10 Explosive Thrillers Perfect for July 4th Weekend

If you want to read about Independence Day and the American Revolution, there are a lot of great nonfiction books you could check out. But if you’re looking for action-packed thrillers to enjoy, well, we’ve got you covered! 

 

Independence Day by Ben Coes 

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Dewey Andreas is back…and the clock is ticking!

Cloud, a high-level Russian hacker, perhaps the best in the world, has acquired a nuclear weapon. It’s an older bomb from the USSR’s Cold War arsenal with the power to devastate a major city. Fueled by a dark and personal vendetta, Cloud has put it onto an anonymous trawler, piloted by jihadists, headed straight to America.

Dewey Andreas, former Delta working as an agent for the C.I.A., is still drowning in grief after the tragic murder of his fiancée. Dewey has lost his focus, his edge, and the confidence of his superiors.

Learning of the missing loose nuke and picking up chatter about an impending terrorist attack on American shores, the best and most talented C.I.A. agents are now chasing both Cloud and the bomb. Acting on credible intel, two highly trained teams are sent into Russia in a two-pronged mission to grab Cloud. But it’s a trap, and now America’s last hope of stopping the bomb is an unofficial agent gone rogue-Dewey Andreas.

With only three days left, Dewey Andreas must find the elusive Cloud. To do so, Dewey will risk everything to find the most dangerous and skilled enemy he’s yet faced. For if he fails, American will suffer its most deadly terrorist attack on the Fourth of July-Independence Day.

Why you should read it: The title pretty much gives this one away, as for why we put it at the top of our list… As 4th of July approaches, a nuclear threat is looming. Dewey Andreas, who starts out still trying to get his head back into the game after suffering a devastating personal loss in the prior book, quickly finds himself in the middle of everything. Ben Coes puts the pedal to the floor early and never lets up! 

 

The Lost Order by Steve Berry

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The Knights of the Golden Circle was the largest and most dangerous clandestine organization in American history. It amassed billions in stolen gold and silver, all buried in hidden caches across the United States. Since 1865 treasure hunters have searched, but little of that immense wealth has ever been found.

Now, one hundred and sixty years later, two factions of what remains of the Knights of the Golden Circle want that lost treasure―one to spend it for their own ends, the other to preserve it.

Thrust into this battle is former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, whose connection to the knights is far deeper than he ever imagined. At the center is the Smithsonian Institution―linked to the knights, its treasure, and Malone himself through an ancestor, a Confederate spy named Angus “Cotton” Adams, whose story holds the key to everything. Complicating matters are the political ambitions of a reckless Speaker of the House and the bitter widow of a United States Senator, who together are planning radical changes to the country. And while Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt face the past, ex-president Danny Daniels and Stephanie Nelle confront a new and unexpected challenge, a threat that may cost one of them their life.

From the backrooms of the Smithsonian to the deepest woods in rural Arkansas, and finally up into the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico, The Lost Order by Steve Berry is a perilous adventure into our country’s dark past, and a potentially even darker future.

Why you should read it: The secret society in this book, The Knights of the Golden Circle, were actually founded on July 4th, 1854. Beyond that, Cotton Malone takes on a sinister group who threatens to undo everything America is built on. This is, by far, Berry’s best book yet! 

 

Takedown by Brad Thor 

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Scot Harvath must endure the burning streets of Manhattan, where he can administer his own form of justice and finally exact his bitter revenge.

July 4th weekend, New York City: As thousands of holiday travelers make their way out of Manhattan, a flawlessly executed terrorist attack plunges the city into a maelstrom of panic and death. Amid the chaos, an elite team of foreign operatives is systematically searching for one of their own, a man so powerful that the US government refuses to admit he even exists and will do anything to keep him hidden. Now, with the world’s deadliest enemy upon America’s doorstep, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath must fight his way through the burning city streets to take down an invisible terrorist mastermind with the means to unleash hell on a global scale.

Why you should read it: Terrorists attack, then shut down New York City on July 4th weekend. What they didn’t count on, however, was Scot Harvath being among those stuck inside the city. A former Navy SEAL turned top counter-terrorism operative, Harvath is the bad guys’ worst nightmare, and Brad Thor brings the fireworks in a big way with this one. 

 

The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer 

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A severed arm, found buried in the White House Rose Garden.
A lethal message with terrible consequences for the Presidency.
And a hidden secret in one family’s past that will have repercussions for the entire nation.

Following The Inner Circle and The Fifth Assassin, #1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with . . .

THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW

There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I find those stories for a living.

To most, it looks like Beecher White has an ordinary job. A young staffer with the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he’s responsible for safekeeping the government’s most important documents . . . and, sometimes, its most closely held secrets.

But there are a powerful few who know his other role. Beecher is a member of the Culper Ring, a 200-year-old secret society founded by George Washington and charged with protecting the Presidency.

Now the current occupant of the White House needs the Culper Ring’s help. The alarming discovery of the buried arm has the President’s team in a rightful panic. Who buried the arm? How did they get past White House security? And most important: What’s the message hidden in the arm’s closed fist? Indeed, the puzzle inside has a clear intended recipient, and it isn’t the President. It’s Beecher, himself.

Beecher’s investigation will take him back to one of our country’s greatest secrets and point him toward the long, carefully hidden truth about the most shocking history of all: family history.

Why you should read it: Brad Meltzer is known for writing unputdownable thrillers. He’s also known for packing tons of historical information into his plots, educating readers in a fun way as his stories unfold. That’s especially true with this one, Meltzer’s most explosive Beecher White novel yet.

 

Free Fire by C.J. Box 

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A Joe Pickett novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author C.J. Box. 

Joe Pickett’s been hired to investigate one of the most cold-blooded mass killings in Wyoming history. Attorney Clay McCann admitted to slaughtering four campers in a back-country corner of Yellowstone National Park—a “free-fire” zone with no residents or jurisdiction. In this remote fifty-square-mile stretch a man can literally get away with murder. Now McCann’s a free man, and Pickett’s about to discover his motive—one buried in Yellowstone’s rugged terrain, and as dangerous as the man who wants to keep it hidden.

Why you should read it: Almost the entire story takes place in America’s iconic Yellowstone National Park. It’s hard to get more American than that. Likewise, Joe Pickett is a red-blooded American, who embodies everything that makes this country so great. If you’ve yet to pick up one of Box’s books, don’t wait for another second. 

Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn

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Vince Flynn’s thrilling bestseller sends counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp on a collision course with America’s most feared enemy.

No longer willing to wait for the international community to stop its neighboring enemy, Israel brings down Iran’s billion-dollar nuclear program in an ingeniously conceived operation. The attack leaves a radioactive tomb and environmental disaster in its wake, and has Iranian president Amatullah calling for blood—American blood. Seeing opportunity where others fear reprisals, Mitch Rapp devises a brilliant plan to humiliate Iran’s government and push the nation to the brink of revolution. But when a back-channel meeting between CIA director Irene Kennedy and her Iranian counterpart goes disastrously wrong, Rapp is locked in a showdown with a Hezbollah mastermind in league with Amatullah—and he is given twenty-four hours to do whatever it takes to stop unthinkable catastrophe.

Why you should read it: In the world of fiction, nobody has sacrificed more to protect the United States than Mitch Rapp, America’s first line of defense against the war on terror. In this book, CIA Director Irene Kennedy is kidnapped. That’s a bad move for two reasons. First, Kennedy is one of Mitch Rapp’s closest friends. Second, the president won’t tolerate terrorists targeting any Americans–especially not government officials. In fact, President Alexander green-lights Rapp to do whatever it takes to get Kennedy back. Boy, will the terrorists who snatched her be sorry! 

 

Liberty’s Last Stand by Stephen Coonts 

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New York Times bestselling author Stephen Coonts delivers another nail-biting thriller starring CIA Director Jake Grafton and his right-hand man, Tommy Carmellini.

The president of the United States stands on an outdoor stage, flanked by powerful members of his administration and party. Television crews are preparing for broadcast. High above the stage, on a nearby rooftop, a decorated sniper adjusts the scope on his rifle.

Afterwards, America will never be the same.

Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law when a public act of violence throws the country into chaos just before a presidential election. After martial law is declared and rioting begins, Grafton and Carmellini must risk everything to unravel a massive conspiracy and help a new resistance movement rise up against an unimaginable enemy.…

Why you should read it: This book is highly controversial. In all honesty, it might be the most politically incorrect novel written in the past few decades. However, Coonts does deliver a stunning plot about Americans pushing back when they feel their liberties are at risk. It’s not for everyone, but those on the right side of the political spectrum will likely love this book. 

 

Ring of Fire by Brad Taylor 

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Fifteen years ago, in order to win a contract in the Kingdom, a desperate defense contractor used a shell company to provide a bribe to a wealthy Saudi businessman. Now a powerful player in the defense industry, he panics when the Panama Papers burst onto the public scene. Providing insight into the illicit deeds of offshore financing, they could prove his undoing.

To prevent the exposure of his illegal activities, he sets in motion a plan to interdict the next leak, but he is not the only one worried about spilled secrets. The data theft has left the Taskforce potentially vulnerable, leaving a trail that could compromise the unit. Back in the good graces of the new president, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are ordered to interdict the next leak as well, in order to control the damage.

Unbeknownst to either group, the Saudi has been using the shell company to fund terrorists all over the world, and he has a spectacular attack planned, coinciding with the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. The information Pike and Jennifer uncover will put them on the trail of the imminent threat, but it’s one that they might be unable to stop.

Called Ring of Fire, it will cause unimaginable destruction across the United States, and the ensuing chaos and terror will distract the Taskforce from a truth no one sees: Ring of Fire was only the beginning, and the danger is far from over.

Why you should read it: Taylor is a former Delta Force operator who writes with been-there-done-that authenticity. His stuff is so explosive you can almost hear the gunfire! With this book, Taylor tells the story of terrorists planning a 9/11 anniversary attack on American soil. Pike Logan, the led operator for a special unit called the Taskforce, is tasked with stopping the attack–something easier said than done. 

 

Backblast by Mark Greaney 

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Five years ago, Court Gentry was the CIA’s best covert asset. Then, without warning, his masters at the Agency put him at the top of their kill list. Court fled his country and became an enigmatic killer for hire known as the Gray Man.

Determined to find out what made the Agency turn against him, he plans to get his hands on the men who sent him on his last mission, Operation BACK BLAST. What he doesn’t realize is that the questions that arose from his time as an American assassin are still reverberating in the U.S. intelligence community, and he’s stumbled onto a secret that powerful people want kept under wraps.

The result: everyone has Court in their crosshairs…

Why you should read it: What American doesn’t love a good redemption story? In this book, the once-disgraced former CIA operative named Court ‘The Gray Man’ Gentry, code name Violator, returns to America to right some wrongs once and for all. Greaney took his series to a new level with this book, a trend that continues with the next installment, Gunmetal Gray

 

Patriot by Ted Bell 

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Intelligence officer Alex Hawke takes on power-hungry Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is wielding a terrifying new weapon, in the latest adrenaline-fueled thriller in Ted Bell’s New York Times bestselling series.

In corrupt Russia, an erratic Vladimir Putin is determined to forge his country into a formidable superpower once again. He intends to redraw the map of Europe, and will go to impossible extremes to realize his fantasies—including shooting down a civilian airliner packed with tourists bound for China. Kremlin scientists have developed a radical new weapon that could forever alter modern warfare. NATO, locked in a tense standoff over Ukraine, Poland, and Estonia, knows Putin will not hesitate to use it. But there is one man who can bring the world back from the brink: Britain’s foremost intelligence asset, Lord Alexander Hawke.

The intrepid MI6 officer’s latest challenge begins in the Gulf of Aden and soon has him searching for the link to a series of bizarre assassinations. Spies are dying all over the world—from London, Washington, D.C., and Maine, to Moscow, and even the glittering Cote d’Azur. In the murky world of counterterrorism and high-stakes intrigue, the odds have never been higher. Once again, Alex Hawke must save the world . . . one bullet at a time.

Why you should read it: Ted Bell might be the most truly gifted writer, regardless of genre, working today. In this book, Alex Hawke, a brilliant MI6 agent, is asked by the White House to help look into a terrifying new threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has created a new type of explosive, quite unlike anything the world has ever seen. As everyone else turns in fear, Hawke runs straight ahead to confront the threat as Bell takes readers on an exciting ride that doesn’t disappoint. 

 

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