Either Pike Logan’s going crazy—paranoid someone is picking off members of the Taskforce, the elite, off-the-books program he works for—or it really is open season on the highly skilled operators.
Spoiler alert: Pike isn’t crazy, and when a longtime friend is killed at Pike and Jennifer’s Charleston, South Carolina home in a car explosion, both suspect foul play.
Worse for Pike, he believes he was the target, though everyone else seems to think he’s unstable for not buying that it was all an accident. Told to stand down by his superiors, Pike and Jennifer know there’s no way they’re sitting this one out, a decision that is further cemented when other members of their team go missing in South America while on an assignment—prompting the two to head to Brazil to check things out and hunt down whoever is targeting the Taskforce.
On the ground in Brazil, Pike and Jennifer find a team of Russian assassins waiting for them, and it doesn’t take long for the bullets to start flyin’. On top of that, Pike stumbles into a dangerous fight for offshore oil fields, complicating matters significantly as he has little interest in getting involved with Brazilian politics. The Russians, however, keep coming, convinced Pike is weakened without a team he trusts. Lucky for Pike, there is another lethal couple they can count on in Aaron and Shoshana, two Israeli operatives he’s worked with numerous times in the past, and with the Taskforce’s numbers decimated, Pike calls them in to lend a hand on short notice.
As fans of Taylor’s series know, when Shoshana shows up, bodies start hitting the floor by the masses. And while some might have debated in past books who the more gifted killer is, Pike or Shoshana, the author leaves little doubt here as an enraged Pike lets it all hang out, putting a serious hurting on the bad guys while trying desperately to protect the closest thing he has to a family—his team—before it’s too late.
Long considered to be the heir to the throne once held by Vince Flynn, Brad Taylor, now fourteen books into his bestselling series, continues to find new ways to keep his franchise fresh. Here, he achieves that by going the 24 route, killing a major supporting character early on, establishing that nobody is safe moving forward. Readers will feel that tension each time Pike, Jennifer, and other beloved characters (a list that also includes Amena, a young Syrian refugee who appeared in last year’s Daughter of War) find themselves in dangerous situations.
Known for his action sequences, Taylor adds to that by including top-notch character development and stimulating visuals. His locations pop off the page, but even with nonstop gunfire and his usual torn-from-tomorrow’s-headlines plot, the characters drive this story and are what makes these books so special. For that reason alone, the surprise ending is worth the price of admission and then some.
This is the Pike Logan fans have been wanting to see, and by turning his hero loose, Hunter Killer becomes Brad Taylor’s most stunning novel to date. The gauntlet gets thrown down early in 2020, with Taylor delivering the thriller other writers will spend the year trying to top.
Author: Brad Taylor
Series: Pike Logan #14
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Book Spy Rating: 9.5/10
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.