Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Without Sanction by Don Bentley
Narrator: Jack Armstrong
Published by Penguin Audio on March 3, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 10 hours, 36 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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.
I didn’t know anything about this author or series but it sounded different than my usual mystery / thriller books. Without Sanction is more of a political thriller than a spy or military one, and the first in the Matt Drake series.
I felt a bit confused initially when getting to know the characters and the politics in this world. I wasn’t sure who the good guys or bad guys were. I thought they might all be good or bad. I found myself rooting for each character in the part with their point of view at the start. Later, I realized some of them were not working together for the country, only themselves. This political fighting to win by “spinning” the truth is the upsetting reality of today.
In the end, there are people like Matt Drake, whose word means something, and he risks himself to keep it. There were many life and death moments in this thrilling adventure. There were plenty of gray areas with some seriously flawed characters. I am sure I will want to read more about someone fighting for the factual truth as difficult as it may be.
I’ve not listened to the narrator in the past. I enjoyed the easily understandable voices, mostly all male but many were distinct for the characters. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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