#BlogTour The Deep State by Chris Hauty

Today it’s a pleasure to take a part in the BlogTour Deep State by Chris Hauty. It’s a cracking read.About the Author

Chris Hauty is a screenwriter who has worked at all the major movie studios, in nearly every genre of film. He currently lives in Venice, California, in the company of a classic Triumph motorcycle and a feral cat. Deep State is his first novel.

Follow @ChrisHauty on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit chrishauty.comBuy Deep State

About the book

Hayley Chill isn’t your typical West Wing intern. Ex-military and as patriotic as she is principled, she is largely vilified by her peers and lauded by her superiors – it’s a quick way of making enemies.

It is Hayley who finds the body of the White House chief of staff, Peter Hall, on his kitchen floor having died from an apparent heart attack. It is also Hayley who notices a single clue which suggests his death was deliberate, targeted. That he was assassinated.

Unsure who to trust, Hayley works alone to uncover a wideranging conspiracy that controls the furthest reaches of the government. And Hall is just the beginning – the president is the next target.

Hayley must now do the impossible: stop an assassination, when she has no idea who the enemy is, all while staying hidden, with Peter’s final words to her ringing in her ears: Trust no one. Because the Deep State will kill to silence her. And they are closing in.

It is entrenched. It is hidden. It is deadly.Who can you trust?


I have to be honest. It was a pleasure to read a political action thriller with a strong woman as the protagonist. A military veteran and an excellent boxer, who is as smart as a whip and cool as a cucumber when it counts. Hayley Chill is the new woman in town.

When Hayley starts her internship at the White House the last thing she expects is to be accidentally drawn into a conspiracy to bring the man in charge down. She certainly isn’t going to stand by and watch it happen. Her training and her conviction to protect, honour and serve make her the kind of opponent the opposition should fear, and yet they underestimate her instead.

What I really liked about this premise was the way Hauty shows his readers the flipside of the coin. The president is a threat to the world and to America. He lacks diplomacy skills, he acts on instinct instead of taking a moment to think and he doesn’t mind making enemies out of his allies, whilst befriending enemies of the state. Sound familiar?

Right, now hold your horses because this story isn’t another sanctimonious we need to save the world from the biggest threat the world has ever seen, ergo POTUS, scenario. Instead Hauty makes the so-called saviours the Deep State and the game is afoot to save the President.

I thought that was a clever way of putting politics and power struggles as we are experiencing them at the moment into a different perspective. If you believe in the sanctity of the office and the position then surely if you serve at the pleasure of the President you have no choice but to protect him, right? Or do you try and save the country? Which choice makes you a traitor?

It’s a political action thriller with a woman at the helm of the ship.

For a debut novel this is remarkable. The storyline is on point, the characters are genuine and the political divisiveness mirrors real time events, opinions and emotions. It’s an incredibly clever way of shining a light on the other side of the fence, especially when that fence has driven a wedge between the people, their identity and everything the country was built upon.

And if I wasn’t clear – it’s a cracking read.

Buy Deep State at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; pub date 23 January 2020 – Hardback – £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher

Today It’s my turn on the BlogTour for The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher. It’s a story of political machinations, revenge, history and also one about love. You can also enter a Giveaway by commenting on this post to win 1 x Paperback copy of The Glass Diplomat  – (the Giveaway is open Internationally).

About the Author

‘It didn’t occur to me to write until I was twenty-two, prompted by reading a disappointing book by an author I’d previously liked. I wrote thirty pages of a story I abandoned because it didn’t work on any level. I moved on to a thriller about lost treasure in Central America; which I finished, but never showed to anyone. Two more went the way of the first, and I forgave the author.

After that I became more interested in people-centric stories. I also decided I needed to get some help with my writing, and studied for a degree with the OU. I chose Psychology partly because it was an easier sell to my family than Creative Writing. But mainly because it suited the changing tastes of my writing. When I look back, so many of my choices have been about my writing.

I’ve been writing all my adult life, but nine years ago I had a kidney transplant which interrupted my career, to everyone’s relief. It did mean my output increased, and I developed a work plan that sees me with two projects on the go at any one time. Although that has taken a hit in recent months as I’m currently renovating a house and getting to know my very new granddaughter.

I write for no other reason than I enjoy it deeply. I like the challenge of making a story work. I get a thrill from tinkering with the structure, of creating characters that I care about, and of manipulating a plot that unravels unpredictably, yet logically. I like to write myself into a corner and then see how I can escape. To me, writing is a puzzle I like to spend my time trying to solve.’ – S.R. Wilsher

About the book

In 1973 Chile, as General Augusto Pinochet seizes power, thirteen-year-old English schoolboy Charlie Norton watches his father walk into the night and never return. Taken in by diplomat, Tomas Abrego, his life becomes intricately linked to the family.

Despite his love for the Abrego sisters, he’s unable to prevent Maria falling under the spell of a left-wing revolutionary, or Sophia from marrying the right-wing Minister of Justice.

His connection to the family is complicated by the growing impression that Tomas Abrego was somehow involved in his father’s disappearance.

As the conflict of a family divided by politics comes to a head on the night of the 1989 student riots, Charlie has to act to save the sisters from an enemy they cannot see.


There is this side to Charlie, which I think is inherent in the majority of journalists who live in or come from countries under a democratic rule, an almost childlike naiveté that their homeland rules and laws build an invisible shield around them and will keep them safe. Nothing could be further from the truth, and also one of the reasons many of them are murdered doing their jobs.

Journalists or just people in general, who live in countries governed by oppressive regimes and police states, know they have targets on their back when they speak out against said regimes. The voice of freedom, of rebellion and of justice comes with a heavy price.

Although Charlie is understandably driven by the unofficial death of his father, and the blatant theft of any property or wealth he had at the time of his disappearance, I think his sense for self-preservation is clouded by this pseudo familial attachment he has to the Abrego family. The truth is that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty everyone will look to save themselves and their own loved ones first.

In one of the chapters Charlie interviews a known rebel against the cause. Encarro’s father is also a victim of the Chilean regime, which is probably the reason both men can lay their differences aside for a moment. Charlie asks him why the regime doesn’t silence all of their opposition and critical voices, to which Encarro replies that the government needs to give the appearance that they allow some voices to criticise as long as they don’t go too far. It gives the rest of the world the impression that they are indeed open to critical views, that the horror stories are merely propaganda, which in turn means the international world is satisfied and looks in the other direction.

The Chilean government has only recognised and admitted to their hand in the deaths and torture of over 40000 deaths, during the regime of the dictator Pinochet, including ’88 children younger than 12 years old’ from 1973 onwards. The real numbers are a lot higher and that doesn’t account for the still unaccounted for disappeared victims or the the exiled. The military government of Chile committed systematic human rights violations, including, torture, rape and psychological damage, during the 17 year reign of Pinochet.

During his attempt to discover the truth and right some wrongs Charlie inadvertently sets a series of events in motion, which culminate in the most horrifying of consequences, but apparently one the head of the Abrego family is willing to accept.

This is a stunning read, and one that may make you feel angry and powerless. As we look on as the same atrocities happen on our doorstep, which the Western world has often done and will probably always do. More concerned with our own profits and machinations to intercede on the behalf of the vulnerable. People are quick to forget mass-murder and genocide committed under our noses as I am writing this or only a few decades ago. Instead we point towards horrors a lot further back, perhaps in an attempt to negate the truth that power reigns supreme and always supersedes the right of the single human being.

It’s a story of trauma, justice and also of love. It is also a story of culpability. Are your hands less dirty than the person doing the killing, if you are the one ordering it or more importantly enabling the murder? Or looking the other way whilst someone else is committing the atrocities?

I will leave you with this sentence from the book, which when considering the implications is truly an indication of the horror the people left behind experience on a loop for the rest of their lives.

‘Disappeared is a much worse evil than death’

Buy The Glass Diplomat at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Buy The Glass Diplomat at Amazon Com

Enter the Giveaway by commenting on this post to win 1 x Paperback copy of The Glass Diplomat  – (the Giveaway is open Internationally).

You can also enter the Giveaway on the following blogs on this BlogTour:

lauramorningstar.com (22nd of August 2018) and bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com (23rd of August 2018)

Synbio by Leslie Alan Horvitz


I think I can safely say that after reading this book I now know a lot about DNA and genetics. Perhaps even more than I would like to know or imagine possible. The use of bio-genetics as a biological weapon of warfare.

If it ever becomes as simple as it seems in this story then I am afraid we have something to worry about. Kudos to the author for simplifying the process and explanations, so that a layman can understand all the science involved.

We see Eugenie find her moral compass and at the same time she is struck by the reality of not being able to do anything to change the plight of others or those in need. It is  interesting to see that contradiction in someone who appears so completely ruthless and jaded.

I think Seth plays the key-role of the scientist confronted by the conundrum most scientists have to face or acknowledge eventually. To discover can also often men holding the key to a potential weapon. Each cure can become a recipe for death, and each new step forward could mean any steps backwards for humanity.

It could do with a little more structure and direction. The development of the main characters suffers a little from the sheer magnitude of the main plot and sub-plots.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Far Gone by Laura Griffin


What didn’t gel very well for me was the way Gavin was treated from a legal point of view. Being the brother of cop shouldn’t be a free pass, especially when domestic terrorism is involved. He aided and abetted a criminal, and yet that is conveniently forgotten.

I would have liked to have read more about the incident that gets Andrea suspended. From a police perspective she has done her duty and yet it seems as if the powers that be would rather be dealing with a mass shooting instead. A moral conundrum or just plain old politics? How is her decision brought into question at all, given the facts of the event?

Andrea is attacked and the reader never actually finds out the why and the who, so what was the point of that scene aside from setting up a sympathy scene with Jon later on in the book.

The domestic terrorist plot starts off quite well and there are some interesting comparisons made to the Oklahoma bombing. Overall it could have been a lot stronger from a plot point of view if the author hadn’t been so divided by the fact she also wanted to tell a story of a romantic encounter.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles


This is certainly a book of epic proportions. It is roughly double the length of a normal novel. The story reaches far back into the past and takes the reader on a long path towards the truth. The tragic events of the past cast their wicked tendrils far into the present.

Even now after all these years many murders and disappearances related to the civil rights movements during the 60’s, remain cold cases.Close knit communities are still reluctant to point the finger at bigots and racists, who committed heinous crimes to prevent equality between different races.

A fictional tale based on historical facts and events, it is often a read that might upset or anger, which is only understandable considering the content. I think you can actually feel Iles frustration at the apathy directed towards solving these crimes and the level of corruption at that point in time.

Even now it seems as if many people just don’t want to muddy the already really dirty waters. Who knows how many bodies are still buried or how many people are still alive and able to reveal the fates and resting places of the remaining victims?

I think in a way the length of the novel subconsciously represents the time span between crimes and culmination of the events resulting from those crimes. This isn’t just a crime story for the author, this is making readers remember an incredibly difficult passage in history.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of William Morrow via Edelweiss.

American Quartet by Warren Adler


Fiona is a highly complicated character. She spends three-quarters of her time inside her head either questioning her own motives or having internal debates with herself. I don’t think I have ever experienced a female lead with such an intense desire to understand why her relationships will probably not work out. In her case it is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. It will certainly be entertaining to  watch her meet her real match one day.
Adler always creates a realistic cop on cop partner relationship, especially when one of those is a female. He has a keen eye for the inequality, the daily oppression, the barrage of abuse and general lack of respect, when it comes to gender in the police force. For females in male dominated career you don’t have many choices, you either fall in  line and put up with it silently or you fall in line and become one of the men. They frown upon the third option, the ones who don’t want to put up with the sexist and outdated order of command in the male world.
Fiona bows down to the higher rank when she has to and tries to accommodate even the most difficult of partners. Indeed even Jefferson grows on her, and in the end he has her back in a way no other person does, even if it costs him everything. He becomes the epitome of a true partner.
The actual plot is quite complex and the book is strewn with conspiracy theories connected to assassinations of Presidents going all the way back to Lincoln. The murderer has lost his timid grip on his sanity, if indeed he ever had a grip on it at all. Plagued with Mommy issues and confusion about his own sexuality he thinks his salvation lies in the culmination of an extremely complex murderous plot.
As always Adler manages to mix facts with fiction to create a story with his very own flair.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and courtesy of Stonehouse Press.

Washington Masquerade by Warren Adler


Fiona is an odd bird. Quite difficult and very used to getting her own way. In her relationships it seems to be her way or the highway.
I have to be honest, if my partner thought it was completely normal to wake me up in the middle of the night to discuss topics that are bothering me or to rekindle a previous fight, then I would be far from happy. Keeping in mind that princess Fiona sleeps first and then wakes her lover up to debate politics or anything in general that might happen to annoy her.
She also seems to have a penchant for picking lovers, who think it is alright to fling disgusting insults into an argument about politics, just because someone disagrees with him.
Not very politically savvy at all.
Politics play a minor role in the story and yet it seems as if the author has used it as a platform to give a little insight into the difference of opinion about the President. He shows the huge fissure between the supporters and the opponents, which is quite volatile. Comments like ‘he should be hung by the tree like a beast’ are an indication of just how deep the emotion goes. An emotion I think actually borders on hatred.
That strong negative tidal wave of emotion gives way to a great distrust in regards to the upper echelon of power and creates a widespread paranoia. The mantra being, the government and the President are out to get us and destroy us. They will do anything to keep their secrets. He will do anything not to get caught.
I found that sub-plot quite interesting.
The main plot was done in an unusual way. The reader already knows the who, the why and the what and figuring out the who-dunnit is very simple. The reader gets to watch the detectives try and figure out what we already know. It was a very Columboesque way of doing things, but without the strong detective character to go with it.
Fiona seems to play second fiddle to her much more astute colleague Izzy. I am not sure why his ethnicity and religion were brought into focus so often though.
What this book did suffer from, and I believe it was to the detriment of the story, was the repetitiveness. Many things were repeated over and over again, as if to make sure the reader had understood them. For example, the fact that Fiona and Phil had been involved before he met his wife, and that their one sexual dalliance was memorable in a sense that it wasn’t. That particular tidbit was repeated quite a few times.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.