Quick Review: INSIDE THREAT by Matthew Quirk (William Morrow)

QuirkM-InsideThreatUSHCDefending the president from threats internal and external…

Assume the worst. Code Black.

The day that every secret service agent trains for has arrived. The White House has been breached; the President forced to flee to a massive doomsday bunker outside DC to defend against whatever comes next. Only the most trusted agents and officials are allowed in with him — those dedicated to keeping the government intact at all costs.

Among these is Erik Hill, who has given his life to the Secret Service. They are his purpose and his family, and his impressive record has made him a hero among them. Despite his growing disillusionment from seeing Washington corruption up close, Erik can’t ignore years of instincts honed on the job. The government is under attack, and no one is better equipped to face down the threat than he is.

The evidence leads him to a conspiracy at the highest levels of power, with the attack orchestrated by some of the very individuals now locked in with him. As the killers strike inside the bunker, it will take everything Erik Hill has to save his people, himself, and his country.

I’ve been a fan of Matthew Quirk’s novels ever since I read an ARC of his debut, The 500, in a single sitting. Each of his novels has been a fast-paced, engaging thriller — and Inside Threat is no different. I enjoyed this.

I read this novel during an exceptionally busy week. For that reason, it took me almost a week to get through it. This was a strange experience, given that none of his other novels has taken me more than a couple of days to read. I had been experiencing a bit of a reading slump, struggling to get into anything new, so when I got this for review I figured it would help break me out of the slump. Despite the hectic events of that week, Inside Threat did what I thought it would: it entertained, and kept my attention.

The protagonist, Erik Hill is a dedicated Secret Service agent. One of the best on the job, he’s saved presidents and others over the course of his laudable career; but, when we meet him, he has been relegated to a desk post. Following a mysterious incident with a cabinet member, he’s been sidelined and now treated with a certain amount of suspicion. Quirk doesn’t give us many details about this event until later in the novel, but readers quickly get the impression that, despite his dedication to the job, Hill is very disillusioned with much of what he’s seen recently in Washington, D.C. Throughout the novel, he offers some of his impressions and observations, but still retains his sense of duty and purpose. (He’s also a bit of a rule-breaker, which is a standard of the genre.)

This novel has the feel of a classic political conspiracy thriller, with a backdrop of today’s fractious and more-extreme politics. There are mysterious forces operating to usurp the power of the presidency, the Congress, and democracy itself. In fact, there might be multiple forces working in opposition. For much of the novel, Hill isn’t sure who he is actually fighting against, and frequently finds his assumptions challenged.

In some ways, Inside Threat felt like a James Rollins thriller, but toned down a bit — i.e., without the fantastical technology, but still with plenty of action (big set-pieces and also plenty of close, one-on-one fights). It also reminded me a little of Gerard Butler’s series Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and Angel Has Fallen. The novel certainly offers a cinematic story, as do all of Quirk’s novels. (It’s no surprise that The Night Agent has been adapted by Netflix, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other adaptations are in the works.)

If you’re a fan of fast-moving political thrillers, then you really should check out Quirk’s novels. Recommended.


Matthew Quirk’s Inside Threat is due to be published by William Morrow in North America, on June 13th. (No UK publisher information, at the time of writing; but Quirk’s previous novels have been published by Aries/Head of Zeus.)

Also on CR: Reviews of The 500, The Directive, The Night Agent, and Red Warning

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter
Review copy received from publisher

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