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Forgotten War

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Member Reviews

If you are a Matt and Frodo fan you will love this one. The last 150 pages are one hell of a ride. If you like action, pick this one up when it comes out. Bentley does a great job with the cast of characters (some new ones I hope stick around for future books).
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First, thank you to Net Galley, the publisher,  and the author for sending me this ARC.

As per other books by this author, the book featured relentless action from beginning to end; however, what set this book apart for me is the thoughts/feelings of our servicemen who have fought in Afghanistan for so long.  I do not think we civilians can quite grasp how those brave men and women must have felt/must feel to see us abandon Afghanistan like we did.  This human element is often missing from this genre, and I gave this book a 5-star rating because of it.

I know that Mr. Bentley has 2 other books coming out this year so I really look forward to reading those as well.
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It’s fantastic. I wish I could give this more than five stars. Definitely the best Matt Drake book yet. 

The book takes place during the Afghanistan withdrawal. Matt puts together a team to rescue a family member and interpreter from Afghanistan. Frodo has been arrested for murder so he’s no help. This is such an emotional book. Bentley accurately describes what I imagine veterans were feeling during our exit from Afghanistan. The action doesn’t come until later in the book and it is definitely worth the wait. My husband works for Boeing so I especially love the Sikorsky/Boeing thing at the end. Not sure if that is intentional but that doesn’t make me love it any less. I also love Matt’s dry humor. The delivery is great. 

So thankful I received this book from Netgalley. Can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with this book!
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Matt Drake is back and ready for even more pearl snap shirt clad action as Bentley sets Drake adrift by imprisoning Frodo for murder in the final days of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Racing from an attempt on his own life looking for answers for Frodo's arrest, Matt is forced back to Kabul seeking out the one man who could clear Frodo's name. But that man is on the run deep in Indian country, fleeing for his life with his family in tow as the Taliban hunt him, looking to settle a decade's old score. 

The debts being repaid in the book are heavy and run deeper than anyone could imagine. No one is spared from turning away from old wounds. Visible and unseen. Matt is pitted against the chaos of the evacuation, joining a ragtag team of new and old faces, each heading outside the wire one last time for their own reasons, and a growing list of promises to keep before time runs out on the entire country. 

Bentley pays tribute through out the book to those who fought and served in Afghanistan and the tumultuous time for them all as they helplessly watched the withdrawal unfold on tv screens back home. He folds in the efforts of civilian vets who augmented the thankless efforts of servicemen and women doing whatever they could before the last transport took off and closed out the war. Emotions run raw, but Bentley keeps things moving and problematic. Leaving little room for Drake to become bogged down in the tragedy.

Forgotten War hits a high note in the Drake series. I'm glad that Don finds time between his work on the Jack Ryan Jr series to keep Matt humming along. The character is a different avenue to insert his own experiences into the work and highlight the real world heroism, especially when it involves a sense of duty that didn't always make it to the front page during the withdrawal.

With two Jack Jr. books coming out this year, don't miss the chance to grab Bentley's equally well done Matt Drake novel. You can thank me later.

I want to thank NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the Forgotten War ARC.
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I received this book from the author, the fine folks at Net Galley and Berkley Publishing Group in return for an honest review.

I have been a reader of the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan universe for nearly thirty-five years, but this is my first foray into Don Bentley/Matt Drake universe and I think I can summarize my reaction in basically one word: "Wow!!".

In the summary of the book/author's notes, Bentley says that he took some artistic license insofar as apparently the previous novel references the Russia/Ukraine war and took place prior to the events in this novel (the distasteful American withdrawal takes place in 2021 and the Russia/Ukraine conflict began in early 2022.)

The premise of this novel is during the disgraceful and rapid exit of the American armed forces from Afghanistan - a conflict that has lasted two decades in length - serves as the background and the catalyst to a unique, high-flying, seat-of-your-pants thriller with equal amounts of heart. The news of the withdrawal hits our protagonist, Matt Drake, and his wounded/disabled partner Frodo especially hard as the evacuation crisis precipitated by the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan following the rapid withdrawal of American troops is further exacerbated as Frodo is charged with murder following the death of a special forces comrade during a TDY with ODA3324 ten years ago.

Drake and his motley crew of special forces veterans attempt to find a way to prove that Frodo is innocent of the charges by traveling to Afghanistan to get the testimony of their Afghan interpreter (this is particularly brought to the forefront with the death of other members of ODA3324).

It is obvious that two decades of violent conflict in Afghanistan have bled the U.S. far more than it could handle. Bentley gives a voice to the hurt, frustration, and despair felt by servicemen and women, and rightly so, for the shockingly mismanaged retreat from Afghanistan.

The suggestion here is that America must take ownership of the lives affected when it decides to invade and administer a foreign territory. A team of American heroes, led by Matt Drake, demonstrate a willingness to bend the rules to save their Afghan friends and allies.

Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 (with the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghan War which began in 1979) and the completion of the American withdrawal in August 2021, the maxim "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" readily came to mind as I read this exciting novel.

The Afghani locals there have a saying: ‘You have the watches. We have the time.’

One of the first thoughts that I had upon my completion of Forgotten War was how impressed I was with this author (I don't believe that I had read any of the Tom Clancy universes since his demise in 2013 with the exception of maybe a Mark Greaney novel or two) and would definitely recommend this book to any fans of complex, adrenaline-fueled military novels.

As far as rating this book I found the story to be both riveting and exciting, as Don Bently explores the geopolitical realm as there are frequent references to America's previous defeat in Vietnam (Operation Frequent Wind) as the American armed forces attempt the evacuation of U.S. citizens, embassy staff, and allied Afghan nationals (Operation Allies Refuge), and would easily give this book a solid five stars out of five.

As with all of my literary ramblings, this is just my five cents worth.
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What a great book.  The author does an excellent job of continuing Matt Drake and Frodo's story and also the struggles from their past.  Mr. Bentley relates and tells the struggle many vets felt with how Afganistan ended and how they felt seeing their brothers in arms left behind.  

The story continues to show the bond between Frodo and Drake and the loyalty between the two.  It also introduces several new characters that i look forward to seeing in future stories.

Highly recommend this book for those who have read Don Bentley before or those looking for a new author.  Can't wait for the series to continue
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This is the 4th book in the Matt Drake series and is every bit as good as the previous three that were tremendous.  Frodo has been arrested for something that was supposed to have happened in Afghanistan 10 years ago. Matt can't get Frodo to talk to him about it and he cannot get what he needs from official channels so he heads off to Afghanistan to get to the truth of the matter and to get Fordo freed. No matter what the cost.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for a review.

Another great thriller in the Matt Drake series. The story is set during current events taking place in Afghanistan. The action takes place as Matt and a small group head into danger to rescue a young girl, and a former US ally and interpreter from behind the Taliban lines. The team is made up of former military who had spent time in Afghanistan. The emotions of the characters when they saw the withdrawal and the enemy taking control were explored by the author. It all adds up to an impressive thrill ride of a novel.
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Nobody is better at this kind of thing than Don Bentley. In fact, I'm close to saying he's too good a novelist to waste his talent on this kind of thing. Now, I like run-and-gun novels as much as the next man (or woman), but it's a genre that is almost always long on narrative and short on everything else. Don Bentley shows enormous talent for all those 'everything else's:' characterization, dialogue, and heart.

The run-and-gun parts of FORGOTTEN WAR are its weakest parts. It's an enormously touching novel filled with people you'll care about and dialogue that crackles. Even if you're not a fan of military-style thrillers, you'll love it. It rises above that limited sub-genre in more ways than I can even begin to list here. Highly, highly recommended.
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Good gravy was this good. Forgotten War, the 4th book in Don Bentley's Matt Drake series, utilizes the U.S.'s disgraceful exit from Afghanistan as the catalyst to a unique, highflying, seat-of-your-pants thriller with equal amounts of heart. The news of the withdrawal from Afghanistan hits Matt Drake and his partner/best friend Frodo hard. Ten years earlier, Matt and Frodo joined a raid in Afghanistan at the last minute, almost by accident. Since they returned to base from said op they haven't thought of it since. That is until Frodo is arrested for murder and Matt survives an assassination attempt. Vowing to do whatever it takes to exonerate Frodo, Drake will face nearly impossible odds, bureaucratic b.s. logistical nightmares and enemies with unusual allies. 

Every word Bentley has penned has been great. Forgotten War is next level.  Switching up the formula a bit from previous Drake books by having Frodo indisposed, Bentley allows the reader to see Matt in a new light. The biggest impact from Frodo's absence are the characters Bentley introduced.  They will be instant fan favorites. I hope this isn't the last time we see some of them. In a way Forgotten War feels like an ode to the men and women who fought, bled and died in Afghanistan. And deservedly so.

Forgotten War isn't just your normal thriller. Bentley gives a voice to the hurt, frustration, despair felt by servicemen and woman due to the Afghanistan withdrawal. By focusing on the disgraceful way we left Afghanistan and the people who risked their lives to help the U.S., Bentley shines a spotlight on the very best of the us.: The brave, selfish and heroic actions of men and women who did what the U..S. government refused to do. I cannot recommend Forgotten War enough!

My eternal thanks to Don Bentley, Berkley Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Forgotten War!
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