Review: The Apostle – Brad Thor

Series: Scot Harvath 8

My version: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Hodder & Stoughton
First published: 2010
ISBN: 9781444712322
Pages: 368

A new administration and a new approach to dealing with America’s enemies have left covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath without a job. But when American doctor Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan, the terms of her ransom leave the president with only one course of action.
In a dangerous assignment that the United States government will deny any knowledge of, Scot Harvath must secretly infiltrate Kabul’s notorious Policharki Prison and free the man the kidnappers demand as ransom – al-Qaeda mastermind, Mustafa Khan.
But when Harvath arrives, he quickly learns that there is more to the kidnapping than anyone dares to admit. And as the subterfuge is laid bare, Harvath must examine his own career of hunting down and killing terrorists, and ask himself if he has what it takes to help one of the world’s worst go free.
Brimming with the kind of ripped-from-the-headlines authenticity Brad Thor’s internationally bestselling novels are known for, The Apostle doubles down on the blockbuster success of The Last Patriot and reaffirms Thor’s status as the master of the political thriller.

Bead! Don’t call him/them ‘operative(s)’ stop it now, that’s really not working!

Now, strangely for recent Brad Thor’s, this is actually pretty good. There’s not quite enough of the thriller-type tension, but there is a much more rounded feel to the story and the situation than recently. Especially the last one, (was it?) with all the women. Have I posted that review yet? Not that it would take much reviewing; “it’s crap.” Done.

Afghansistan is now/still, the go-to place for ‘anything goes over there’ settings US thriller writers. Whether it has completely replaced Europe in the ‘anything goes over there’ stakes for the afore-mentioned thriller writers, remains to be seen. But even Afghanistan is getting a bit tired. The whole Middle East, actually. I’m sure most readers are like me and can’t really get a grip on the place, never having been, seen or lived anywhere near it. You need some sort of frame of reference if you’re going to be shocked, or thrilled, by a novel of this genre and places with lots of sand and very little else, just aren’t doing it for me any more.

Of course, the woman here is beautiful. You do wish that for once in books like these, she wouldn’t be. “A face like the back of a bus,” would do just nicely. I mean, it really is uncanny how so many of the world’s most beautiful women aren’t Instagram influencers, but are top agents and leading scientists, bomb disposal experts (as Scot Harvath’s last love-interest was, and so on. Scot Harvath here is a bit more interesting than he has been for a while too. He still needs to do a bit more to convince me he actually is America’s top counter terrorism operative (though that position is actually already taken, by Mitch Rapp), he needs to do a bit more than following the story and reacting to it.

All in all, it’s ok, heading towards good, but needs more thrills, to be a thriller.

You can buy The Apostle from The Book Depository

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