Featured Review: ‘Operator Down’ by Brad Taylor

Operator Down

When Aaron Bergman and Alexandra, a young female agent, are kidnapped during a mission gone totally wrong, it’s all hands on deck to rescue the Mossad agents in Brad Taylor’s latest thriller, Operator Down.  

Despite many interrogations at the hands of his captors that left him beaten and bruised, Aaron holds out — urging Alexandra to do whatever it takes to stay alive — because he knows with absolute certainty that once Shoshana finds out he was taken, she’ll come for him no matter what. He’s not sure when, or how long it’ll take, but he trusts her, and, above all else, he knows that Shoshana is capable of breathtaking violence when the situation calls for it. 

Aaron also knows Shoshana will likely bring backup, and that whoever it is will be highly-trained and more than capable of assisting her. All he needs to do is survive long enough to give her time to do her thing.

As it turns out, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill happen to be in Israel on a Taskforce-assigned mission to track an arms dealer believed to be selling nuclear weapons components. While shadowing their target, they inadvertently come across intel from a recorded restaurant conversation suggesting an attack on a female Mossad agent is in the works. It doesn’t take long for Pike and Jennifer to connect the dots and realize Shoshana — an old friend and colleague of theirs — is the one being targeted, and Pike shows up at the last minute to thwart the assault. 

Initially, Pike and Jennifer had thought Aaron and Shoshana were on their honeymoon, where they were supposed to be. Shoshana had kindly blown them off upon hearing they were in Tel Aviv days prior, but once the trio figured out that Aaron was captured, they get the band back together to bring the pain on the men who snatched Bergman and Alexandra. 

Aaron was right —  Shoshana, a one-woman human-killing machine, will stop at nothing to save him. But things aren’t quite as straight-forward as they first seemed. 

With Pike and Jennifer eager to lend a hand (or trigger finger), they formulate a plan to rescue Aaron. However, things quickly change when a much larger conspiracy is uncovered, revealing a plot to topple a democratic African country — forcing Pike Logan to choose between following their Taskforce orders or helping Shoshana rescue Aaron. 

Since Taylor throttled back to one book a year (after previously maintaining a two-book-per-year publishing schedule), he’s taken his writing to another level. The action that the former Delta Force operative is known for writing into his thrillers is still front and center, but his plotting and character-development have gotten much better. Likewise, his stories have gotten more complex, but without sacrificing pacing or entertainment. His books are still lightning-quick and a ton of fun to read — and Operator Down is perhaps Taylor’s finest work yet. 

Brad Taylor’s unmatched ability to mix hard-hitting, authentic action with daring plots that feel like they’re ripped from next week’s headlines is on full display here. While Pike Logan will always be the main character, few authors in this genre have a roster of fan-favorite characters deeper than Taylor, who uses them brilliantly in Operator Down, the first must-read political thriller of 2018. 

Book Details

Author: Brad Taylor 
Series: Pike Logan #12
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1101984813
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers.” (Author A.J. Tata.) He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children. 

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  • Marilyn

    Excellent author but a jump in price from $13.99 to $18.99 from one book to the next and an ereader at that is too pricey for me. (a pensioner). Too bad because I own all the others in the series including the shorts, but I’ll use my local library from now on.

    • Rod Gregg

      This is not unique to this author or publisher, I think. I will forego another book, latte or movie rental for the next Brad Taylor. We all have priorities. I’m a pensioner too, by the way.