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The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world's most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door. Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him? The answers will take h The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world's most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door. Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him? The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It's a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake's wiles to get out alive.


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The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world's most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door. Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him? The answers will take h The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world's most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door. Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him? The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It's a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake's wiles to get out alive.

30 review for The Outside Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Defranc

    Whew!!! What a scorching ride!! You start slowly, smoothly...Then before you have time to breathe you are whipped around twists and turns, shocked by all that is happening...Until ...Bang!! You crash...Needing time to reassess...Do what needs to be done before the ride goes on...Then another smashing moment...Where you are in a place ready to do your thing...But see something you Never expected...And your heart will Not stop beating So very fast... Matt Drake has been in dangerous situations man Whew!!! What a scorching ride!! You start slowly, smoothly...Then before you have time to breathe you are whipped around twists and turns, shocked by all that is happening...Until ...Bang!! You crash...Needing time to reassess...Do what needs to be done before the ride goes on...Then another smashing moment...Where you are in a place ready to do your thing...But see something you Never expected...And your heart will Not stop beating So very fast... Matt Drake has been in dangerous situations many times before, but Nothing prepares him for the fight of his life...Especially as he has been dormant, on a leave of absence, trying to find peace and harmony with his wife, Laila. So when a team of highly trained operatives attempt to kill him...In the middle of the day on the quiet streets of Austin, Texas, he is definitely off on the wrong foot...But he is able to think and show the spectacular skills he once used daily...And the case of his life pushes him to reunite with his old partner, Frodo, and once again put his badass self up against those who want him dead...But the bodies are many, the answers few, and back-stabbing moments he never sees coming... A thrill ride like none other...Gritty, down to earth, bloodshed and amazing action...You absolutely can Not tear your eyes away from the page from the surprising start through mayhem and lies until the fiery ending...A book You need to read, an adventure you cannot forget... I received an ARC from NetGalley and the author Don Bentley, who i thank for a smashing read and intro to a new to me author who I am thrilled to keep reading, and I offer you my honest thoughts and feelings in this review. Out March 2, 2021...Be Ready to read All Day!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kashif

    The Outside Man is a gritty, brutal, badass, and compelling follow-up to Don Bentley’s superb debut, Without Sanction. It is twice as action-packed and twice as much packed with gut-wrenching twists and turns that sucker punch you in the best possible way. The Outside Man starts off running as former DIA operative, Matt Drake, is ambushed by a group of highly trained operators in broad daylight on the streets of Austin, Texas. What results, is a spectacular combat sequence where Drake displays t The Outside Man is a gritty, brutal, badass, and compelling follow-up to Don Bentley’s superb debut, Without Sanction. It is twice as action-packed and twice as much packed with gut-wrenching twists and turns that sucker punch you in the best possible way. The Outside Man starts off running as former DIA operative, Matt Drake, is ambushed by a group of highly trained operators in broad daylight on the streets of Austin, Texas. What results, is a spectacular combat sequence where Drake displays tactical acumen as he repels the ambush with his Glock 23 in a show of badass fashion. From that moment on, Drake and his partner, Frodo, work on figuring out the mysterious party behind the ambush on Drake, drudging up enemies from the past. The investigation by Drake results in more bloodshed and action sequences as Drake faces off against members of a sinister organization run by an Arab known only as The Devil. The Devil was also the foe that had sentenced Drake to death in the events of Without Sanction before Drake had miraculously survived his ordeal. With bad blood between the two characters, Drake takes up the task of finding The Devil and putting him down. Things become personal for Drake as he comes across betrayals and risks the well-being of people closest to him. The narrative takes a darker turn as Matt comes across a sex-trafficking ring run by The Devil. The darker turn in emotions bring about a stronger sense of responsibility for Drake and his friends to put an end to a despicable monster. One of the many things that make The Outside Man an excellent thriller, is the constant feeling that nothing is what it seems. The Devil is ten steps ahead of Drake at every point, and when The Devil upsets the playing field with twists that even Drake couldn’t foresee, it makes the experience even better as the twists hit the reader like a freight train. The first person POV from Matt Drake’s perspective is a clear winner. With Drake’s witty and somewhat dark humor in tight situations along with his vulnerable and raw thoughts, Matt Drake’s character development is taken a notch higher. Drake’s vulnerability and his tenacity to push through when odds are against him make him an even better protagonist than the one we saw in Without Sanction and that is a tall order. The focus on expressing situations from Drake’s POV helps with the twists and turns that readers won’t see coming because the POV is strictly Drake’. The action sequences are written in a way that play on all sense of the reader to fully immerse the reader into the middle of the shootouts and the hand-to-hand combat sequences. Each sequence is tactically and technically sound and descriptive without overwhelming the reader with too many details. From weaponry to rappelling down an Osprey, Don Bentley displays all sorts of knowledge about the topic of being a believable badass. The Outside Man is an adrenaline-pumping action thriller that starts off with a bang and goes for bigger bangs until the very end. I cannot recommend this action thriller enough, and the book further cements Matt Drake as a badass protagonist who can hold his own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    J Todd Wilkins

    When people say a book is a 'rollercoaster ride' there is the expectation of a series of highs and lows. That description would be inaccurate for DON BENTLEY's second book THE OUTSIDE MAN. Sticking with the rollercoaster analogy, THE OUTSIDE MAN is closer to starting the ride with a big drop (opening scene), riding up a short hill (establishing the players involved), and then once you crest that hill... it's a heart in your throat, white knuckle plunge until the last page. The book begins with th When people say a book is a 'rollercoaster ride' there is the expectation of a series of highs and lows. That description would be inaccurate for DON BENTLEY's second book THE OUTSIDE MAN. Sticking with the rollercoaster analogy, THE OUTSIDE MAN is closer to starting the ride with a big drop (opening scene), riding up a short hill (establishing the players involved), and then once you crest that hill... it's a heart in your throat, white knuckle plunge until the last page. The book begins with the reader finding Matt Drake's past actions in the Middle East catching up with him in the least expected place, his hometown of Austin, TX. For those of us lucky enough to spend any time in the city that 'keeps it weird', it's easy to put yourself right in the situation and visualize how the events unfolded and the how the resulting ramifications put Drake on his path. From there, Bentley takes us on a high octane ride full of speed, violence, and the perfect number of 80s movie references. In describing the various shootouts, he deftly touches on all five sense to immerse the reader in the moment. While the action scenes are as good as it gets in the thriller genre, Bentley does a masterful job of intertwining deeply emotional plotlines and a real sense of danger for every character. If I hadn't already known, there is no chance I would have imagined this was Bentley's second novel. The thriller genre has another must read series on it's hands, from an author who is an proficient at his trade as his main character is at his chosen profession. Pre-order this book immediately!

  4. 4 out of 5

    C.E. Albanese

    "Don Bentley ratcheted his sophomore title, THE OUTSIDE MAN, up to eleven. Action. Suspense. Humor. This book has it all, and proves that Matt Drake is here to stay!" "Don Bentley ratcheted his sophomore title, THE OUTSIDE MAN, up to eleven. Action. Suspense. Humor. This book has it all, and proves that Matt Drake is here to stay!"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steven R. Netter

    The Outside Man is the much-anticipated sequel to Don Bentley’s superb debut action novel, Without Sanction, and a must read in 2021! This book is an all gas, no breaks, high octane thriller with a “Ludicrous Speed” pace like a bat out of hell. It unapologetically propels the reader forward from one insane action sequence to the next if for no other reason than to see if Matt Drake can survive, let alone save the day. Do yourself a favor and preorder this book now and set aside March 2, 2021 to The Outside Man is the much-anticipated sequel to Don Bentley’s superb debut action novel, Without Sanction, and a must read in 2021! This book is an all gas, no breaks, high octane thriller with a “Ludicrous Speed” pace like a bat out of hell. It unapologetically propels the reader forward from one insane action sequence to the next if for no other reason than to see if Matt Drake can survive, let alone save the day. Do yourself a favor and preorder this book now and set aside March 2, 2021 to dive into this book and get lost in the thrilling adventure. The Outside Man picks up with Matt Drake on a “leave of absence” about a year after the trials and tribulations he endured in Without Sanction. He’s working through some stuff, licking his proverbial wounds and trying to figure out what to do with his life when someone tries to assassinate him on the streets of Austin, TX. This pulls Matt back into the DIA and sets of a chain of events that compels him to attempt saving a sex trafficking victim in the Middle East while simultaneously trying to take out those who would do him harm. As the operation unfolds, Matt comes face to face with The Devil, the leader of an evil terror conglomerate, who previously condemned Matt to death only for him to escape. Now The Devil wants to finish the job, but first tries to use Matt to take care of a little business for him, compelling him to comply through nefarious means. Will Matt Drake’s resourcefulness and indefatigable drive lead to a successful mission outcome? You’ll just have to read to find out. Beyond the gritty action, and there is plenty of it, this book does a great job of introducing emotional plot twists at key inflection points. This gives the reader a reason to not only root for the good guys to win, but permission to root for them to annihilate every bad guy in their path without mercy. Simply put, it gives the reader “the feels”, something you don’t normally expect from a military/spy thriller that features a deadly, sarcastic protagonist who gets blown up more times than a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. On that last point I will call out that, in my opinion, this book leaves reality in the rear-view mirror at some point and the reader needs to suspend disbelief to truly appreciate the book. But who gives a damn when the ride is insanely fun? Just strap in, hold on tight and enjoy the ride! Trust me, The Outside Man kicks ass and will be a crowd pleaser for sure.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J Todd Wilkins

    When people say a book is a 'rollercoaster ride' there is the expectation of a series of highs and lows. That description would be inaccurate for DON BENTLEY's second book THE OUTSIDE MAN. Sticking with the rollercoaster analogy, THE OUTSIDE MAN is closer to starting the ride with a big drop (opening scene), riding up a short hill (establishing the players involved), and then once you crest that hill... it's a heart in your throat, white knuckle plunge until the last page. The book begins with th When people say a book is a 'rollercoaster ride' there is the expectation of a series of highs and lows. That description would be inaccurate for DON BENTLEY's second book THE OUTSIDE MAN. Sticking with the rollercoaster analogy, THE OUTSIDE MAN is closer to starting the ride with a big drop (opening scene), riding up a short hill (establishing the players involved), and then once you crest that hill... it's a heart in your throat, white knuckle plunge until the last page. The book begins with the reader finding Matt Drake's past actions in the Middle East catching up with him in the least expected place, his hometown of Austin, TX. For those of us lucky enough to spend any time in the city that 'keeps it weird', it's easy to put yourself right in the situation and visualize how the events unfolded and the how the resulting ramifications put Drake on his path. From there, Bentley takes us on a high octane ride full of speed, violence, and the perfect number of 80s movie references. In describing the various shootouts, he deftly touches on all five sense to immerse the reader in the moment. While the action scenes are as good as it gets in the thriller genre, Bentley does a masterful job of intertwining deeply emotional plotlines and a real sense of danger for every character. If I hadn't already known, there is no chance I would have imagined this was Bentley's second novel. The thriller genre has another must read series on it's hands, from an author who is an proficient at his trade as his main character is at his chosen profession. Pre-order this book immediately!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    First and foremost, Thank you to Don Bentley, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review. The Outside Man was several steps above and a significant improvement from his previous work as we embark on a new journey with Matt Drake. What appears to be a random act has turned violent against him and everyone wonders why in broad daylight in the middle of Austin Texas stand these skilled highly trained assassins in full gear attacking him. Clearly, they want so First and foremost, Thank you to Don Bentley, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review. The Outside Man was several steps above and a significant improvement from his previous work as we embark on a new journey with Matt Drake. What appears to be a random act has turned violent against him and everyone wonders why in broad daylight in the middle of Austin Texas stand these skilled highly trained assassins in full gear attacking him. Clearly, they want something but nobody could predict it would take him all the way to the Middle East in search of an old Arabic foe named simply, "DEVIL." It's a wild ride that is packed full of hot, dirty, and deadly action! The action ratchets up quickly with a search for someone near and dear to Matt who has gone missing and he'll do anything to get her back. ANYTHING! This devil is an evil mastermind behind a plot to harm young woman and he's met his match with Matt. No words are good enough for this sparkler of a thriller. This is a must read thriller from the masterful Matt Drake series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Don Bentley's The Outside Man, the 2nd book in the Matt Drake series, is terrific. It's hard to believe this is only Bentley's second book. Smart and wickedly funny, the pacing is quick but really picks up in the closing half. Drake is a fantastic character who grows and evolves as the book progresses, which is highlighted by his inner monologue. You can tell Bentley knows what he is talking about because the writing feels authentic and isn't forced. The Outside Man shows how talented Bentley is Don Bentley's The Outside Man, the 2nd book in the Matt Drake series, is terrific. It's hard to believe this is only Bentley's second book. Smart and wickedly funny, the pacing is quick but really picks up in the closing half. Drake is a fantastic character who grows and evolves as the book progresses, which is highlighted by his inner monologue. You can tell Bentley knows what he is talking about because the writing feels authentic and isn't forced. The Outside Man shows how talented Bentley is and I look forward to what he has in store for Drake a as well as his upcoming Tom Clancy books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Morphett

    Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the advanced digital review copy of this book With The Outside Man, Don Bentley manages to do something not many authors do by following up a fantastic debut novel with an equally good if not better second novel. From page 1, this book goes at an action movie pace and dials up the action to an 11. Matt Drake is one tough character and someone I cant wait to follow in many future novels. Highly recommend for all the fans of high octane thrillers Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the advanced digital review copy of this book With The Outside Man, Don Bentley manages to do something not many authors do by following up a fantastic debut novel with an equally good if not better second novel. From page 1, this book goes at an action movie pace and dials up the action to an 11. Matt Drake is one tough character and someone I cant wait to follow in many future novels. Highly recommend for all the fans of high octane thrillers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    I have read The Outside Man, it's the second book about DIA agent Matt Drake by Don Bentley. This is a wild ride through Austin, Washington and the Middle east. Someone is out to get Matt and they look familiar... This leads to the selling of girls and an old enemy. This is a really good series that I am glad that I found. I am already looking forward to the next one. Highly recommended. I must thank #Berkley #PenguinPublishingGroup and #Edelweiss for letting me read this great book. I have read The Outside Man, it's the second book about DIA agent Matt Drake by Don Bentley. This is a wild ride through Austin, Washington and the Middle east. Someone is out to get Matt and they look familiar... This leads to the selling of girls and an old enemy. This is a really good series that I am glad that I found. I am already looking forward to the next one. Highly recommended. I must thank #Berkley #PenguinPublishingGroup and #Edelweiss for letting me read this great book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Todd Anderson

    Matt Drake is back in the second installment of Don Bentley’s budding blockbuster series! I was given access to a NetGalley and this one did not disappoint. Bentley burst onto the thriller radar last year with WITHOUT SANCTION and continues the explosive momentum with THE OUTSIDE MAN. With travels from Austin, TX, to Washington D.C., and the Iraq/Syria quagmire, Drake’s return puts him against The Devil, an almost mythical individual with unparalleled reach. In his acknowledgements, Bentley ment Matt Drake is back in the second installment of Don Bentley’s budding blockbuster series! I was given access to a NetGalley and this one did not disappoint. Bentley burst onto the thriller radar last year with WITHOUT SANCTION and continues the explosive momentum with THE OUTSIDE MAN. With travels from Austin, TX, to Washington D.C., and the Iraq/Syria quagmire, Drake’s return puts him against The Devil, an almost mythical individual with unparalleled reach. In his acknowledgements, Bentley mentioned that writing a book is hard and writing a second book is even harder. But he's hit a home-run with The Outside Man! With a fast-paced plot, great action scenes, and some shocking surprises, Bentley’s done it again. Pre-order this one. Bentley is a rising star!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Oh my goodness! Don Bentley has done it AGAIN!!! I didn’t think Matt Drake could get anymore badass than Without Sanction but he stepped it up a notch with the Outside Man! Matt Drake is a man on a mission and no one will stop him in accomplishing his goal of bringing down a sex trafficking ring. Non-stop action and Don beautifully crafts in some humor which is so unique within the terrorism genre of writing. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this early and readers should be getting th Oh my goodness! Don Bentley has done it AGAIN!!! I didn’t think Matt Drake could get anymore badass than Without Sanction but he stepped it up a notch with the Outside Man! Matt Drake is a man on a mission and no one will stop him in accomplishing his goal of bringing down a sex trafficking ring. Non-stop action and Don beautifully crafts in some humor which is so unique within the terrorism genre of writing. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this early and readers should be getting their pre-orders in for this book that will be hitting shelves in March. If you enjoy military action thrillers this needs to go to the top of your TBR pile!!!! @bentleydonb

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Philipp

    I got this as an advance ebook copy from NetGalley in return for a review. This story starts with Matt Drake getting into a skirmish on the way to an anniversary dinner with his wife. The adventure turns into a hunt for sex traffickers and the rescue of a victim. The situations that Matt finds himself in and the help from unexpected allies makes this another excellent thriller by Don Bentley. A definite must read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kennedy

    What a rush!!! Fantastic follow up to Without Sanction. Bentley is the real deal. Non stop adrenaline rush. If you like a good action thriller, read these books. Only 2 in the series so far but looking forward to many adventures with Matt Drake!

  15. 5 out of 5

    SteVen Hendricks

    Matt Drake in Outside Man again finds himself in chaos as he is being hunted and is trying to avoid being killed and find his hunters and their leader. He’s a former Army Ranger ‘badass’ turn federal agent and knows how to handle himself and is well connected to people around the world who lend a hand when he needs them. I was excited for this book since finishing Don Bentley’s debut novel Without Sanction. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations after Without Sanction Matt Drake in Outside Man again finds himself in chaos as he is being hunted and is trying to avoid being killed and find his hunters and their leader. He’s a former Army Ranger ‘badass’ turn federal agent and knows how to handle himself and is well connected to people around the world who lend a hand when he needs them. I was excited for this book since finishing Don Bentley’s debut novel Without Sanction. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations after Without Sanction’s success, but I was not in any way disappointed! From the opening sentence I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. Matt Drake and Frodo’s strong relationship again inspired me to read on. Their biracial friendship and Drake’s interracial marriage are key elements of the series that I personally can relate to. Again, Bentley’s first book was fantastic, and he certainly didn’t buckle under pressure to do it again. The action sequences in The Outside Man are professionally written, with expert weaponry knowledge and his characters and their development get you invested in a way only the good, experienced authors can in the espionage thriller genre. Hat tip to Bentley’s character development, especially the diversity aspect. You hate the bad guys as much as you like the good guys. And I have a special admiration for the Matt Drake character, and the humanity he displays while forging through a hectic and extremely dangerous lifestyle. The book opens with a bang and never lets up, page after page. But it’s the characters that make you continue through each chapter. You want Drake and his cohorts to succeed because the writing makes you care about the victims and despise the villains at the same time. Bentley writes with the amazing accuracy of an experienced warrior and probably one of the most realistic and relatable protagonists in the thriller genre. Without Sanction, was remarkable, but this one is even better! The Outside Man was a great follow-up to Without Sanction. I’m also excited to read Bentley’s first addition to the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan Jr. series later this year! I received a digital copy of The Outside Man via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie

    I read Without Sanction—the first book in the Matt Drake series—last summer, after a recommendation from a friend. I don't usually read military fiction, but decided to give it a try. I loved it and was very much looking forward to the next one in the series. Lucky for me, The Outside Man is even better. Matt Drake is back and trouble has followed him home. The Outside Man is the epitome of "action-packed" novels. The action starts on page 3 and kept me hooked until the end. The author, Don Bentl I read Without Sanction—the first book in the Matt Drake series—last summer, after a recommendation from a friend. I don't usually read military fiction, but decided to give it a try. I loved it and was very much looking forward to the next one in the series. Lucky for me, The Outside Man is even better. Matt Drake is back and trouble has followed him home. The Outside Man is the epitome of "action-packed" novels. The action starts on page 3 and kept me hooked until the end. The author, Don Bentley, was a helicopter pilot, worked as an FBI Special Agent, and was part of a SWAT team, which might explain why this story feels so real and believable. I really enjoy Bentley's direct, clear, no-nonsense writing style. This book reads very well, the suspense is great, it's funny, and Matt is an extremely likeable character. This is the kind of book that you want to read in one sitting, that you plan to read over a week-end when you need to forget about everything. My only regret is I'm discovering this series now, and not in a few years, when I could binge-read the exciting and crazy life of Matt Drake. I now have to patiently wait for the next installment in the series. Thanks to Netgalley, who provided an advance e-book copy of this novel, in exchange for an honest book review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thrillers R Us

    When Mitch Robbins hit 40 in CITY SLICKERS (1991) he was told by his wife to go and find his smile. Matt Drake's wife just wants her tango slaying, happy husband back...and all he has to do is head to Iraq, try to break up a human-trafficking sex ring & bring down a scumbag HVT nicknamed 'the Devil'. Well, ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight? Remember the capoeira movie ONLY THE STRONG (1993) where Marc Dacascos tells people to turn the music UP? That is THE OUTSIDE MAN. Matt Dra When Mitch Robbins hit 40 in CITY SLICKERS (1991) he was told by his wife to go and find his smile. Matt Drake's wife just wants her tango slaying, happy husband back...and all he has to do is head to Iraq, try to break up a human-trafficking sex ring & bring down a scumbag HVT nicknamed 'the Devil'. Well, ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight? Remember the capoeira movie ONLY THE STRONG (1993) where Marc Dacascos tells people to turn the music UP? That is THE OUTSIDE MAN. Matt Drake's wife all but tells him - go back to the life I hate and that which destroys many armed forces and law enforcement marriages; at least this way, she gets 'happy Drake' back. THE OUTSIDE MAN picks up roughly a year after WITHOUT SANCTION and starts on the sun soaked streets of downtown Austin, Texas. Happy-go-lucky bohemians, beard-toting millennials, scuffed Ropers from Cavender's two-stepping around Matthew Drake sipping a mocha latte grande on South Congress, deep in the heart of Texas. And just when he was out, he is pulled back in. After a 12 month hiatus, the DIA welcomes Matty back with arms wide open after a gate of hell unlocks close to the Texas Capitol, making Matt Drake a man who walks with blood on this hands and vengeance in his heart. Who needs Jared Kushner when you have someone who brings together the Mossad, Quds Force, Euro-trash mercenaries and the odd Iraqis and Syrians for what amounts to peace talks that are anything but peaceful, much less anything resembling talking? The world would be a better place with more Frodos and he is an absolute delight. Frodo shines, again, as he did in WITHOUT SANCTION. Don Bentley definitely ups his game for book two and brings back what worked for the debut and then some. However, if there's any more mention about someone press-checking a pistol...that totally lost it's "cool" in 1990s Seagal movies and at the latest after HEAT (1995). Also, it's unclear if Omar's lines from THE WIRE shouldn't stay in 2004. There are way too many hipsters rehashing these lines with memes, letting it trudge through social media like the slow-shuffling walking dead. What does work though are some of the more esoteric (movie) references & they liven things up - especially the ones that aren't explained. CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (1994), THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), TOP GUN (1986), KINDERGARTEN COP (1992), and the Gray Man novels all put in an appearance. Quickly changing locales from domestic soil to the Middle East, THE OUTSIDE MAN pours on the fire fights, snappy dialogue and evil doers with more lives than the proverbial cat. Nothing is as sobering as bullets zipping through moondust, of which there is plenty, with the exception of interagency cooperation. Along for the DIA-ride and unsanctioned help this time are FBI agents so ancient they use CliffsNotes rather than Spark Notes. A strong counterpoint to Jack Carr's (autobiographically) former Navy SEAL hero James Reece, Matt Drake takes his coffee with lotsa cream and sugar, but swears by the same action mantra, albeit in his own words: a little blunt force goes a long way. Since Rangers lead the way, Matt Drake becomes all he can be, Harbinger of Death and perfect husband, and is the unstoppable force that delivers justice while outgunned, outmanned, and outta ammo. So make coffee, punch in, and join Matt Drake for "just" another day at the office; Donald Burton Bentley II and THE OUTSIDE MAN will have you at "hello"...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Look, I'm grading this down for one main reason. I'll give you the detail(s) under a spoiler tag. Over all we've got a pretty good action thriller here. Lots of daring-do. Lots of gun fights. Lots of dry humor under fire. All we've come to expect from action thrillers. I liked it pretty well... But I did skim through a certain part of it. (view spoiler)[ have you ever read a book, thriller, horror, whatever and when they intro (for example) the protagonist's child, or love interest...or dog, you kn Look, I'm grading this down for one main reason. I'll give you the detail(s) under a spoiler tag. Over all we've got a pretty good action thriller here. Lots of daring-do. Lots of gun fights. Lots of dry humor under fire. All we've come to expect from action thrillers. I liked it pretty well... But I did skim through a certain part of it. (view spoiler)[ have you ever read a book, thriller, horror, whatever and when they intro (for example) the protagonist's child, or love interest...or dog, you knew right away that at some point the "subordinate secondary protagonist (child, love interest, dog or what/who-ever) was going to be captured, held hostage, put in imminent danger? Yeah me to...so often it's a sore point with me. I hate that plot device. It's a cheap way to get (or attempt to get) an emotional heart tug. maybe when it was new, when the first cave man or woman told a story using it it was okay. But I'm just tired of it. I knew early...EARLY on that a certain person was going to die and his wife was going to be held by the maniacal antagonist to ramp up the angst. Thus, only 3 stars. (hide spoiler)] Okay, maybe that doesn't annoy you as much as it does me so maybe you'll like the book a lot more than I did. Maybe try it for yourself. I found it a bit repetitive and it hit one of my, "sheesh that annoys me" buttons. To each. See what you think.

  19. 4 out of 5

    J Hohneker

    Don Bentley crushed it with THE OUTSIDE MAN, his second book in the Matt Drake series. He catches your attention right from the start. Picking up some time after WITHOUT SANCTION, the first installment, we find Drake, who is retired, driving his car to meet his wife for dinner when a hit squad tries to kill him. Luckily, he survives the attack (otherwise it would have been a very short book) but needs answers as to why. Reaching out to his best friend Frodo and eventually his ex-boss, he begins Don Bentley crushed it with THE OUTSIDE MAN, his second book in the Matt Drake series. He catches your attention right from the start. Picking up some time after WITHOUT SANCTION, the first installment, we find Drake, who is retired, driving his car to meet his wife for dinner when a hit squad tries to kill him. Luckily, he survives the attack (otherwise it would have been a very short book) but needs answers as to why. Reaching out to his best friend Frodo and eventually his ex-boss, he begins to put the pieces together leading him to an old nemesis, the Devil (yes, the Devil). Drake travels to Iraq to put an end to this villain and his heinous businesses, and that is when things turn upside down and the action jettisons to the next level. Written in the first person (Drake's perspective), we get a real inside look into the protagonist, including his sense of humor. Filled with several plot twists and seemingly impossible action, this is one incredibly fun read. In many respects, I found the writing better, tighter than the first book but both are really terrific. I highly recommend this book for those who love the genre. Looking forward to more books in the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    Wow. By the time I reached the last 100 pages of Don Bentley's 2nd Matt Drake novel, my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking...so intense and action-packed were the situations Matt had faced and was yet to face. As in Bentley's first novel, Without Sanction, realism pervades the action. Matt Drake, a Defense Intelligence Agent willingly takes on dangerous assignments despite having a wife that wants him to be a husband first. However, after being attacked and nearly killed in his home to Wow. By the time I reached the last 100 pages of Don Bentley's 2nd Matt Drake novel, my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking...so intense and action-packed were the situations Matt had faced and was yet to face. As in Bentley's first novel, Without Sanction, realism pervades the action. Matt Drake, a Defense Intelligence Agent willingly takes on dangerous assignments despite having a wife that wants him to be a husband first. However, after being attacked and nearly killed in his home town of Austin, Texas. Matt feels the necessity of getting involved to the point of going after the man responsible. So it's back to the middle East and some action-packed situations that come across as authentic realism!! Don Bentley was a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and knows well the many situations of which he writes. I look forward to more well-written, moving, and realistic Bentley novels.

  21. 5 out of 5

    XOX

    Entertaining, lot of action and slightly over the top. Matt is an ex-spy. He is retired and is married to Laila. For some unknown reason, he was a target for an assassination attempt. An all out shooting in daytime Austin. He got arrested for surviving a gun fight and got FBI investigation involved. He go to his friend and old boss. To be able to find out more, he needs to get back to work. The rest is a lot of running around. The big bad is someone who have power to run coordinated attack, sell Entertaining, lot of action and slightly over the top. Matt is an ex-spy. He is retired and is married to Laila. For some unknown reason, he was a target for an assassination attempt. An all out shooting in daytime Austin. He got arrested for surviving a gun fight and got FBI investigation involved. He go to his friend and old boss. To be able to find out more, he needs to get back to work. The rest is a lot of running around. The big bad is someone who have power to run coordinated attack, sell girls online. Matt is the guy who could not stand for this. So he got involved and try to save some girls. The action bits are quite okay. The bad guys are just too good and powerful and one step ahead. The only thing not right is how come the bad guys waste so much resources on him. And why people seems to be switching sides all the time. Still a good fast read. Solid 4 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ♡Ellie

    I am such a big fan of Jo Nesbo’s ‘Harry Hole’ series, and this ‘Matt Drake’ series is full of the kind of action and mystery that’ll get you hooked. With some similarities, like an agent, who is simply fighting for his life, and trying to solve a case (or many). I’m into this series for the long run. The Outside Man is filled with mystery, murders, deceptions, and lots of action. It’s a page turner, that will keep you guessing. I cannot wait for the third installment! How long will I have to wa I am such a big fan of Jo Nesbo’s ‘Harry Hole’ series, and this ‘Matt Drake’ series is full of the kind of action and mystery that’ll get you hooked. With some similarities, like an agent, who is simply fighting for his life, and trying to solve a case (or many). I’m into this series for the long run. The Outside Man is filled with mystery, murders, deceptions, and lots of action. It’s a page turner, that will keep you guessing. I cannot wait for the third installment! How long will I have to wait? How out and get your copy today! Remember to start with the first title in the series: Without Sanction!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Howard

    If I could give this 6 stars, I would. After reading "Without Sanction", I quickly put Don Bentley at the top of my list of favorite authors. I didn't think that it was possible to to that book, but he proved me wrong. The non- stop action had me hooked. I had goosebumps at times, and at other times I could feel myself clenching my fists and tensing up. It felt like jolts of electricity energizing my body. The twists and turns in this book, combined with the fast pace made me feel like I was on If I could give this 6 stars, I would. After reading "Without Sanction", I quickly put Don Bentley at the top of my list of favorite authors. I didn't think that it was possible to to that book, but he proved me wrong. The non- stop action had me hooked. I had goosebumps at times, and at other times I could feel myself clenching my fists and tensing up. It felt like jolts of electricity energizing my body. The twists and turns in this book, combined with the fast pace made me feel like I was on an exhilarating roller coaster ride. I can't wait for the next book. I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do with his Jack Ryan book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom Burkholder

    In the book The Outside Man, author Don Bentley writes about Matt Drake who is in the fight for his life and family. Who is behind it all? As Matt searches for answer, his journey takes him to the Middle East where he begins to hunt the man behind the curtain, simply known as The Devil. This is an edge of your seat book that kept my interest. But the hard language was way overdone and very distracting. Tone down the language and it would be a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this e-bo In the book The Outside Man, author Don Bentley writes about Matt Drake who is in the fight for his life and family. Who is behind it all? As Matt searches for answer, his journey takes him to the Middle East where he begins to hunt the man behind the curtain, simply known as The Devil. This is an edge of your seat book that kept my interest. But the hard language was way overdone and very distracting. Tone down the language and it would be a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    A disconnected, bloodied and world-weary Matt Drake has returned to try to save the world, his marriage and himself along the way. His reappearance is more than welcome. Don Bentley is a fresh and worthy entrant into the top tier of military-political thriller authors such as Brad Thor, the late Vince Flynn, James Haig and others. You can count me among those looking forward to Matt Drake’s third mission, wherever he lands. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/03/05/matt-... A disconnected, bloodied and world-weary Matt Drake has returned to try to save the world, his marriage and himself along the way. His reappearance is more than welcome. Don Bentley is a fresh and worthy entrant into the top tier of military-political thriller authors such as Brad Thor, the late Vince Flynn, James Haig and others. You can count me among those looking forward to Matt Drake’s third mission, wherever he lands. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/03/05/matt-...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Plummer

    From the first few pages until the end you will be taken on a ride that has twists and turns that will permanently leave your jaw on the floor. You will be compelled to read the next page, the next chapter! The writing is fantastic with the detail and the characters dialogue throughout the book. I was a huge fan of his first novel, Without Sanction...his second attempt in the Matt Drake series just elevated it to a new level. Don has definitely placed himself in the top of his genre and has prov From the first few pages until the end you will be taken on a ride that has twists and turns that will permanently leave your jaw on the floor. You will be compelled to read the next page, the next chapter! The writing is fantastic with the detail and the characters dialogue throughout the book. I was a huge fan of his first novel, Without Sanction...his second attempt in the Matt Drake series just elevated it to a new level. Don has definitely placed himself in the top of his genre and has proven that he has what it takes to stay there.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    I love this author! I knew by page 17 in his first book that I had a new favorite author. It was confirmed by page 3 in this book. He tells an exciting, compelling story. It sparkles with self-deprecating humor. The main character is tough, clever, funny, honorable and very, very human. The supporting characters are all well-developed and memorable. The israeli in the story rings very true for me and I have Israeli family. There’s a loose thread in this story that I really hope means he has plan I love this author! I knew by page 17 in his first book that I had a new favorite author. It was confirmed by page 3 in this book. He tells an exciting, compelling story. It sparkles with self-deprecating humor. The main character is tough, clever, funny, honorable and very, very human. The supporting characters are all well-developed and memorable. The israeli in the story rings very true for me and I have Israeli family. There’s a loose thread in this story that I really hope means he has plans for another book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jordyn Jacobs

    I am stunned. Without Sanction was one of my favorite books of last year, but with Outside Man, Don Bentley scorched the earth and shattered my expectations. I could not put the book down. It opens explosively and just keeps pushing you until it takes you hostage and you finish it in one sitting like you have a gun to your head. Bentley’s visceral style had me gripping the cover with white knuckles, feeling every blow. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say this—Don Bentley is now my favorite th I am stunned. Without Sanction was one of my favorite books of last year, but with Outside Man, Don Bentley scorched the earth and shattered my expectations. I could not put the book down. It opens explosively and just keeps pushing you until it takes you hostage and you finish it in one sitting like you have a gun to your head. Bentley’s visceral style had me gripping the cover with white knuckles, feeling every blow. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say this—Don Bentley is now my favorite thriller author. Period. I cannot wait for his Clancy debut!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    I’m not sure how one can top a thriller like WITHOUT SANCTION, but Don Bentley shatters expectations on his fabulous follow-up, THE OUTSIDE MAN. Gripping the reader from Page One, Bentley brings the danger to Matt Drake immediately and doesn’t let go until the explosive ending. Bentley and his hero, Matt Drake, are forces of nature. Do yourself a favor and read THE OUTSIDE MAN and the first in the series, WITHOUT SANCTION.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Tornberg

    Don Bentley has done it again. The Outside Man is as good as his debut thriller Without Sanction and I can’t wait to read what’s next for Matt Drake. Don Bentley is such a great writer, he has the same sense of humour as Mark Greaney and Brad Thor’s ability to keep the suspense and interest at the end of each chapter. I’m really looking forward to see what he can do with the Jack Ryan series. Highly recommend this book.

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