If you love thriller novels, get ready for one action packed month. June is going to be absolutely crazy in terms of how many books are coming out from different big name authors. July is pretty stacked too, but not quite as much as June – which features blockbusters from Joshua Hood, Brad Thor, Joseph Finder, Ben Coes and more.
The first Tuesday in June brings with it three big releases.
Joshua Hood is a rising star in the military thriller genre, much like Brad Taylor was a few years ago. Also like Taylor, Hood relies on his own experience as a decorated combat veteran. He served in the prestigious 82nd Airborne division of the United States Army, and brings a gritty and rugged feel to his characters and narrative. His protagonist Mason Kane reads like a beautiful character study on how war effects the inner man and the consequences that follow. Kane, by the way, isn’t someone to mess with. He’s a guns blazing, smart-mouthed soldier who will stop at nothing to complete his mission. This time around, he’s taking on ISIS. I’ve read Warning Order, and absolutely loved it. You will, too–trust me!
We don’t know much about this book yet, but here’s what we do know: Brad Meltzer wrote it, enough said. Actually he co-authored it with Tod Goldberg, so both guys deserve credit. Meltzer is one of the most consistent thriller writers of his generation, and is always a safe bet to deliver a great book anytime you see his name on the cover. He’s teased on Twitter that fans of his television series Brad Meltzer’s Decoded will love this book. I heard a rumor that it’s the start of a new series, and tweeted the author to find out. Just this morning he responded that The House of Secrets is in fact a new series “with some key cameos.” Meltzer’s last novel, The President’s Shadow, was the third book in his Culper Ring series starring America’s favorite fictional archivist, Beecher White. Might Beecher make an appearance in The House of Secrets? We’ll find out on June 7th!
Nick Heller, Finder’s protagonist in The Vanishing (2009) and Buried Secrets (2011), returns in Guilty Minds. Heller is a private spy working out of Boston, who was a Special Forces soldier during the war in Iraq. He also did some covert ops work for the Department of Defense, so he’s got plenty of experience and definitely knows his stuff. In Joseph Finder’s new novel, a celebrity gossip website has a tip claiming the chief justice of the Supreme Court had a relationship with an escort that was paid for by a wealthy casino mogul. Desperate for help and needing someone who can poke around without making too much noise, Nick Heller is hired and given forty-eight hours to discredit the report. However, things soon take a dark turn when the girl mentioned in the report is found dead. Finder is one of the very best thriller/mystery writers in the genre, and Heller is a fantastic character. This book has all the makings of a bona fide must-read story.
I’d be lying to you if I said there was another book I’m looking forward to reading this year more than Brad Thor’s Foreign Agent. In fact, the only other book that comes even remotely close is the still untitled Mitch Rapp book from Kyle Mills, which comes out sometime this fall. Even after fifteen novels, Thor is at the top of his game and the best author in the genre right now. His 2015 novel, Code of Conduct, was one of his best yet. The question then, is can he top that in 2016? I wouldn’t bet against him!
In Foreign Agent, the Islamic State will face their toughest opponent yet, Scot Freakin’ Harvath. (Side note: Havath’s middle name is not actually “Freakin,'” but it should be!) American Forces are preparing to launch an attack in Syria. Their target is none other than the director of Social Media for ISIS – Abu Muslim al-Naser. But before they have a chance to carry out their mission, the safe house they’re staying at is attacked. Harvath was the man that originally found Abu Muslim al-Naser, and naturally he becomes a target for those trying to figure out how such sensitive intelligence could have been leaked. To clear his name Harvath launches his own operation aimed at uncovering the truth, and in the process discovers there’s more going on than anyone ever imagined or thought possible. If you read one book this summer, make sure it’s Foreign Agent!
Brad Taylor is the man! This guy writes two amazing, action-packed books every year. Nobody else even comes close to churning out quality books like Mr. Taylor, who is the biggest name in military thrillers. Ghosts of War follows The Forgotten Soldier (which came out in December of last year) and is the tenth novel in the Pike Logan series. Readers can pick up any of the books in the series and jump right in, as Taylor generally writes his books in a way that they can be read as standalone stories. So while I would encourage you to start at the beginning of the series, you don’t have to.
In Ghosts of War, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill head to Poland to verify some artifacts that were uncovered after being hidden for decades in a Nazi gold train. Along the way, Pike and Jennifer find themselves caught between the East and West as tensions rise and secret agendas play out behind the scenes. What makes this plot even more intriguing is that it marks the first time Taylor is writing Russia into one of his stories. Typically Pike and the Taskforce operate in the Middle East, but as the current world changes, so too does Logan’s – and I can’t wait to see how things play out.
Ben Coes deserves a lot of credit, and not just for being able to turn a guy with the name “Dewey” into one of the baddest dudes in print. Since bursting onto the literacy scene in 2010 with his debut novel Power Down – which fellow author Vince Flynn called “one of the must-read thrillers of the year” – Coes has been one of the most consistent and bankable authors in the genre. Dewey is a star, and each of Coes’ books are incredible. With that in mind, I’m delighted to say that First Strike sounds like it has the potential to outdo all of his other offerings, and could wind up being the best thriller to come out this summer.
As ISIS continues their military takeover of Syria, their ammunition reserves begin to dry up. Their leader, Tristan Nazir, has plans to obtain a secret arms shipment – but Dewey Andreas has other ideas. While working to stop ISIS from receiving their shipment, Dewey uncovers a conspiracy about how the terror group is funded and where the arms shipment is actually coming from. He’s able to stop things in time, but the threat from ISIS is far from over. In fact, it’s only just getting started. In response to their arms shipment falling through, Nazir masterminds an attack on Columbia University. Members of ISIS take over one of the school’s dorms and hold the 500 students who occupy it hostage. They demand their arms shipment, and promise to execute one student every hour that it’s delayed. Making this already impossible situation worse is the fact that one of the hostages happens to be the daughter of the director of the CIA. Can Dewey save the day once again? We’ll find out soon enough!
John Gilstrap has done a fantastic job with his Johnathan Grave series. His latest offering, Friendly Fire, features Grave attempting to save a man for the second time. After a barista named Ethan Falk follows a customer to the parking lot and kills him, he tells police that the dead man had once kidnapped and tortured him many years ago. He claims to have been saved by a man named Scorpion, but there is no record of the kidnapping or the rescue. What the police don’t know is that there’s no record of anything because Scorpion is actually Johnathan Graves, and Graves never leaves behind a trace of evidence. Now Johnathan has to find a way to once again rescue Mr. Falk, and in the process of doing so, he inadvertently discovers a planned attack on American soil. Our hero certainly has his work cut out for him! Gilstrap is a solid, well-rounded author and Graves is a compelling protagonist. I have every expectation that this will be a great addition to an already strong series.