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Summary

After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure in a debut thriller Lee Child calls "sensationally good."

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.

It’s a suicide mission - one man against an army of terrorists. Still, with stakes this high, Matt has no choice but to try. He’s going in on high alert, but he’s blind to his greatest vulnerability. His most dangerous enemy is closer to home - not on the battlefield, but in the Oval Office.

©2020 Don Bentley (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Sensationally good - I want more Matt Drake." (Lee Child, number one New York Times best-selling author)

"Don Bentley’s Without Sanction is seriously one of the most compelling debuts in recent memory. Brilliantly crafted and written, this book is a thoroughly riveting read and Don Bentley is an exciting new voice in the thriller world." (Mark Greaney, New York Times best-selling author)

"Brilliantly crafted and written, this book is a thoroughly riveting read and Don Bentley is an exciting new voice in the thriller world." (Mark Greaney, New York Times best-selling author)
 

What listeners say about Without Sanction

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Without Sanction

Without Sanction should be renamed Without Fingernails because that is how this book has left me😁. Don Bentley on his debut novel has wrote the perfect nail biter of a book, suspense from start to finish with a race against time for a hero who will stop at nothing.

1 person found this helpful

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Something Missing

As the title says. Don’t know if it was the narration or the story. I’ll be giving this series a miss. It was almost returned but I got through it.

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  • shelley
  • 08-03-20

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Action Packed Espionage Debut!!

The protagonist (Matt Drake) is a former Ranger turned DIA Agent. After leaving the agency with PTSD and hallucinations of the dead he had sworn to protect, he’s approached by the head of the CIA and asked to return to Syria to rescue a captured Ranger from ISIS and a scientist working on a WMD. This is the place his nightmares were born. Drake confronts old enemies, faces his fears and learns of a betrayal he never thought possible. But he also refuses to give up when his superior orders him to comply with a ludicrous request with out giving him a chance to explain his actions. Drake goes off on his own to complete his mission. It’s the middle of a presidential election and everyone in Washington is has their own agenda, some include Drake not making it home. Jack Armstrong does a fantastic job narrating. This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. If you found this review helpful please indicate so. Thank You.

26 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • DUEY B.
  • 25-04-20

Spoilers that could save you 10 hours

I listened to this because I'm caught up on my normal audiobook series. I usually listen to Mitch Rapp, The Grey Man, Orphan X, Dewey Andreas and Jack Reacher. I was recommended this book by audible. It had a rave review from Lee Child (Jack Reacher writer) so I thought it would be good. The main character, Matt Drake, is a retired Army Ranger turned DIA spy. Interesting concept, first DIA character I have heard of in novels. But spoiler alert, he is experiencing PTSD issues from a case he failed on....This is such an overplayed storyline. Seems the best way to sell books or movies related to operations nowadays is to make the main character a Navy Seal or have them suffer from PTSD. And in this book, the PTSD is just constant. The author can't finish a single chapter without having his character experience debilitating waves of seeing the literal ghosts of his failures, multiple times. The Army Ranger theme is heavy. Apparently the author is a real world retired Apache driver so the army theme is ever present. Side note for the author and all the other confused people out there....the only TRUE gunship in the world is the AC-130. Please stop calling Apache Helos, Gunships. Anything that is heavily operated by the "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" crowd does don't deserve the Gunship moniker. Moving on, the book's plot has a DC political aspect as well as the expected terrorist battle aspect. The political "bad guy" is the president's senior advisor who literally uses Russian pilots to attack Americans for one seriously sinister goal--he wants the president to get elected to a second term so he can push a free college education platform. Why you ask, cause this disgruntled politician had a sister die from an IED blast while in the National Guard. She was "forced" to join the national guard to pay for school. *GASP* To reiterate, the massive political conspiracy of this book has an end goal to pay for everyone's higher education. Money, power, control of the free world, influence of a world super power....hell no. This scourge of the underworld just wants you to "Feel the Bern." I think I may be feeling some traumatic stress after all that evil. Then there is our hero. He HAHOs into action only to seriously screw up the landing and break his ankle. Standard. The author really wanted to capture reality there. Bravo....but then, the character takes a bullet to the other leg, breaks a wrist and gets a conclusion....all before he gets to the hostage. But this hardened war criminal can't leave a fallen man (he doesn't know and never actually served with) behind so he hobbles his way in with the help of a young American born ISIS fighter who misses his mommy. And when that scumbag ISIS fighter is killed, the main character feels so bad he actually travels to visit the youth's mother in America at the end of the book to tell her how great of a kid he was. Let's get one thing straight, ISIS is easily one of the most brutal and evil terrorist organizations in the history of the world. The American kids who defected to the ranks of ISIS, well, they represent the most despicable of that organization. When the author made this dirtbag out to be a lost kid who deserves my sympathy, I almost broke my phone in disgust. I only finished the book so I could rip it to shreds accurately on here. Anyways, you can probably guess the rest. Somehow, with his body completely broke and his mind shot, he comes out alive, killing his healthy nemesis while on the brink of death in handcuffs. The whole book was a set up to the rest of the series. The senior advisor isn't caught, the president is re-elected and though the nemesis is dead, it's apparent he was only a puppet. Maybe I just needed to vent cause I spent one of my credits on this Trainwreck or maybe this book truly is aweful. hopefully, if you read this, you save $20 and 10 hours of your life. Or, maybe you think American Born ISIS fighters are misunderstood, probably because you were forced to pay for college. In that case, you're probably downloading this audiobook to your phone as this sentence ends.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 09-03-20

Intense suspense and near constant action!

WITHOUT SANCTION is author Don Bentley's debut novel. It is an espionage/political thriller with a strong plot line with a well developed protagonist character. Few debut novels are released through major publishing house. Comparisons of author Bentley to Jack Carr are inevitable. Make no mistake, Without Sanction deserves 5 stars, but it is not as good as The terminal List which was Carr's first novel. Jack Armstrong does a great job of narration. Very highly recommended.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-20

If Antifa wrote woke Jack Ryan fanfics

Are all Conservatives evil and stupid? Do you like dull, endless character introductions that info dump everything about a character as soon as they enter a room? Do you like endless personal drama while nothing happens? This is the book for you! Thrill to a man getting a shoe shine! Marvel at a refusal to answer a phone call! Prepare yourself for the complex spyworld action of getting a door open for a man on crutches! Is this another flashback or another hallucination? Who cares? You'll meet everyone (seemingly) who works at an office and learn about their habits, dreams, desires, preferred clothing style and much, MUCH more before you can even find out why the main character, or you, should care about the main plot! Could everything be solved by saying that the guy who didn't want to do the job had died and they just needed to use someone else? Yes. Is this book worth listening to (not even reading, listening)? No.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 13-04-20

TOO POLITICAL, NOT ENOUGH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

TOO POLITICAL, weak motivational reasons for big treason events. goes on and on NOT ENOUGH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Need to be more interested in the characters to buy another. that wont happen.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Avid Reader
  • 10-03-20

Where is the ending?

The story just storpped without closure. I'm sorry I spent hours listening to it. I'm asking for my credit back.

9 people found this helpful

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  • T. Ives
  • 02-04-20

Got Bored

Maybe I didn’t give it enough time “8 chapters” , the conservative bashing was driving me crazy it became predictable. Had to stop wish I could get my credit back.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 05-04-20

Enough Already

More than once I felt like screaming "enough already" - I mean one thing after another happens to the protagonist, marriage issues, employment issues, mental (more than one) issues, multiple physical injuries, back stabbing .. It is like Mr. Bentley has a list of possible problems or barriers and decide to use them all in one book. It really is a shame too because if he had only dropped a few out of the book it would have been SOOOO much better. Instead I got tired of them, wasn't all that interested in finishing the book .. oh wait I did finish it and it didn't even have a good finish. Loads of threads left totally unaddressed - very Unsatisfying. This is a real shame too because it listens/reads like Bentley did his homework, there are some really good characters and chapters but he just went too far and then failed to finish. This is the first book I have listened to narrated by Jack Armstrong, he is only ok He doesn't do different voices very well. I don't say I will avoid books he narrates but I also won't search on his name to find books he does narrate.

6 people found this helpful

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  • E. Levy
  • 31-03-20

speed reading??

narrator sounded like he had to pee but couldn't get permission to go to the bathroom until he finished reading the entire book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-20

frogman

author took a long, long, long time to develop story line. Over use of descriptive narrative that did not add to the character or story line. I think it was added to meet the number of pages the book needed before it could go to print. After the main character had the first miss hap, I knew where the author was going and the character might as well had an S on his chest.

3 people found this helpful