Throwback Thursday: ‘The Last Patriot’ by Brad Thor

I wasn’t very impressed with The Da Vinci Code, but I absolutely loved the book that Glenn Beck calledThe Da Vinci Code for Islam” – Brad Thor’s The Last Patriot.

This was the novel that cemented Brad Thor as my favorite living author. It has everything you could ever want in a thriller: Suspense, gun fights, chase scenes, and several shocking twists and turns as the story unfolds. It’s also Thor’s best work of faction – another term coined by Glenn Beck – which is something the author has become known for.

Faction is a unique style of storytelling that mixes a certain amount of truth with creative and artistic fiction, and nobody does it better than Brad Thor. At the end of The Last Patriot Thor penned an “Author’s Note” that stated which parts of the story are real, and what was created by him. At one point he says “In writing this novel, I have created a work of fiction based largely on fact.” That might be the very best way to define faction.

Brad Thor profile
Author Brad Thor

When Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code, his enormously popular novel that was later turned into a movie staring Tom Hanks, he was criticized by many Catholics for his portrayal of the Vatican. Likewise, Christians didn’t like how he presented theories as historical facts, especially those suggesting Jesus had a lover who he fathered a child with.

Now, I’m a big time believer in freedom of speech, which pretty much allows Americans to say anything they want even if it’s offensive – check that, especially if it’s offensive! Yet in today’s state of political correctness people are crying louder than ever about being offended by any, and everything.

I say all that to show the disparity between what is considered acceptable, and what isn’t tolerated. First Amendment advocates stood up for Dan Brown. Brad Thor on the other hand, actually received death threats because of what he wrote in The Last Patriot.

What on earth could Brad Thor have written that would bring death threats to him and his family? Well, for starters, he talked about Islam in a less than favorable way. Secondly, his book is a fictional story wrapped around the idea that the prophet Mohammed shared a  final revelation with some of his closest companions, who then murdered him to keep him quiet and what he said a secret.

Ultimately, some Muslims believe Thor was questioning both Mohammed and the Koran. That’s a big time no-no, thus the death threats. It’s my understanding that Glenn Beck, one of Thor’s friends, tried to talk the author into either changing some things or to not publish the book. Kudos to Thor for standing up for freedom and doing what he wanted and felt was right. Many, maybe even myself included, would have caved to the threats.

Now here’s the ironic thing: As much as the Catholic church did not like Dan Brown’s novel, The Last Patriot is much more historically accurate than The Da Vinic Code. Yet Brown likely didn’t receive the kind of threats that Thor did. Why is that?

Maybe that’s a question people should think about.

The Last Patriot Brad ThorThe Story

Scot Harvath was enjoying time in Paris with Tracy Hastings, his girlfriend of almost a year. While walking the streets and enjoying conversation with his significant other, Harvath noticed something. At first it appeared to be just a car jacking, but he quickly figured out there was more to it than that. Suddenly, an explosion rocked the block as a Mercedes exploded into a ball of fire.

The man who owned the car was injured, but stable. Harvath had jumped on him just before the car-bomb detonated, saving his life. As Tracy and Scot discussed what to do, and the best way to get him medical attention, the man declined an ambulance or hospital.

Checking the man’s ID, Harvath was trying to come up with any reason why someone would have just tried to kill him. Surprisingly, the man’s identification showed that he was from Virginia. He was an American professor. And then, at the back of his wallet, something else caught Harvath’s eye. It was a business card for an insurgence agency with a phone number written on it.

The number, Harvath knew, didn’t really go to an insurance agency. He recognized it, in fact he could never forget it. The phone number was a private number that Harvath knew by heart because he’d previously been given it too, as a way to contact the President of the United States directly.

Why was an American professor, carrying the the private number of the president, targeted in an explosion on the streets of Paris? That was what Scot wanted to find out. So, looking for answers, he dialed the private number, and that’s when things take a wild and unexpected turn.

It all started when the president read the White House diary of Thomas Jefferson. In it, Jefferson detailed his belief that Islam would one day become a serious threat to America. On top of that, the president also believed Jefferson had found something. Something monumental that, should it ever be discovered and brought to light, would change Islam forever.

Harvath ends up going on a journey as he sifts through historical facts, looking for clues to Jefferson’s discovery.

The people that had tried to kill the professor are now after Harvath and whatever he’s looking for. The two sides are in a race: Harvath to uncover the truth, and the bad guys to stop him from exposing it.

Why I loved it

The Da Vinci Code was a fine story, but it never felt real to me. This novel, on the other hand, drips with so much realism and historical facts that the plot is believable. It’s so believable in fact, that I  felt like I was walking right behind Harvath as he searched for what Jefferson had discovered. Simply put, I became lost in the story… What more could you possibly ask for from a novel?

Why you should read it

The Last Patriot is a buffet line of everything readers typically look for in a good book. Mystery? Check. Suspense? You bet. Action? Of course, it’s Brad Freakin’ Thor. CHECK!

It’s also well written, fun, and reads incredibly fast. All of those things leave you unable to set it down until the incredibly brilliant and satisfying ending, which will also leave you thinking about things you’ve probably never really considered.

Brad Thor isn’t just an entertainer, he’s a teacher. You finish his books smarter than when you started them – which isn’t something you can say about most novels, or most authors. Forget the mindless action, unrealistic plots and cheesy clichés that others rely on to sell books. Thor takes substance and wraps a thriller around it. Everything he writes is must-read material, The Last Patriot just happens to be one of my favorites. 

The last fifty pages of this book are as exciting and thrilling as any I can ever remember. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Book Details

Author: Brad Thor

Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)

Publisher: Atria Books

Release Date: July 1, 2008

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