Featured Review: ‘Spymaster’ by Brad Thor

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Spymaster-cover-400x657px-400x657When a daring plan is hatched to draw the United States into war, it’s up to counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath to once again save the day in Brad Thor’s (Use of Force, etc.) action-packed new thriller. 

A sniper in Portugal, a car bomb in Spain, and a shooter in Greece. Three attacks, three dead diplomats. As blood spills across Europe, an American private security firm discovers that a secret organization is behind the attacks and quickly races to learn more about the group’s whereabouts and their overall objective. 

The Carlton Group, currently serving as a lifeboat of sorts to the Central Intelligence Agency while the world’s most famous spy organization undergoes a bureaucratic cleansing, is now being run by Lydia Ryan. The former deputy director of CIA, Ryan brings a wealth of experience to the Carlton Group during a period of restructuring, as the company’s founder, Reed Carlton, battles Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, Scot Harvath, a Navy SEAL turned secret service agent turned counterterrorism operative, turned down the corner office to stay in the field. Though he’s finally showing signs of aging, Harvath is still an apex predator and one of the most cunning weapons in America’s arsenal. 

Once again, Harvath suits up when his country needs him most. Forged through decades of experience, the battle-tested warrior is used to taking punches and soldiering onward. So when the American president finds out that Russia is attempting to draw the United States into war by attacking its NATO allies, using the North Atlantic Treaty to solicit an American response, he turns to Scot and the Carlton Group, tasking them with doing whatever necessary to avoid going to war with Russia. 

Assembling a team, Harvath goes on the hunt, tracking the assassins around the globe, trying desperately to connect the dots and uncover the organization’s final play before it’s too late. Meanwhile, Lydia Ryan deals with the fallout of Reed Carlton’s condition. As the spymaster’s health deteriorates, Ryan realizes that the secrets previously held in Carlton’s steel trap of a mind are now at risk. As she tries to take down as much information as she can from Carlton, an American ally approaches Ryan and demands the identity of a highly-placed covert asset, further complicating matters on the homefront. Everything comes to a roaring boil as Thor delivers a stunning final act, capped off with a killer, jaw-dropping ending that’ll leave readers absolutely stunned. 

Along with a large returning cast (including several Use of Force carryovers such as Jack Gage, who is fast becoming a real go-to source for book recommendations), Thor, who’s long been known for writing strong female characters into his books, also introduces readers to a couple of scene-stealing newcomers in Polish operator Monika Jasinski and Rebecca Strum, the newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who bears a striking resemblance to real-life ambassador Nickey Haley. Still, Harvath is the guy, and Thor shows fans a new side to Scot, who’s put through the ringer physically and emotionally in a number of ways that are bound to play a major role moving forward. 

While a lot of authors have written timely thrillers over the years, nobody has been more consistently right on the money than Thor, who has the uncanny ability to predict what the world will look like in the near future and craft his stories accordingly. That’s certainly the case with Spymaster, which feels ripped straight from tomorrow’s headlines, offering readers a terrifying glimpse at how the conflict between America and Russia could eventually play out. One thing’s for sure. . . with the way things are today, the world could use a little more Scot Harvath.

Now seventeen books in, Brad Thor is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If anything, the #1 New York Times bestseller is getting better each time out, a scary proposition for his competition, as Thor once again proves why he’s the undisputed king of the thriller genre. Spymaster is incredible, and the ending makes it clear that Thor is meticulously setting things up for his next book, which, if he can deliver the way he did here, has all the makings to be the kind of very special one-two punch that readers haven’t seen since Robert Ludlum was in his prime. 

Timely, raw, and filled with enough action for two books, Spymaster is this summer’s must-read thriller and the most gripping novel of Brad Thor’s iconic career. 

Book Details

Author: Brad Thor
Series: Scot Harvath #17
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 147678941X
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 9.75/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) 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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