Christopher Farnsworth is a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. He is the author of seven novels, including Flashmob, Killfile, and the President's Vampire books featuring Nathaniel Cade. His books have been translated into nine languages, published in a dozen territories, and optioned for film and television. Flashmob was named one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and his novels have twice been a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards and a winner of the Best Audiobook for Thriller & Suspense. He is also the author, with James Patterson, of Dead Man Running, and the graphic novel 24 Legacy: Rules Of Engagement with artist Antonio Fuso. His latest novel is Reunion.

Born and raised in Idaho, he now lives in Los Angeles, California with his family.

You can find out more at or follow him on Twitter at @chrisfarnsworth.

Deep State by Christopher Farnsworth

It's been four years since a new president ascended to the White House. Zach Barrows has not seen Nathaniel Cade, the President's Vampire, since being fired from his position as Cade's handler and sent to a small, cramped office in a government building in Nebraska. Once he and Cade fought a shadow war against the monsters, spies, and demons that threatened the United States. Now Zach pushes papers and listens to conspiracy theories from people who have no idea how dark the real world can get.

Then Zach is summoned to the Situation Room by President Lester Wyman, who is both the commander-in-chief and a possible traitor.

But he and Cade are bound to follow Wyman's orders. They are told to find out why a top-secret missile silo has gone offline. If they fail, a nuclear warhead will launch, and the world will die in a hail of fire.

In other words, it's just another night on the job. After a long absence, Cade and Zach are back in action together — for what might be the last time.


I fell in love with Chris' Nathaniel Cade, vampire to the President, on discovering his books a while back. Chris began as a screenwriter in LA and his books are very cinematic, in a good way! Deep State is a stand-alone adventure featuring Cade as he has to dig down deep into some particularly nasty horror... and it's great fun. – Lavie Tidhar



  • "Cade continues to be one of modern literature's most frightening vampires."

    – Charlaine Harris, author of the True Blood series of novels
  • "This may just be the best debut vampire novel in many years."

    – John Connolly, bestselling author of the Charlie Parker series, on Blood Oath
  • "Terrific. Written with enormous gusto and flair, Cade seems destined to become a hero the world will find hard to forget."

    – The Daily Mail (UK) on Blood Oath
  • "A complex and unnervingly realistic tale in which vampire Nathaniel Cade, a Secret Service agent sworn to protect the president, is far less of a monster than his human colleagues at the CIA and FBI."

    – Elizabeth Hand, author of Generation Loss, reviewing Blood Oath in the Washington Post





For some reason, Captain Richard Braden could not get the song out of his head.

"We built this city on rock and roll..."

It had come up randomly on the radio as he parked, just before he killed the car engine. That was a full day and over 2,000 miles away, but the song was still bouncing around madly inside his skull.

It was driving him nuts. He'd been trained to endure torture, think clearly under enemy fire, and disarm a suitcase nuke, but the sheer idiocy of this one bad 80s hit was now thoroughly kicking his ass.

For starters, why was Marconi playing the mamba? The mamba is a snake, not a song. Even if they meant the mambo, that was a dance, not a song. Just how stoned were they when they wrote this piece of crap anyway?

He shook it off and focused on the task at hand.

Braden was moving into the perimeter of the town, dark and as quiet as a shadow, his H&K MP7a1 off-safety and ready to fire.

Braden was a member of SEAL Team Gold, one of the U.S government's most secret warriors, ordinarily charged with hunting down international terrorists or rescuing hostages held in deep enemy territory.

Right now, Braden was about to recon a 24-hour convenience store on the edge of Parker, Wyoming.

Parker was a small town — so small, in fact, that the convenience store wasn't even a 7-11 or a Circle K, but some local equivalent called a "Go-Fer Mart." Population: 308. Local industry: ranching, with some oil money from active wells nearby. One church, one bar. Zero McDonalds. Parker seemed as innocuous as small-town America could get.

Braden didn't see anything to contradict that first impression. Instead, he saw a bored kid behind a counter, wearing a polyester vest and a nametag, waiting around on the off-chance that somebody wanted to buy beef jerky or beer at one in the morning.

But Braden had also been trained to observe his own responses, to run constant self-diagnostics, while on a mission. And he recognized that the nagging repetition of the crappy pop song in his head was a signal from his subconscious. It told him that something was wrong.

It wasn't just that Gold wasn't supposed to do domestic operations — this was hardly his first covert op on U.S. soil. Nor did he think he and the other team members had been called out for a false alarm. Braden had seen some seriously upfucked intel before, but this was a whole different flavor of weird.

Everything looked normal, but it wasn't. He couldn't say why. That's why the song was yammering in his head. It was like an alarm bell going off.

But try as he might, Braden couldn't see what he was missing.

He clicked his mike once, letting his team leader know he was in position. He received two clicks back, telling him to stay put.

Braden and the other five members of Gold had been mobilized early that morning. They flew across country in a troop transport, got loaded into a chopper at the Natrona County airport, then dropped at the edge of the highway, roughly three miles away from the town center. Nobody spotted them. The town was dead. There was zero traffic. Braden figured it wasn't much of a tourist destination.

Based on the mission briefing, Braden expected to deal with some militia retards. There were still a few McVeigh types out here, looking to make a bigger bang than Oklahoma City. He wasn't worried about those morons. For all their talk about resistance and death before dishonor, he suspected it would be a race to see what they'd do first: drop their weapons or shit their pants.

But it never hurt to be prepared. That was why he was spotting the Kwik-E-Mart here. There wasn't much in the way of high ground in Parker, so Braden would set up a sniper post on the roof, ready to fill some graves if necessary.

The team leader's voice came over his earbud. "We're in position. Braden, how's it look?"

He responded through his own throat-mike. "One civilian. Other than that, zero contacts."

"Let's go," the team leader said. "Quick and quiet."

Braden moved. He ran fast to the rear door of the convenience store. He used a pick gun to pop the lock, and was inside before the kid would have a chance to wonder about the slight noise.

He passed the restroom and a small office, the layout of the place already fixed in his mind from his brief surveillance. With three long strides, he was at the counter, his arm around the kid's throat, dragging him back, out of sight of the big glass windows.

He put the kid down hard, one gloved hand over his mouth.

"Quiet," he ordered. "Bad news is, you make a sound, I'll have to shoot you. Good news is, we're the good guys."

The kid stared back at him, eyes only mildly curious.

Braden took his hand away. The kid didn't speak.

"Hey. You all right?"

Still nothing. Just the wide, placid eyes. Christ, Braden thought, the local pot must be something else.

"Listen. We're here to help. I'm not going to hurt you," Braden said.

That finally seemed to get through to the kid. He started to smile.

"I know," he said.

The song was almost screaming in Braden's head now.

The kid opened his mouth in a full grin.

Braden was up and on his feet and running out the back door before he even realized it. He blew radio silence right to shit. He had to warn the others.

Jesus Christ, what was in that kid's mouth?

"Top, top!" he shouted into his mike. "We've got to run, we've got to get out of here — "

Gunfire. He knew the sound well. It was the suppressed report of another H&K MP7. The others were already under attack.

There was the flat, hollow boom of a combat shotgun, a hundred yards in the other direction, followed by a scream.

That was Turner. He recognized the voice, but just barely. He'd seen Turner break his arm during a training exercise, a compound fracture, the bone tearing up through the skin. Turner had only grunted then. Now he was screaming like a child.

He kept running, checking over his shoulder. The convenience store glowed in the night. The kid wasn't coming after him.

Braden didn't think that meant he was safe.

"Top, call it in!" he shouted into his mike. The team leader had a sat-phone. He had to tell them. Had to warn someone.

More gunfire, then abrupt silence in the distance. Not even a scream this time. His earbud was filled with nothing but static.

They were dead. They were all dead.

He kept running.

Something came from behind and spun him about. There was a pain in his chest, but he could not feel his legs. He found himself on his back, looking at the stars.

Then something blotted them out, and Braden felt nothing at all.