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Forgotten War

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Member Reviews

Don Bentley returns this year with an encore of book releases.

April saw the release of FORGOTTEN WAR, the fourth book in the Matt Drake series, which begins when Drake’s best friend, Frodo, is arrested for committing a war crime. DIA operative Matt Drake must travel to Afghanistan to find the one man who can clear Frodo’s name. The novel takes place during the 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is fiction, but many of the operations depicted were real or based on actual events.

Bentley’s second 2023 release, TOM CLANCY’S FLASH POINT (May 23), is his third book about Jack Ryan Jr. This time out, a benign surveillance operation takes a deadly turn when Jack Jr. discovers a new enemy whose mission is to destroy The Campus.

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"Forgotten War" is a gripping and intense military thriller that follows the story of Matt Drake, a former Army Ranger turned CIA operative. 

Bentley's writing style is fast-paced and keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. The plot is well-crafted and full of twists and turns that keep the story unpredictable. The characters are well-developed and relatable, especially Drake, who is both tough and vulnerable.

One of the most impressive aspects of the book is Bentley's attention to detail when it comes to military tactics and weaponry. It's clear that he has done extensive research on the subject matter, and it adds an extra layer of authenticity to the story.

Overall, "Forgotten War" is an excellent read for fans of military thrillers. It's action-packed, suspenseful, and well-written. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre, and I'm looking forward to reading more from Don Bentley in the future.
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Happy Release to Forgotten War by Don Bentley, which is one of the most action-packed thrillers I’ve read in a long time. 

This is book #4 in the Matt Drake series, but this is the first book I’ve read by this author & it can easily be read as a standalone. The action is so constant that it will leave the reader reeling & captivated. I appreciated the multiple & complex storylines that happened simultaneously for it created a novel that is the complete opposite of boring. 

It has an extremely realistic feeling that adds an extra sense of tense foreboding. With the author’s inclusion of the military & world situation especially with the current events in Afghanistan, the mostly true to life portrayal & its’ effects on veterans was beyond heart & gut-wrenching. I am keeping this short & vague to not offer any spoilers & keep the action a surprise. 

If anyone is looking for a highly realistic, gripping & action-filled thriller, look no further than Forgotten War!!

Massive thanks to NetGalley & Berkley Publishing for the free book, which I voluntarily read & reviewed. 

Content Warnings: This book mentions &/.or contains violence, car accident, murder, war & gore.
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Don Bentley has up the game, his best yet!

Love the last novel which was set in Ukraine and I'm excited to follow Matt Drake and his partner Frodo on the next adventure. As the story opens, Frodo is arrested by Army CID agents for war crime during Bagram raid in 2011. Drake was there on that operation and believes this is all BS. The more he looks into it, the stranger it gets.

Other operators are dead, another is unreachable and someone is attempted to have Drake killed. At the same time, the US is withdrawing from Afghanistan, is there a link?

When Drake's inlaws ask for his help to get a family member out of Kabul before it falls, he has another good reason to defy his DIA boss's orders and return to Afghanistan.

Although I was looking forward to seeing Frodo again, he was very much absent in Forgotten War BUT readers will love new (temporary?) addition to this mission; Captain Ngoy, Frog, Dog, Bone, Duke, and Professor. Drake's tactical transportation specialist is a badass, LOVE her! Dee's a strong female character, likable and genuine. Please if you read this review Mr. Bentley, you need to bring her back!

Forgotten War takes place in Austin Texas and Afghanistan and with flashbacks to 2011. It's a very well-written military action thriller and fast-paced. I also enjoy history lessons along the way. I didn't expect to get emotional and teary-eyed but Don Bentley's Forgotten War did just that. A must-read if you're into the genre.
(this would have been full 5 stars if it weren't for Laila's eyes - beautiful, vibrant, amazing, shimmering, sparkle etc)
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Forgotten War (A Matt Drake Novel) is another electrifying and pulse-pounding military adventure featuring returning heroes Matt and Frodo. Forgotten War reads like an American history text as it details the multitude of mortal mistakes the United States military made in the never-ending Afghanistan conflict and its tragic conclusion. 
As often individuals sometimes take matters into their own hands, hoping to avoid the military Rules of Engagement. Here, Frodo is accused of doing just that, and Matt takes it upon himself to investigate the legitimacy of these long-ago charges that threaten Frodo and destroy their friendship. 
The Matt Drake novels are a sure-fire hit that will make readers lose hours of sleep. But that is most definitely worth the read.
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Don Bentley has created another action-packed and suspenseful novel, Forgotten War . This fourth book in the Matt Drake thriller series has an intensity that few writers can achieve. This book, which can be categorized as a political thriller, technothriller, and a military thriller has aspects of all three and is mainly set in Afghanistan and Texas. Matt Drake, Frodo Cates, and Frodo’s girlfriend Katherine are waiting on Matt’s wife Laila to arrive at a restaurant when Frodo is arrested by two members of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division for a murder that took place 10 years ago in Afghanistan in 2011. Matt is determined to prove his friend innocent, but Frodo isn’t talking. At the same time, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is occurring.

Matt is full of wit and sarcasm, and has an aptitude for languages. He wants to make the world safer and often sacrifices his own well-being to achieve this. He shows character growth despite the large amount of action in this novel, which I’ve come to expect from this author. The other characters have a variety of depths in their supporting or opposing roles. Some are new to the series and others provide the reader continuity with the prior books in the series.

Fluid writing, great characterization, and fantastic world building, as well as an excellent, fast-paced plot will keep readers engaged. It takes a little while for readers to understand how the strong prologue fits in with the rest of the story. However, pay close attention to it. There is also some shifting in time between 2021 and 2011. Despite this, the action and drama are compelling . While there are descriptions of weapons and gear, it is only enough to engage the reader. I believe this approach makes Bentley’s novels appeal to a wider audience.

Overall, this fantastic novel is shocking, emotionally-charged, and riveting. Be aware that there is plenty of danger, death, intrigue, and violence in this story. Additionally, with the current situation and the actual 2021 events in Afghanistan, this one seemed very realistic. There are a few threads that were left open for the next book in the series, but the main plot line is fully resolved. Themes include political maneuvering, teamwork, friendship, bravery, patriotism, war, honor, differences in operational philosophies, murder, and much more.

This is the second book that I have read by this author but I am looking forward to the next book in the series as well as going back and reading the first two. I believe those readers who enjoy action thrillers and military thrillers will want to read this book. The author’s note at the end of the novel provided some additional insight on the fall of Afghanistan and where the book diverges from actual events.

Berkley Publishing Group and Don Bentley provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via Net Galley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for April 25, 2023. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
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A fast paced, action packed addition to an excellent series. The Matt Drake series continues with another well written novel, this one using the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as the backdrop for the story. Fans of Tom Clancy, or Mark Greaney will enjoy this.  Highly recommended 

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Books for an advanced reader copy.
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Forgotten War is the best one of the series so far! Loved the story and the background being during the pullout from Afghanistan; such a maddening event. The story starts out quickly and never lets down, we follow Drake from Texas to North Carolina, back to Texas and then onto Afghanistan, never a dull moment!  Don’t miss this book!
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ARC eBook Review – Forgotten War – Don Bentley
Former FBI Special Agent and US Army Apache helicopter pilot turn bestselling author Don Bentley has penned another great military thriller in the Matt Drake series. “Forgotten War,” the fifth book in the series just might be one of his best novels yet. The story is set during the hasty withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. Bentley gives voice to the hurt, frustration, and despair felt by many servicemen and women from the sudden retreat from Afghanistan. His storytelling accurately describes what active service members and veterans were feeling during the sudden exit. He tastefully addresses this complex, geopolitical issue with class and grace without bashing politicians or political parties. This was a well written nonpartisan geopolitical, adrenaline-fueled, action-packed military thriller! Hopefully, other authors of political/military thrillers can take note of Bentley’s astonishing skill and not continue to feed the divide that the country is experiencing right now. Bentley ‘nails’ this story! Main character Matt Drake and a band of former military friends return to Afghanistan for numerous reasons, but the overall basis of the tale was mainly about relationships. Drake and his teammates demonstrate a willingness to bend the rules to go back to Afghanistan to save their Afghan friends and allies. The emotions of the characters and the importance of their relationships/friendships was expertly told. The storytelling of the complicated relationships and the geopolitical consequences as it relates to foreign relations of the Afghan war all added up to an impressive and exciting thriller novel. I really liked this book! This is definitely a 5-star read! Well done, Don Bentley! I highly recommend Forgotten War to any fans of thriller novels. Thank you NetGalley, Don Bentley, and Berkley Books for the digital eBook Advance Reader’s Copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Another fast paced action thriller with Matt Drake and Frodo. This time the story is wrapped around the Afghanistan withdrawal and the effects this has on veterans who servd there. Another great Matt Drake thriller
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Forgotten War was my initial foray into the world of Matt Drake and Co., and believe me when I tell you that you're in for one helluva ride. The military/technothriller genre is a sprawling one and it can be difficult to suss out what stories are worth reading, given the abundance of fish in this sea, but Don Bentley has pulled off the improbable and created a truly unique voice in the form of the aforementioned Matt Drake. Interestingly, the author alternates between first- and third-person narration, allowing you to hear Drake's thoughts and breathe his air. You'll not only laugh and cheer with him during moments of levity, but pursue the impossible alongside him, feeling every ounce of his grief, resolve, and at times, pure moral rage.
"Ripped from the headlines" is a cliché at this point, but when the shoe fits, it fits: Drake's adventures take you to the darker corners of our world. Weapon and technology fans will appreciate the attention to detail--which the author includes just enough of to keep you grounded in reality while keeping pace with the story--and anyone who enjoys a good story will feel the flesh-and-blood characters reaching out from the page, inviting you to join them in a race against time. (Speaking of time, don't be surprised if you read the whole thing in one sitting!)
From the book's powerful opening declaration to the final page, there is not a single moment that doesn't ring true. Forgotten War is a labor of love and a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have answered our nation's call to service, and tells a compelling story against the backdrop of the last 20 years. Don't hesitate--you need to get this book ASAP. Yesterday, if you can manage it.
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Occasionally, I love a good action-packed spy novel and will reach for one. So when I saw this one on @netgalley by the author of one of the more recent Tom Clancy novels, I just had to request it. I was so excited to get approved for it I couldn’t wait to dig in.

Publisher blurb:

As a team, Matt Drake and his partner, Frodo, have watched each other's backs through some very dark days. But one thing they've never doubted was their commitment to each other...until now.

Frodo has been accused of a war crime ten years after leaving Afghanistan. Matt is determined to prove his friend innocent, but what will he do when he finds that his closest friend has secrets he won't share?


This was an action packed emotionally charged book inspired by a true event. Once I started reading, I didn’t have it in me to put it down, and it was long. Even though this one is almost 500 pages, I didn’t feel that it was over long, it was well paced and thoroughly developed. However, things picked up even more in the last 150-200 pages and it was just sadly over in a blink! This book uses a lot of real talk surrounding the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and it helped solidify my feelings of the whole event.

You won’t want to miss this one April 25th.

Thank you to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, @BerkleyPub, Netgalley, @netgalley, and the author, Don Bentley, for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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FORGOTTEN WAR is a beautifully written tribute to the Afghanistan war. Don Bentley penned a gripping tribute centered around a stellar thriller novel. This was a very sombering read. 

However, Bentley was still able to add in the sarcasm and humor his fans have come to love! Matt Drake is by far one of my favorite characters, and his epic one liners have become something I look forward to.
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"I am only here to hit dingers" - Don Bentley, or maybe a little leaguer. Either way, Don hits it out of the park once again with yet another thrilling Matt and Frodo adventure. Wow. Non stop action from the start. This book will stand a test of time. It will be a piece of history on what went wrong in Afghanistan, and just what a mess we left there. "Years from now when their daughter, son or grandchild asked if Afghanistan had been worth it, They wanted to be able to look past the rubble that had once been a nation's hopes and point to something of worth...." Mr Bentley continues his streak of keeping the reader engaged throughout while offering invaluable lessons in history mixed in with fast pacing action scenes. If you are a fan of Matt and Frodo you won't be disappointed. They are here to stay.
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This series just keeps getting better and better with each one.  The characters are  truly believable, and the brotherhood  with  Frodo and Matt are true to form. I’m like ok let’s see if Don can top the action from the previous ones.  He exceeds my expectations every time!  It’s a true page turner for sure.  Personally, Don is now up there with Thor, Greaney , Mills, and the late great Vince Flynn.  Highly entertaining novel and can’t wait for the next one already LOL!
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This is my favorite Matt Drake story, no question!  The unbreakable bond of men and women 
who  serve in our Military is second to none, and in this 4th Matt Drake installment Author
Don Bentley does a masterful job blending the believable with his well set fictional events 
that will keep readers alive and awake from beginning to end.
When Matt learns his closest friend, really more like his brother, is accused of a murder said
to have taken place  a decade ago in Afghanistan, he knows he must figure out what he’s
actually being accused of before things get worse.  To be able to help, he will have to agree
to help others, making this a full operation.  With the backing of an unknown along with an
untested, but battle proven team , help for Frodo is on the way.
The story is well set up with a lot of Military jargon, but it’s fairly easy to catch on- and I
learned a few things and found it enjoyable to expand my vocabulary of all things field
I read this during the week that China was flying a balloon over our Country, which made
what I was reading even more interesting.  The Chinese satellite was real, of course, and  
some of the scenes in might have been vaguely fictional. 
I want to read this book again knowing what I now know about the complicated relationships
and the geopolitical consequences to our homeland as it relates to foreign relations at the 
highest levels of our Government.
I highly recommend this book- Don is at the top of his game and has. become a major player
in the genre.  This book can be read as a stand-alone because each book sports its own 
theme and story, but you might want to learn more about Matt, and also Frodo,
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review..
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Matt Drake is all rock n' roll! Don Bentley delivers a thriller that lives in the moment of current events. Bentley expertly crafts characters you cheer and hurt for.

DIA agent Matt Drake has honorably served his country as an Army Ranger. Drake's best friend is arrested for a murder that Drake knows deep in his heart he didn't commit. Drake has to find the truth and that truth is concealed in the land of the Forgotten War.
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Forgotten War is Don Bentley’s masterpiece so far. Not only does he up his game in the action department, but he cleverly entwines the adrenaline with the emotional receptors that make Forgotten War the grandest yet most personal Matt Drake mission yet.

Matt Drake’s tranquility is shattered once again when his best friend, Frodo, is arrested for a murder he supposedly committed in Afghanistan in 2011. With Afghanistan falling under Taliban control and the arrest details redacted, Drake has to work the case on his own, his leads taking him back to where it all started. At the same time, Drake’s in-laws come to him seeking help in rescuing his wife’s cousin who traveled to Afghanistan for a wedding and is now trapped in the country in the midst of chaos and evacuation. With the whole world flying out of the fallen country, it’s gonna take Drake more than a few miracles to work his way in there and successfully pull off two different missions, but both equally important.

Don Bentley outdoes himself with the action sequences. They’re best described as beautiful symphonies of precise and calculated aggression with the uncertain chaos of Murphy’s Laws. Drake finds himself manning all sorts of weapons in his engagements, varying from the close quarters MP5 to the thumping demonic DShK heavy machine gun depending on the mission parameters. Each shootout puts you in the driver’s seat with Drake so you feel the adrenaline course through your bloodstream, with descriptions so vivid and crisp you can’t help but read each action sequence again and again to relive their sheer awesomeness and badassness. 

Yet, it’s how Don Bentley ties the kinetic nature to the heart of the narrative that fully cements Forgotten War as one of the finest action thrillers. While Drake has undoubtedly faced personal stakes in his missions before, none of them have felt as poignant. Fall of Afghanistan, Frodo’s arrest, and a young girl trapped; all factors brilliantly highlight Drake’s psyche in unique aspects. Drake’s sentiments about Afghanistan echo those of servicemen and servicewomen who’ve served in the country and now feel disillusioned and he finds some solace in the shared strength of his fellow soldiers despite all that has gone wrong. In addition to his quest to exonerate his best friend and confidant, he also undertakes the unofficial and desperate mission to rescue his wife’s cousin. As Drake’s about to become a father, the barbaric concept of a helpless child stuck in a lawless land rubs him the worst possible way and it’s this feeling that Don Bentley captures so eloquently that one can’t help but wholeheartedly support Drake’s craziest plans so far in the face of evil for the pursuit of justice.

The Forgotten War is a multi-layered thriller that puts as much emphasis on the action as it does on the characters that drive the action forward. Timely, emotionally-charged, and breathtaking, it has everything going for it to be on my top 3 list for 2023 and I’m not even worried that the year hasn’t even started yet.
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Author Don Bentley creates a tense world in Forgotten War. Featuring lead character Matt Drake, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, he recreates the feelings and politics of that long war. He seems quite upset at the hasty withdrawal, as, frankly, he should. Those last days are written with gusto and keeps the reader interested. How a veteran might feel seeing the withdrawal portrayed on the news is especially insightful.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.
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Forgotten War blasts you right in the face with violent action in the relentless pursuit of truth and honor, burning bright and hot with the intensity of exploding rounds of white phosphorus juxtaposed with the emotional warm embrace of a beautiful friendship forged in combat.  

Matt Drake’s steadfast partner Frodo has been arrested and accused of murder, stemming from an operation in Afghanistan back in 2011.  Always having his best friend’s back, Matt dives headfirst into proving the charges are bogus but quickly realizes the situation is quite complex and fraught with danger.  Undeterred, Matt will do whatever it takes to help his friend, including an unsanctioned trip to Afghanistan during the chaos of the United States withdrawal where he will hook up with an unlikely group of individuals to track down and extract the one person who might be able to prove Frodo’s innocence.  But the Taliban is after the same individual, making it a treacherous race with guns blazing and bombs bursting.  But Matt Drake will stop at nothing to succeed in his mission and it would be foolish to bet against him, even when the odds of survival drop precipitously as the enemy closes in.    

Unsurprisingly, Matt Drake is put through the ringer once again as he voluntarily puts himself in harms way with little regard to his own safety in order to help his best friend, a woman he’s never met, and an interpreter he served with for one night over a decade ago.  He joins forces with an unlikely and somewhat quirky, but highly capable group of co-collaborators to take on this risky mission deep in Taliban-held country with little-to-no hope of backup from the mighty US military.  Each of these individuals is driven by a sense of duty, honor and commitment to a cause greater than themselves.  Which makes them a formidable unit capable of accomplishing this dangerous, potentially suicidal mission.  But undaunted, they march ahead singularly focused on success and taking the fight to the enemy.  

While there is a ton of action to make this an incredibly entertaining thriller, the thing that stands out most in Forgotten War is how Matt Drake works through his feelings as the war in Afghanistan comes to an end.  In this way, Don Bentley has written what comes across as a deeply personal – and possibly/hopefully cathartic – novel leveraging his experience serving in Afghanistan and the emotions experienced by himself and all veterans surrounding the United States withdrawal in 2021.  Combining this powerful and moving theme with Matt Drake’s trademark of heroically running headfirst into an untenable situation with his only thoughts being to help those he cares about, and you have one hell of a thought-provoking and satisfying novel.
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