Featured Review: ‘Rules of War’ by Matthew Betley

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Rules of WarFollowing his hard-hitting third novel, Field of Valor, Matthew Betley reloads and reengages with Rules of War, his most action-packed thriller to date. 

In the aftermath of Valor, the director of the NSA is dead, and Joshua Baker, the United States’ vice president, is missing. A traitor to his country, finding Baker is the number one priority for Task Force Ares, an elite unit within the FBI, and former Marine Logan West leads the manhunt. 

While his BFF and right-hand man John Quick recovers from a serious gunshot wound, it’s former CIA agent Cole Matthews who accompanies Logan this time around, as the duo heads to an Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Unbenknownst to Logan, though, someone is after him—which complicates matters significantly. 

Chief Inspector Santiago Rojas of Bolivian National Intelligence has been tasked with finding and bringing Logan back to Venezuela. A widower, Rojas also has a sick child dying of cancer—her treatment contingent on his ability to produce Logan to his superiors. To save her, he’ll do anything, but after a brief encounter with Logan and Cole, the tables are turned yet again when the trio—Santiago, Logan, and Cole—are ambushed in Rojas’ hotel room and forced to fight their way out of the building. 

Logan, who has always laid it all on the line, runnin’ and gunnin’ with the best of ’em, carries himself a bit differently in this one. Now an expected father, his perspective has changed. Empathetic to Rojas’ situation, he agrees to go to Venezuela so the man can secure the medical treatment for his daughter—and in doing so, finally connects the dots, revealing the real conspiracy playing out behind the scenes. With all the players finally unmasked, Logan West sets his sights on the former VP and everyone else who’s helped him along the way, and in doing so, opens the biggest can of whoop-ass Betley’s readers have seen yet. 

A former Marine himself, action and quick-witted dialogue have been Matthew Betley’s calling card throughout his writing career. And while the action and laugh-out-loud-funny one-liners are plentiful, he doesn’t receive enough credit for his ability to manipulate readers’ emotions. After showing flashes of such skill in Field of Valor (particularly when a father embraces his child for the last time), Betley—like everything else he does—takes it to the next level here, revealing a masterful touch in his handling of emotionally-charged scenes and a smooth prose to go with it. Bottom line: he’s no one-trick pony, and Betley, like his alter-ego protagonist, lays it all on the line here. 

Told with blazing speed, Rules of War is another fun, timely, action-filled thriller from Matthew Betley—who packs more gunfights and daring sequences into his books than anyone else in the business.

Book Details

Author: Matthew Betley
Series: Logan West #4
Pages: 357 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501162020
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 9.75/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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