In this white-knuckled, timely, and whip-smart debut thriller, a deadly plot against the president’s life emerges from the shadows of the Deep State.
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?
"...white-knuckled, timely, and whip-smart debut thriller..." That's what the blurb for Deep State promises. Does it deliver? Not in my ever so humble opinion. The premise for this one sounded like it would be at least close to that sit up and take notice description, but the story just doesn't get there, and I expected so much more after reading the author's bio and seeing that he's a screenwriter. Deep State is written in present tense, which didn't bother me. I like the real-time feeling, especially in a fast-paced thriller. The problem is that this wasn't fast-paced, and it's full of unnecessary information. For example, I don't need to know what will happen with characters years down the road if it doesn't impact this story. And since it is written in present tense, what will become of these often minor characters is so much information that I don't need or want. Yet, I found myself slogging through this information that seemed like more filler than anything else while trying to get to the meat of the story. And there is where my other problem came in. As I mentioned, I liked the premise of this one even if it does lean farther toward conspiracy theories than I usually care for, but it ended up being rather boring and wordy. I will say that there is an excellent twist at the end, but by then it was just too little, too late to save this one for me. Good twist or not, Deep State ended up being a book that was much easier to set aside than it was to pick back up. I did push through to the end, mostly out of sheer determination and a bit of OCD about finishing things, but if you're looking for an exciting thriller, I would advise skipping this one.
❃❃ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Atria Books