Debut author Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot, while deployed to OEF, he earned a Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with “V” for valor. After his stint in the Army, Don got out as a Captain and joined the FBI. There, Special Agent Bentley focused on foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, completing his career with the FBI as a member of their elite SWAT.
Without Sanction introduces to the world Matt Drake, an Army Ranger (RLTW) veteran and analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency or DIA. When we meet Matt, he’s a broken man. Unsure of what is happening to him, he has quit his job and became a recluse. Battling his demons every day, trying and failing to find a way back into society, to his friends, to his wife. For months he battles the same battle of survivor’s guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder, tremors, nightmares, anxiety, and depression that many real-world veterans go through. An accurate type of description only an author that has been there and done that can express.
Without Sanction has quite a bit of political drama, on par with a Vince Flynn novel, Bentley does a fantastic job giving these characters a purpose and meaning to where they think their way is the only way to handle a certain situation. Many are ambitious and use their power to get what most in politics want, more power. Amongst those characters is a politician that’s not a prick, President Jorge Gonzales. Nearing the end of his first term and trying to get re-elected. To shield him from all the chaos, Peter Redman, his Chief of Staff, is forced to deal with this mess created a mere few days before the Presidential election.
A spy thriller, a political thriller, with a dose of espionage and hardcore military action, this novel has is it all. Some high praise worthy writing that deserve a mention is when Drake needs to insert himself into a denied area of operations without being detected by the many forces that call this battles space home, remnants of ISIS are everywhere, the Free Syrian Army, Assad’s Army, and of course the Russians to name a few. Drake enters this battlespace utilizing a unique method that will have you at the edge of your seat.
Following the badassery there, the emotional surprises, the dangers, the determination of Drake to see this through, the humor, and the few allies Drake has left willing to help him complete his mission is few and far between. But when the Ranger Creed is driving you, the choice is an easy one, quitting is not an option. What we have is an absolute must-read debut novel from a very talented rising star. If I had to compare Without Sanction to prior debuts, I think Vince Flynn’s Term Limits and Jack Carr’s The Terminal List would be the most accurate comparison. As a new author, Don Bentley is standing out among the very best the thriller community has to offer. I very much look forward to more Matt Drake in the future. Earning itself a Lima Charlie Review rating of a DIRTY BOMB! A 9.25/10 Lima Charlie Rating.
Author: Don Bentley
Series: Matt Drake # 1
Pages: 373 Hardcover
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Follow Don on Twitter: @bentleydonb
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A DIRTY BOMB (9.25/10) – This type of bomb kills immediately & continues to kill rendering the land useless for a long time.
About the author
Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot, and while deployed in Afghanistan 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 focusing on foreign intelligence and counterintelligence and was a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member.