Scot Harvath 5
My version: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Atria, Simon & Schuster
First published: 2006
From the cover:
After years without a terrorist attack on American soil, one group has picked the 4th of July weekend to pull out all the stops. In a perfectly executed attack, all of the bridges and tunnels leading into and out of Manhattan are destroyed just as thousands of commuters begin their holiday exodus. With domestic efforts focused on search and rescue, a deadly team of highly trained foreign soldiers methodically makes its way through the city with the singular objective of locating one of their own — a man so powerful that America will do anything to keep him hidden.
Scot Harvath is now the country’s only hope. Fighting his way through the burning streets of Manhattan, he must mount his own operation to locate a man the United States government refuses to admit even exists.
I had been worried that these Brad Thor Scot Harvath thrillers would become indistinguishable from each other. Or that they would feel like Vince Flynn, Mitch Rapp-lite. Or that they would finally become all too American for me. I needn’t have worried.
First off, Brad Thor is a very likeable guy, who seems to put in a lot of background research and whathaveyou in before he starts writing. I like him more and more with each book. The character of Scot Harvath is taking a bit longer to develop his own personality. He’s been showing signs here of having some more depth to him than the identikit counterterrorism operative would suggest.
Takedown, like those before it, thunders along at a very good, but never breakneck, pace. Certainly a heck of a lot faster than your average Jack Reacher, while maybe not as fast as the ending of a John Wick film. Paced about right, all in all. The story here is, as usual, rock solid and eminently possible. The only quibbles I have with Scot, Mitch and most of the lone counterterrorism operatives there are out there, is not their ability to go it alone, just the likelihood. And if you think, oh, well, good that one guy can rescue us – one guy! We’re the US goddam A and we’re reliant on one guy?! But teams are not in the counterterrorism operatives* playbook, not very near the front anyway. Scot here, is getting some love from an equally skilled operative he has met along the way. It’s a good addition to the character and, there are the first signs of ‘is it all worth it?’ themes coming in.
Yes, you know what you should be getting with a Brad Thor Scot Harvath thriller, what separates Mr Thor from the also rans is – he can deliver.
*I read a non-fiction book recently and found out that ‘operative’ is indeed a real term. Something to do with separating spies from others.