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.
It’s a suicide mission—one man against an army of terrorists. Still, with stakes this high, Matt has no choice but to try. He’s going in on high alert, but he’s blind to his greatest vulnerability. His most dangerous enemy is closer to home—not on the battlefield, but in the Oval Office.
In Bentley's predictable debut and series launch, Matt Drake, an agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency, goes off the rails after a disastrous mission to Aleppo, Syria, that leaves him with PTSD, a buddy horrifically wounded, and a Syrian family dead. He has zero interest in returning to Syria, but of course he does, to undertake an important mission: extracting a chemical weapons expert who is believed to have created a particularly effective new poison. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., just a few days before the presidential election, a covert CIA-led mission goes sideways, and President Jorge Gonzales's chief of staff, Peter Redman, doesn't want bad headlines to hurt Gonzales's reelection chances. Redman's subsequent damage control interferes with Drake's mission. Caught in the middle, Drake does exactly what the reader expects and soldiers on with a mixture of machismo and jingoism. The exciting combat scenes and the military-technology detail will appeal to Tom Clancy fans. However, Bentley will have to come up with a more original plot next time if he's to compete in the crowded military action genre.