A Lima Charlie Review: ‘Rules of War’ By Matthew Betley. With a BLAST RADIUS of a DIRTY BOMB! (9/10)

Rules-of-WarRules of War is from Matthew Betley, a former Marine Corps scout sniper platoon commander and infantry officer with deployments to Djibouti, Africa and Fallujah, Iraq. His Logan West thrillers have become an annual must read for all thriller fans, hitting the scene in 2016 with Overwatch, where we were introduced to Logan West. He woke up from a complete black out caused by a serious drinking problem mainly due to PTSD, something many veterans are living with every day. Being a veteran myself, reading this work of fiction, with some hard-hitting truth sprinkled into the dialogue is something I’ve come to appreciate from Betley’s novels. Things that only experienced combat veterans have the ability to capture in their writing, by experienced, I mean those guys that actually leave the wire and aren’t fobbits. From there, the action starts and never slows down.

In Rules of War, the intense, action packed ride continues from where last year’s Field of Valor ended. Joshua Baker, the US Vice President, one of the highest-ranking individuals left alive within the organization, set a chain of events in motion, climaxing with his entire secret service detail engaging in a gun fight against Logan West and the Ares taskforce and resulting in his escape. In Rules of War, Logan is on a mission to capture this traitor and make him pay for his sins.

Rules of War takes Logan to South America where he meets some noble warriors who have their own personal reasons to fight against the organization and the instability it has brought to their country of Venezuela. Amongst them, Chief Inspector Santiago Rojas of SEBIN, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Agency. While there, Logan and Cole, assisted by Santiago, and a few other returning characters are up against a formidable opponent on his home turf. On top of that, mother nature strikes giving another disadvantage to Logan and his taskforce in their efforts.

Fan favorite and Logan’s best friend, former Gunnery Sergeant of Marines, John Quick is forced to sit this one out due to a GSW he received in that gun fight with the Secret Service in Field of Valor. Amira Cerone also benched since the two are practically inseparable. I did however appreciate the realistic view on consequences sustaining that type of wound. In many books and movies, someone gets shot and is up and practically running a marathon the next day. But, just because they did not accompany Logan and Cole to South America, it doesn’t mean they’re completely immune from danger. Betley delivers some hard-hitting action, as well as one of the most emotional eye tearing sequences, much like when Logan’s friend, FBI Deputy Director Mike Benson had an emotional tear jerker of a scene in Oath of Honor.

The same funny dialogue, hard hitting, non-stop action, and emotional rollercoasters we have become accustomed to in a Logan West thriller are all within these pages in Rules of War. Betley once again delivered a must-read political thriller that does not disappoint. Pre-order Rules of War, and if you haven’t been on this train since 2016 when Overwatch debuted, I highly recommend you pre-order this novel, and while you’re waiting for July 16, check out the first three in this must-read series, Overwatch, Oath of Honor, and Field of Valor.




Author: Matthew Betley
Series: Logan West # 4
Pages: 357 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5011-6202-2
Publisher: Atria / Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @MatthewBetley
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A DIRTY BOMB (9/10) – This type of bomb kills immediately & continues to kill rendering the land useless for a long time.


About the Author

Matthew Betley grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, which he considers home after his family moved there from New Jersey, where he was born and which also explains his affinity for the New York Yankees.  He attended St. Xavier High School and then Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated with a B.A. in psychology and minors in political science and sociology.  He also spent the first semester of senior year investigating felony murder cases as an intern investigator in Washington, D.C., for the Public Defender’s Office, a formative experience that provided countless stories that could fill the pages of a non-fiction book.  Upon graduation, he worked in corporate America for five years in Cincinnati before joining the Marine Corps in 1999.

Matt spent ten years as a Marine officer and was trained as a scout sniper platoon commander, an infantry officer, and a ground intelligence officer.  His experiences include deployments to Djibouti after 9/11, and Fallujah, Iraq, prior to the surge, both in staff officer support billets, although he learned that enemy rocket and mortar fire don’t discriminate between billet types.

As the author of the Logan West thriller series, Matt’s first book, OVERWATCH, was nominated in 2016 for a Barry Award for Best Overall Thriller and was also named a Top Ten Book of 2016 by the Military Times.  His second and third novels, OATH OF HONOR and FIELD OF VALOR, have received similar critical acclaim, with RULES OF WAR coming out in Summer of 2019.  Additionally, OVERWATCH is being adapted into a major motion picture by Thunder Road Pictures with filming to commence in 2019.

Finally, and most importantly, Matt is a recovering alcoholic with ten years of sobriety.  He credits the Marine Corps with providing a foundation in discipline and personal accountability for his desire to initially seek help.  Matt is open and direct about it and has spoken in front of large groups of people with one clear message – if he can get sober, so can anyone.  His recovery and sobriety provide the authenticity for Logan West’s struggle with his inner demons.




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