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Blowback: A Thriller (4) (The Scot Harvath Series) Audio CD – Unabridged, June 14, 2016
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Scot Harvath’s counterterrorism career has just crashed and burned—thanks in part to a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the war on terror takes a chilling turn, the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside. Deep beneath an Alpine glacier, an ancient weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has been unearthed—and a shadowy organization intends to use it for America’s downfall. Racing across Europe, Harvath must secure the ultimate instrument of destruction before it brings the United States and the rest of the world to their knees.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (June 14, 2016)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1508223580
- ISBN-13 : 978-1508223580
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 1.1 x 5.88 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,315,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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There were times when my suspension of disbelieve was shaken a few times as the protagonist kept changing countries as if the borders were extremely porous. Yes, there was some justification of the fluidity ("The Italian border guards have their hands full trying to search as many cars and motor scooters as possible coming back into Italy." with Ticino marijuana). The main character lives a charmed life (under fire) where he can travel as freely (and carefully) as he wants to with funds seemingly never running out.
Another thing that was distracting was the full and complete names of guns and planes. Around page 493, he introduced the "Aerotechnik Super Vivat Icarus" motorglider and then used that name 2 more times in the next 2 pages. That was jarring; like trying to land on that rocky, pitted meadow at Aiglemont.
However, all in all, a good story and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
This story reminded me a bit of some of the biowarfare plots from Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series.
Sadly, though, it dragged. It took me a couple of weeks to get through it - not a very thrilling thriller. Thor says in an afterword he’s been fascinated since childhood by Hannibal. It’s bad when a writer falls in love with his material, because he loses focus and the ability to cut. As they say in television, you have to kill your babies. This story dragged because it was half again as long as the typical pageturner.
I’ve never found Scot Harvath that memorable a hero. His wisecracking isn’t that funny . Nor do I feel his parts - true-blue but a loose cannon, etc. - really fit together.
Thor tries to develop Harvath personally here. He reflects on having no personal life, as a workaholic in a dangerous job, and on a recent breakup. An older op advises him to have a strong marriage. But there’s no romance in the story. Thor could have cut this angle to tighten it up. Every story element needs to pull its weight to justify its presence.
Despite Harvath being thrown into adventure with a young English scientist, not only does nothing happen between them, it never threatens to. I don’t need my hero to get the girl in every story. But Thor, giving Harvath a smart scientist babe sidekick, could at least have let the subject emerge between them. They could have a steamy passionate affair that turns into something, for a while. They could have a one-night stand blowing off steam while realizing a relationship won’t work. You can have some heat rising between them but never acted upon, and they walk away from each other at the end in the rain.
Whatever, but there needs to be something. I’d take Chekhov’s law - if you introduce a gun in the first act, you must use it in the third act - and adapt it for thriller romances: if the hero rescues and then works with the damsel, the heat must be accounted for.
The terrorist plot is very complicated. I lost track of all the doublecrossing, of cross currents between Sunni and Shia and Turks, and of our heroes’ reasoning as they confront a bioweapon with ancient roots.
And it’s too bad, because the background material is quite interesting: that the ancients used bioweapons far beyond poison arrows, and what the evidence for that is. Weirdly, it’s never made clear how Hannibal’s mysterious loss of a detachment affected, in the end, his attack on Rome.
I do like the entire series and will keep reading it. But I don’t feel the urge to binge read the whole thing, either.
Scott was asked to resign and disappear - however there was evidence of a major terror it plot to use biological weapons against the US.
In this novel, Brad Thor takes us through some ancient history - Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps to attack the Romans, the ancient book on warfare, Artahshastra, from India - all tied into the use of biological weapons. Well researched.
The action flags for a brief period and the plot is fairly convoluted. However, definitely a good read.
By Bob on July 24, 2019
Top reviews from other countries
Written in a very "practical way" - good for travelling as chapters are usually short 4-5 pages (430 pages and 90+ chapters).
Well researched in the historic, geographic and military areas.
The weak points are the political background (far worse than Flynn for example). Some of the dialogues as well could be shorter or more natural.
The plot - some shortcuts or inconsistencies, but in general not bad.
It says SEAL, etc. but there is not too much military stuff in it - more investigations and other stories than any special forces etc.
I enjoyed it. To the point taht when I come accross another Brad Thor, I guess I'll give it a try.
I learned a lot along the way - in fact I'm now tempted to read a little non fiction about elephants 😉 Thanks Brad! Just downloaded the next one!