cover image Storm Rising

Storm Rising

Chris Hauty. Atria/Bestler, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9821-7585-6

Hauty’s uneven third political thriller featuring Hayley Chill (after 2021’s Savage Road) finds Hayley, a former White House staffer and Army veteran, in Texas, where she’s operating undercover as a U.S. senator’s aide. Hayley, a well-trained, highly capable soldier working as part of a clandestine “deeper state” effort to preserve America’s constitutional democracy, is pursuing clues about her father’s death and looking into possible terrorist attacks on the Permian Basin oil fields. Hayley’s investigation leads her into a hornet’s nest of destabilizing activities: white supremacy in the military, anti-immigration sentiment, and even “satanic death cults,” all coalescing into a large and seditious plot. What she learns about her father’s role at a pivotal point of American history makes the stakes personal. The brisk, cinematic plot compensates only in part for a lack of nuance and thin characterization. The bad guys are irredeemably bad, the good guys are purely good, and Hayley, the book’s best developed character, is more an action hero than a human being. This is a jingoistic Tom Clancy novel for the post-Trump world. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (May)