandemic lockdown.”— Kirkus Reviews

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“A gripping page-turner.” —Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author

“An explosive story that keeps your mind churning and pulse racing . . . Don’t miss this powerful new series from a master thriller writer.” —Jamie Freveletti, international bestselling and award-winning author.

Publication Date: February 23, 2021

This is going to knock your socks off!

PREORDER NOW!

New Book Release: Deep State by Chris Hauty

 

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“Engrossing…Kick-Ass.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Recently elected President Richard Monroe—populist, controversial, and divisive—is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law—and democracy itself. Allies are exposed as enemies, once-dependable authorities fall under suspicion, and no one seems to be who they say they are. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

 

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DEEP STATE: A conversation with Chris Hauty on The Real Book Spy

On the Cover: Chris Hauty The Big Thrill The Magazine of the International Thriller Writers

A Lima Charlie Review: “Deep State’ by Chris Hauty

 

Now Available / Paper

 

“The plot of Chris Hauty’s DEEP STATE rings eerily true in a novel that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. Be warned, you might not look at newspaper headlines the same way come morning. In a country with a government of the people, by the people and for the people, is the DEEP STATE really pulling the strings?” (Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL and critically acclaimed author of THE TERMINAL LIST and TRUE BELIEVER )

 

 

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Tier One Thriller Book #5: Red Specter now available for Preorder

 

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It’s strike—and counterstrike—as John Dempsey takes the fight to the Russians in a riveting Tier One Thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling authors of American Operator.

When shadow warrior and former Tier One Navy SEAL John Dempsey goes undercover to meet with a Vory arms dealer, he thinks he’s laying the groundwork to penetrate the Russian criminal underground. Instead, he walks into a trap orchestrated by Zeta, the secret Russian task force behind a recent assassination attempt on the US President. For Dempsey and his team, the only way out is to lay waste to the Russians, putting a target on Ember’s back.

With Ember pitted against Zeta, a dangerous game of strike and counterstrike ensues—sanctioned in the halls of the Kremlin and the White House but disavowed to the world. As the line between espionage, counterterrorism, and spec op blurs, Ember is ordered to eliminate their ultimate adversary, which means taking the fight against Zeta to Russian soil. But like a phoenix risen from the Cold War embers, Zeta is more capable than anyone imagines, and the Russians retaliate with an operation that will find Dempsey and task force Ember battling for survival.

 

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Publication Date: Nov. 5th, 2019: Pre-order Now

 

TIER ONE THRILLERS BOOK #5

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The Presence Of Evil: Task Force Orange Novel Book 2 by J.T. Patten

 

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NO MISSION IS IMPOSSIBLE

Drake Woolf is the perfect throwaway agent—a deadly, invisible force able to handle the blackest of black-ops missions. No one’s better when it comes to search and destroy. But his lethal drive feeds a relentless hunger. It’s all his handlers at Task Force Orange can do to point him at the right targets. This time he’s up against a massive, global conspiracy. In his deadly crosshairs are a Venezuelan terrorist, hordes of elite Iranian assassins, and a beautiful and wily FBI counterintelligence agent. Drake’s aim is flawless but his judgments are all over the place. If he doesn’t get it right this time, it will be Hell on Earth.

 

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Raves for J.T. Patten

“J.T. Patten has done all the research. All you need to do is hang on for the ride.”
—Sean Naylor, Bestselling Author of Relentless Strike 
and Not a Good Day to Die

Primed Charge reads like a throwback to when action movies didn’t suck. J.T. Patten, with his penchant for been-there-done-that authenticity, remains an author to watch closely.”
The Real Book Spy

 

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The Presence of Evil

JTPattenBooks.com

 

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