Featured Review: ‘The Devil’s Ransom’ by Brad Taylor


Pike Logan returns for a double dose of action in the latest nail-biting thriller from New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor.

Following the events of End of Days (2022), Taylor’s latest offering opens after the United States’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, catching up with Pike Logan who is in Tajikistan on what’s initially thought to be a routine cover operation for Blaisdell Consulting.

Instead, Pike ends up being redirected when a man who’s played an important role in aiding America from inside Afghanistan goes on the run from the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Taskforce, the off-the-books program that Pike works for, is hit with a devastating cyber attack. That makes things more challenging when Pike is asked to locate the fleeing Afghani and extract him, but little does Pike (or anyone else, for that matter) know that the ransomware attack is only the beginning.

That attack—a dry run from a group known only as “Dark Star,” which includes a former NSA coder who knows America’s defenses inside and out—soon morphs into a much bigger problem.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gearing up for the first NASA manned launch to the international space station, a flight that is comprised of both NASA astronauts and civilians—including an influential billionaire, a former flight pilot turned politician and a schoolteacher. The launch itself is notable because it signals America breaking from Russia in an effort to once again achieve space independence, but also because it marks the first time that a teacher is being sent into space since the tragic Challenger launch that killed everyone onboard. When Dark Star threatens to hijack the rocket and cause it to crash, the President himself wants Pike Logan operational, looking for any way to stop them. That takes Pike and his team to Croatia, where the mastermind behind the malware attacks is believed to be set up.

With precious little time to act, Pike Logan must once again find a way to save the day before it’s too late . . . only this time, the odds might just be too stacked against him.

When it comes to action, there isn’t anyone alive today who can match Brad Taylor step-for-step at delivering the kind of been-there-done-that-authenticity that he’s known for, and Taylor once again puts on a show for readers here, churning out some of his finest heart-thumping sequences to date. In fact, not since Vince Flynn has an author been able to combine headline-beating plots with such visceral, explosive action year in and year out. But that’s what Taylor has done for his whole career, which now spans 17 full-length novels and a handful of novellas. To miss out on his work is to miss out on one of the true masters of the genre today. And at a time when fewer and fewer writers are able to ascend to the top of the thriller world, joining the ranks of Clancy, Ludlum, and Flynn—Brad Taylor has proven once and for all that his name absolutely belongs among the other all-time greats.

Smartly plotted and brilliantly executed, Brad Taylor continues to dominate the military thriller genre with The Devil’s Ransom. I’m not sure who’s in second place, but the gap between them is wide. Expect tons of action paired with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot that’ll have you flipping pages well into the night.

Book Details

Author: Brad Taylor
Series: Pike Logan #17
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0063221985
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: January 24th, 2023
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10



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 is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.

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