William Morrow Pub.
June 13th, 2023
Inside Threat by Matthew Quirk is a political thriller that will remind readers of Vince Flynn’s Transfer of Power and David Baldacci’s characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, retired Secret Service Agents. The plot has secrets, lies, and betrayals with the readers not knowing who the bad guys are and who are the good guys.
“I try to strike a balance between a conspiracy shadow behind certain powers, while adding hope, realism, and not feeding into the cynicism. The premise has what would happen if a President came under attack? I played with these questions for the readers to think about. What is the drive behind someone going against the office they are protecting? Are they protecting a larger value by taking matters into their own hands? Is going rogue part of the problem or solving the problem? Who can be trusted? My inspiration was the movie “Die Hard,” Agatha Christie, and Robert Ludlum.”
The book begins with an attack on the White House, obvious that it has been breached. The President, his wife, the most trusted officials, and the best Secret Service Agents move to a secure underground facility known as Raven Rock. Most impressive is how Quirk drew a simplified version of this complex. It is a facility 700 feet under a mountain near Camp David.
“There is some reality in the book.“Yankee White,” a special investigation to get a clearance level. Anyone can hold the President’s life in their hands such as a chef, helicopter pilot, and a doctor. There is this distinct circle of people that can single handily be able to kill the President.
The saying “shut up and color,” which is military slang for “do your job and follow orders.” This was one of the themes of the book because what if the orders are contrary to the actual duties.
My friend had written an entire book on Raven Rock, the bunker 700 feet under a mountain near Camp David. I tried to find a bunch of imagery. In the beginning of the book, I drew a simplified layout of the architectural buildings and tunnels. I wanted the reader to follow along with the action. It is true I did take some liberties, but everything in the book has some realism.
The Presidential Emergency Act, which are documents that can be invoked by the President. No one knows what is in them. The President could possibly create martial law, suspend Congress, nationalize industries, and ignore the Constitution.”
Readers realize among the heroes are, Secret Service Agents Eric Hill and Amber Cody. They soon discover the threat is locked inside with them. Communications have been cut, exits sabotaged, and bodies piling up. Hill and Cody must use their skills and instincts to determine who can be trusted? Are the perpetrators the officials, or those in the Army, or the Secret Service? Both know they must do whatever it takes to protect the institution they have been sworn to serve and protect.
Secret Service Agents can be flies on the wall. “I have this book quote, they “can see everything and see nothing.” I did talk to Secret Service people for the book. Their job is to protect the person and yet they are seeing Washington politics up close. They still do their job, which is protecting the office. Even if it someone they do not respect they are still willing to protect them, even to the point of sacrificing their life. This is very honorable.”
Given the current events, this concept of a threat to the government from within is very scary. Wondering who is a friend and who is a foe has readers taking the dangerous journey with Hill and Cody. The many twists will keep people reading, not wanting to put the book down.