Sunday, February 16, 2020

Deep State, a White House thriller in which a young woman investigates a conspiracy against the President

Title: Deep State
Author: Chris Hauty 
Publication: Simon & Schuster, hardcover, January 2020
Genre: Suspense

Plot: Hayley Chill, who joined the military to get out of West Virginia yet sends most of her salary home to her family, is now beginning an internship at the White House.  Driven and patriotic, she is more mature than the college students with whom she is sharing projects and distinguishes herself from the beginning.  First, she helps bring down a trespasser on White House grounds and then when a jealous colleague tries to sabotage her work, she saves her boss from embarrassment and impresses him and the President.  However, when her boss dies suddenly, Hayley is the only one who wonders if it was more than a natural death.  Soon, she has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens the President, and anyone – such as Hayley – who gets in the way, in a thriller that seems realistic enough to be true . . .  

My Impressions: I had read a great review of this book so put it on my 2020 list, and I enjoyed it enough to keep reading until I finished it at 3 am.  The plot could be pulled from current headlines, and Hayley is an entertaining heroine because she is intrepid, confident, resourceful, and is not ashamed of being from small-town West Virginia.   Hayley is not as cartoon-hero invincible as Jane Hawk, in the Dean Koontz series I recently enjoyed, although she seems to triumph almost effortlessly.  Fans of David Baldacci will enjoy the political overtones, the intricate plotting, and the pursuit scenes.  Deep State is not as compelling as books by David Baldacci, which often disarm the reader with humor, and I found one aspect of Hauty’s style quite annoying.  His omniscient narrator (for want of a better phrase) sometimes warns the reader of the unpleasant fate of certain characters in the future ("Ten years later she would become a televangelist and would defraud her followers of millions of dollars"). This is a mistake because it disrupts the narrative and jolts the reader out of an absorbing story. Better to keep us reading!

Off the Blog: It’s the annual New England Betsy-Tacy Halloween Party today, hosted by Judith in her beautiful Worcester home where every piece of furniture and bric-a-brac has a story. I am bringing spinach squares.
Source: Library copy

1 comment:

Judith said...

Deep State sounds fascinating and compelling. Now what's compelling me is how do you make the spinach squares?? Dying to know!