Long ago, men of violence ruled with an iron fist. They owed loyalty only to themselves. Their names were whispered but never spoken. In parts of the world, those old traditions still hold strong. Power there spews from the barrel of a gun. Laws are shaped with lead, taxes paid in cold dread.
But not America. Because we, too, have those whose names are whispered. Men who know nothing but the gray zone between life and death, whose only calling in life is to do the things the rest of us dare not, the things that keep us safe. Men like the Hangman, a covert operative whose feats became the stuff of legend. He was the tip of the spear—the man his country unleashed when all hope was lost. Six months ago, someone sold him out. The agency listed him as “killed in action”. He lost everything he held dear.
But legends never die…the Hangman is back. And he’s looking for blood.
Fans of Ryan, Reacher, and Bourne will love betrayed CIA operative Jason Trapp, who stars in a pulse-pounding revenge thriller in 2019’s breakout hit.
Note: Dark State was previously published as Deep State.
Point of view:
3rd person. Mostly Trapp’s perspective, but several other key characters POVs as well.
A huge thank you to Kronos Ananthsimha for recommending Dark State. This is the first book in Jack Slater’s Jason Trapp series. Despite being my first experience with Slater as well with narrator Mark Garkusha, I immediately grabbed the audio based on his rec. So glad I did.
The action and mystery start immediately with the events that will be known as “Bloody Sunday”. Slater does a good job balancing worldbulding, suspense, digital spying, and various responses. Trapp finds himself unwittingly drawn into to the conflict and then learns he’s central to solving the mystery of who is behind terrorist attacks. This has strong political thriller elements as well. Pacing was well done and made it difficult anytime I had to stop listening.
I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially President Nash and FBI agent Dani Carter. I hope she’s going to be in future books. Even the protagonist was someone you love to hate. With lots of unreliable folks around, it took me a bit to figure out who it was.
I liked the way Slater wrapped things up. It’s wide open where Jason Trapp can go from here and I’m looking forward to False Flag. However, I’ll absolutely be waiting for the audiobook because…
I was nervous listening because not only is Garkusha new to me, this is his first audiobook narration. Garkusha blew me away and I don’t have a single complaint about his performance. He graciously replied to an IG post earlier this week that he’s not new to VO or acting. That experience has obviously paid off. He does a wonderful job with all the emotions, evoking tension, and giving all the characters unique voices and accents consistent with Slater’s writing. What a fantastic listen and I’ll be eagerly waiting for more audios with Garkusha at the helm.
Content Warnings (possible spoilers):
The main theme of this is terrorism and there are several mass shootings. Domestic white nationalists play a large role in the conspiracy which includes racially motivated murders.
About the author:
You can connect with Jack Slater here:
About the narrator:
You can connect with Mark Garkusha here:
My Favorite Quotes
What they were to accomplish did not require idle conversation, just steely resolve. – Dark State by #JackSlater #Audiobook narrated by @markdmitri #Thriller #JasonTrapp #Suspense #ActionTweet
“This is a secure line.” “No,” Greaves said quietly, running his fingers through his hair. “Not for this, it isn’t.” – Dark State by #JackSlater #Audiobook narrated by @markdmitri #Thriller #JasonTrapp #Suspense #ActionTweet
At the highest levels of government, the process used to identify a target, locate its coordinates and authorize its destruction is known as a ‘kill chain.’ – Dark State by #JackSlater #Audiobook narrated by @markdmitri #Thriller #JasonTrapp #Suspense #ActionTweet
So far we’ve tracked almost a hundred separate attacks across thirty-two states, involving upward of three hundred terrorists. – Dark State by #JackSlater #Audiobook narrated by @markdmitri #Thriller #JasonTrapp #Suspense #ActionTweet
We’ve gone way past ‘lose your badge’ territory. I’m looking at a ten-year stint at ADX Florence for dereliction of duty. So I guess I’m all in. – Dark State by #JackSlater #Audiobook narrated by @markdmitri #Thriller #JasonTrapp #Suspense #ActionTweet