DEEP STATE by Chris Hauty


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A White House intern saves the republic.

Hayley Chill is no ordinary intern: She comes to the job from the military, after life experiences more varied than her companion interns, and is more self-possessed and focused than they are. In fact, she is more self-possessed and focused than almost anyone. She's assigned to the chief of staff's office, and when, in the course of flirting with hunky Secret Service Agent Scott Billings, she assists in the apprehension of a White House intruder, she becomes a minor celebrity. But then the chief of staff, Peter Hall, dies of an apparent heart attack, and only Hayley has evidence his death may not be a natural event. As she tries to investigate this, she begins to uncover a vast conspiracy—the deep state is not happy with her boss, the president—and just as she recognizes this, she also realizes that Scott Billings is involved. She escapes from his murderous attention and then manages to elude or otherwise neutralize the deep state's agents until she has the opportunity to warn the president. These superhuman feats are told in slightly clunky prose, but the novel's biggest weakness is its reliance on Hayley Chill and her somewhat implausible array of talents, strength, training, intelligence, and grit. Cute and savvy as a Swiss Army knife, there's nothing she cannot accomplish, except being believable.

A workmanlike plot, but the main character lacks human depth.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-9821-2658-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2019