Deep State: A Thriller

Emily Bestler: Atria. Jan. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781982126582. $27. THRILLER
Screenwriter Hauty’s debut opens in an army boxing ring. Hayley Chill, regimental champion, is fighting a formidable opponent, inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Hayley and slated to win the Olympics when she leaves the service, before pursuing a successful pro career. There’s seemingly no way Hayley can beat her, but she does. That’s an introduction to a determined young heroine who never says quit. A few years later, Hayley is the newest White House intern, working for the president’s chief of staff. She quickly moves up, noticed for her intelligence and calmness under pressure. When her boss dies unexpectedly, it appears to be a natural death, but Hayley, arriving shortly after, spots a boot print outside the door in a place where it shouldn’t be. She pulls a string, and suddenly she’s in the sights of a cabal of heavy hitters, plotting to undermine the president and the rule of law. At the very end, after everything seems settled, another shocker is unveiled, the only false note in a generally well-crafted thriller.
VERDICT Will appeal to lovers of spy fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]

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