Title: Deep Sleep (Devin Gray #1)
Author: Steven Konkoly
Published on: 1 February 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Counter-surveillance expert Devin Gray is thrown headlong first into a new territory after the death of his mother Helen Gray. Helen was a former CIA officer who involved herself into a secret operation that finally led to her disgraceful fall from the bureau. She believed there was more at stake than it seemed to be but in the process of stopping a national catastrophe, she lost her fame, job and family.
Helen kidnaps an old man named Wilson. But on her way to the secure location, she is ambushed and killed. And so is Wilson. Before dying, she leaves a message for her son…
Devin was in the middle of a job when his mother was killed. But when he learns of her death from his father and then receives her instructions, he vows to find the mystery behind the secret operation that might concern the country’s national security.
Deep Sleep is the first book in Steven Konkoly’s Devin Gray series.
The story begins with Devin in the middle of a honey-trap operation. (Well, the story begins with Israel’s Iron Dome malfunctioning but there isn’t a lot of info on this once Devin comes into picture.) Meanwhile, Helen Gray makes her way into the old age home where her target is currently residing under the name Wilson. Helen successfully kidnaps Wilson but is ambushed on her way to a secure location. Both Helen and Wilson are killed in the attack. But just before her death, she leaves one last message for her son, Devin.
Meanwhile, the operation Devin is currently assigned to seems to be more than just a honey-trap. The goons ‘recruited’ to cause damage if the victim does not agree are not young – they are middle-aged and not very agile. The mission is aborted when things go a little sideways. The victim is rescued and that is what matters… Devin and his colleagues are sent on a two-week paid vacation; just to hide from the FBI and other alphabet agencies who might come around asking questions.
Devin learns of his mother’s death. Devin’s father insists on a funeral but nobody turns up… nobody except Devin’s childhood friend and ex-helicopter pilot Marie Young and Karl Berg, Helen Gray’s CIA colleague. Soon, Devin and Karl join hands and vouch to solve the mystery Helen Gray uncovered.
Without giving away any spoilers, I would say the ‘mystery’ has something to do with a slowly brewing conspiracy that might bring down… um, I said no spoilers. 😉
Deep Sleep is a perfect start to a politico-espionage thriller series. I loved the series plot and the character introductions. Also, the aforementioned mystery and conspiracy kept me guessing till the end. The story ends with a cliffhanger… after all, this is just the beginning of a major blowout.
The only niggle I had with the story – which made me rate this book 4 stars – is the numerous characters. I had a hard time remembering who’s who. Having said that, the group of bad guys (cannot name them; no spoilers, remember?) and Devin’s team – well, they have one heck of a cat-and-mouse-chase! The first half of the book was more interesting than the second half. By the time both groups plan an ambush, I was like, “please be done with it already!” – what can I say, I found the meticulous planning and the final chase a little boring. Anyhoo, the not-so-interesting second half of the story did not spoil the mood for me.
If you are looking to read a politico-techno-espionage thriller (believe me, the espionage part is the best!), you might want to give Deep Sleep by Steven Konkoly a try.