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Foreign Influence by Brad Thor
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Foreign Influence

by Brad Thor

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Navy SEAL turned covert operative works for a new spy agency secretly created by the DoD to target enemies foreign and domestic without interference from politicians and the public. Harvath's objective is to discover the jihadi cell behind a series of mass bombings targeting Americans in Europe, knowing that there are even more being planned for America.

Substance: Unabashedly opposed to the current administration's policy on "man caused disasters" and "work-place violence" (it predates the Boston Marathon bombing, but could be considered prescient). Harvath is not bound by any rules except those imposed by his handler and his conscience, and not much by those; what he does to his opponents is unquestionably torture. Is it reprehensible or necessary? Harvath seems to say "both". The fates of several individuals - good, evil and in-between - are bound together in bringing the chase to a semi-successful conclusion. (It is unclear if a "hard truth" or a a sequel is intended; I haven't read any others in the series).
The rough action is graphic and not for the squeamish; the foul language is kept to a minimum; and the few sexual episodes are mostly indirectly described. NSFW if your office-mates are Democrats.

Style: Thor used the currently fashionable structure of "dating" chapters as Today, Last Week, Three Months Later, etc, which is okay and avoids tying a contemporary narrative to a particular point in history; however, I really dislike "back-stitching" with chapters labelled Yesterday, Last Month, Three Hours Before, etc. (this is not the same as flash-backs, which are perfectly acceptable). Thor shares this offending habit with other current writers and it never fails to irritate me. I prefer the advice from Lewis Carroll's KIng of Hearts: `Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'
However, other than that, the various narratives, of people caught up in different parts of the terrorist's plans, are brought together satisfactorily; the big "surprise" at the end isn't, simply because we expect that sort of surprise, although the plot points are well constructed. The writing is clear and the characters sufficiently 3-dimensional (at least to the tv-movie level). ( )
  librisissimo | Aug 27, 2013 |
So far, it's a "yawn". I'll give it a chance, but it's rather flat so far.
  DLKeur | Jul 9, 2013 |
Another solid thriller from Brad Thor.

Like most books in this genre, you must suspend some belief in terms of the technology used and the punishment characters can withstand. But if you like Vince Flynn, Thor's books will be right up your ally.

In this one, Scot Harvath must help stop a string of terrorist attacks that have already hit Rome and are coming to other European countries as well as the United States. Meanwhile, we follow an attorney and Chicago cop who are looking for a hit-and-run suspect who severely hurt the lawyer's client. Needless to say, the two plot lines are intertwined.

This time around, Harvath has a group of black op women (all beautiful, of course) helping him out. If nothing else, this is a nice change of pace from the standard male-driven narratives of this genre. ( )
  Jarratt | Mar 14, 2013 |
good story ( )
  magentaflake | Dec 10, 2012 |
This was one of Brad Thor's better books and I have read them all. The continuing adventures of Scott Harvath keep the pages turning until the very end. The only let down was that the story wasn't wrapped up by the end of the book. After going on the author's web page, I learned that the story continues in his latest book, Full Black. ( )
  TomWheaton | Nov 12, 2011 |
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The strategic military outpoet was such a closely guarded secret it didn't have a name, only a number---site 243.
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He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.
Leonardo Da Vinci
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Recruited as a field operative, Scot Harvath has just returned from his first assignment abroad when a bombing in Rome kills a group of American college students. The evidence points to a dangerous colleague from Harvath's past and a plan for further attacks on an unimaginable scale.… (more)

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