Brad Thor is the king of “faction” – which is the combination of fact and fiction. His stories have captivated readers since 2002, when he first introduced his protagonist, Scot Harvath, to the world in his debut novel Lions of Lucerne.
When summer rolls around it means one thing in my house: the annual tug-of-war match between my wife and I, over who gets to read Brad Thor’s latest book first, is about to take place. This year I finally won!
My expectations were high, as I really enjoyed last year’s Act of War. As good as Brad Thor is, I wasn’t sure he could top his last thriller.
Two things: First, I was wrong – Brad Thor does once again top himself, somehow. Secondly, Code of Conduct might be his best novel yet!
I actually finished reading it two days ago, but was hesitant to write a review because I don’t want to spoil anything about the plot. I thought I knew what the book was about when I opened it, but a few chapters in, things get taken to another level. It’s better that way, trust me! So if you’re someone who avoids reviews for that very reason, fear not! I’ll keep things pretty vanilla, and just tell you why you should buy this book as soon as possible.
The story opens with Scot Harvath set to go on vacation with the beautiful Lara Cordero, who fans of the series will remember from Thor’s 2014 novel, Hidden Order. The two planned a romantic week in New England, where they would stay in a private cabin surrounded by the fall colors, enjoying a case of their favorite wine. Sounds nice, right?
Four terrifying seconds of a leaked video changes everything…
The United Nations has a secretive, small committee that nobody knows about. Together, they have a devastating agenda. When a few seconds of a highly classified video, showing a team of gunman entering a medical treatment center in Africa, is leaked, Harvath is called upon to go investigate.
Traveling with a few hired guns, and a female doctor with a hot body, named Decker, Harvath makes his way to the small medical facility – encountering some trouble along the way. Once they arrive things only get worse, as Harvath eventually uncovers an unthinkable evil plot of epic proportions.
Lots of familiar faces appear in Thor’s fifteenth novel, but I won’t ruin any surprises. Just know that most of the normal gang makes an appearance at some point. As for new characters, it’s a woman working with the Israelis, named Helena, who steals the show.
Separate from Harvath’s investigation, an Israeli agent named Mordechai is hot on the trail of a man named Pierre Damien. Damien, who happens to be one of the members of the United Nations’ secret committee, also poses a direct threat to Israel – which is why Mordechai was sent to kill him. A little snooping in Damien’s hotel room provided some fruitful intel, but ultimately raised more questions that needed answers. The mission was aborted, for now.
To start getting some of the answers they sought, Mordechai sent in Helena Pestova, a thirty-seven-year-old Czech national, to get cozy with Damien. Using her good looks, she manages to get close to him. However, Helena’s loyalty to Israel is questioned, as are her motives. Could she have her own agenda on the side?
Decker, the doctor with the hot body, is a fun character. Women will be annoyed with her natural beauty and her constant desire to always appear sexy, even in the middle of the jungle. Men, however, will love her because of her natural beauty and constant desire to always appear sexy, even in the middle of the jungle.
With Decker’s help, Harvath sneaks into the medical facility and has a look around. If you’re a married man, or a guy with a steady significant other, I know what you’re thinking. “Harvath had to cancel a vacation with his girlfriend, to go rough it in the jungle with a sexy, intelligent woman?” Scot’s life isn’t perfect though, fellas. Decker might be attractive, but she’s equally as difficult and stubborn.
It’s in the deserted medical facility that Harvath begins fitting the puzzle pieces together, and realizes that the bad guys’ plan is far more sinister than he’d originally thought. From there he finds himself racing against the clock in what is certainly his most dangerous mission yet!
The plot moves at the speed of a rocket fueled by Red Bull, building to a climatic ending that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and unable to put the book down.
A word of advice: since the book comes out Tuesday, July 7, get plenty of sleep Monday and clear your schedule for Wednesday. Once you start reading Code of Conduct, you won’t be able to stop.
I’ve seen (on social media) Thor’s new book be compared to several other novels already written. Don’t listen to the people making those comparisons, there is nothing quite like this book. If I had to think of a way to describe it, it would be this… Code of Conduct is like Dan Brown’s Inferno mixed with an action movie on steroids, but even that doesn’t do it justice.
For Harvath, the stakes have never been higher. Code of Conduct is Thor at his absolute best, complete with everything from frightening conspiracies to a Star Wars reference. I cannot praise this book enough. Make sure you grab a copy as soon as your local bookstore opens on Tuesday!