Featured Review: ‘Deep State’ by Chris Hauty


Deep StateBelieve it or not, Washington D.C. is about to get even more polarizing.

Nothing about Hayley Chill, the protagionist of Hauty’s lights-out debut, is normal. After serving in the United States military, Hayley changes career paths and ends up interning at the White House. A former champion boxer turned energetic go-getter, Hayley is assigned to the office of Peter Hall, the President’s Chief of Staff, where she quickly makes a name for herself after taking down a trespasser—earning the respect of POTUS in the process. 

Following her five minutes of fame, Hayley wants nothing more than to get back to work and settle into her normal routine, when her boss is suddenly found dead in his home of an apparent heart attack. While everyone else is content to believe Hall’s death is from natural causes, Hayley finds a lone clue to suggest otherwise, and in trying to make sense of what it all means, accidentally unearths a major conspiracy in the process. 

As it turns out, a well-connected, well-organized, and powerful group of Washington elites aren’t happy with the job performance of recently elected President Richard Monroe, a self-proclaimed populist whose tactics since taking the White House have proven to be divisive. Hayley, for her part, knows she needs to warn the president, but at every turn is another once-trusted ally who reveals themselves to be part of the opposition—a list that includes Secret Service Agent Scott Billings, whom Hayley was once interested in romantically, among others—all of whom are hell-bent on seeing their mission through no matter what. 

The deep state is real, and with the president’s life in grave danger, it’s up to Hayley Chill to put the pieces together, unmask the traitors working to undermine America’s commander-in-chief, and stop them before it’s too late . . . 

Hauty, who’s worked as a successful screenwriter in Hollywood the last few decades, calls on his years of storytelling experience here, delivering a white-knuckle reading experience that almost hits a little too close to home for comfort. The plot, more timely than most Americans will care to admit, moves at the speed of a runaway freight train, and Hauty’s hero, Hayley Chill, displays the kind presence that’s rarely seen in a debut novel. Perhaps most impressively, though, is the author’s uncanny ability to tell his story from both sides of the aisle without ever offering his own political commentary, making Deep State an enjoyable read for both conservatives and liberals—an increasingly rare feat in today’s world.

With his super-charged plot and a perfectly-timed, mind-bending twist, Chris Hauty becomes the latest writer to take the thriller world by storm . . . Deep State will compete for best debut novel of 2020 and have readers dying for the anticipated follow-up. 

Book Details

Author: Chris Hauty
Series: Hayley Chill #1
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1982126582
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck 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.


Facebook Comments