"Black LIst" by Brad Thor
Reviewed by David Marshall James
Navy SEAL turned Secret Service Agent turned Counterterrorism Special Operative Scot Harvath returns in his most personal mission yet-- to save his life and secure the survival of his employer, The Carlton Group.
Thankfully, he has loads and loads of weaponry near hand. In several scenes he enters private arsenals that rival that of Reba McEntire and Michael Gross in the movie "Tremors."
Moreover, Harvath can handle a blade when the occasion warrants, or use his hands as lethal instruments.
He's battling an enemy from within, a corporation that serves as a U.S. defense and intelligence contractor that's planning a coup via an Internet takeover.
The merde-storm erupts while Harvath's on assignment in Paris, and he must route himself back to the States while attempting to avoid being digitally monitored or captured on security cameras.
Good luck with those tasks-- that's one of the messages here. For better or for worse, for the sake of safety and the lack of privacy, we're being watched. Worse yet, we're being analyzed.
No man is an island, as Mr. T once remarked by way of John Donne, and Harvath gets by with a little (and often a lotta) help from his friends, one of whom flies a private plane and owns a Texas farm with one of the arsenals referenced above.
Additionally, Harvath is aided and abetted by a Spanish priest, a young Mexican nun, a Russian dwarf (who's also a computer hacker and cook par excellence), and several members of the all-female Athena Project, part of the elite Delta Force at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Thor chocks up another captivating espionage-centric thriller with an array of foreign and domestic settings and a variety of interesting characters. Occasionally, the author's sense of humor creeps into his descriptions and situations, but mostly into his dialogue. A larger dose would not be unwelcome.
If he really wants to throw in a surprise, he can bring back that young Mexican nun, who is all up in Harvath's business, insofar as his marrying and having children are concerned.
Why not have her pull a Maria von Trapp and pursue her own patriot?
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