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Path of the Assassin (2003)

by Brad Thor

Series: Scot Harvath (2)

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9731917,806 (3.8)32
Seeking the people responsible for a plot to kidnap the president, Secret Service agent Scot Harvath follows clues that point to the world's most ruthless terrorist and enlists the aid of a hijacking survivor who knows what the terrorist looks like.

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
At the end of the first novel of the series, Scot Harvath swore that he will find everyone responsible for the kidnapping of the president and the death of the Secret Service agents who tried to protect the president's family. That's where this novel opens - with Scot still chasing the last remaining member of the Lions of Lucerne - the shadow group that executed the kidnapping and was responsible for most of the misery after that.

After the tragedy, Scot had been promoted to Director of the Secret Service for the White House but he still had not taken up his new post - he is on a special assignment for the president, doing exactly what he swore he will do. Except that he is not the only one interested in the two remaining members of the group - one in jail in Switzerland, and one still free. And before long both of them are dead and the shadow of the Abu Nidal and his terror organization is back (Thor uses a mix of real and invented names and organizations although even the invented ones are easily mapped to one or more real ones). Scot and Claudia decide to call it quits (careers and blah blah - plus unattached Scot is much more interesting on the field) and Scot teams up with CIA (in a way) to try to track down the revived organization.

Before long, the Hand of God organization starts killing Arabs all over the place, causing everyone to look at Israel (except that we know who the responsible killer is and things seem to be different from what they look to be).

Scot and the assassin chase each other across the world, a hijacked plane gets into the action (causing a lot of grief for everyone and introducing Meg who refuses to be a victim) and the globe spanning adventure heats up.

Thrillers are a dime a dozen these days. Good ones are a lot rarer and Brad Thor is one of the better authors out there. His style can be a bit too technical (some chapters read like weapons porn...) and Scot Harvath can come out as arrogant (mostly for good reasons but still) but the novels work as a whole. It is also one of the series which is set completely after 9/11 (the first novel came out in 2002) - a lot of the older figures had to change the way their series were going and what was possible and doable when 9/11 happened (or they had to stay pre-21st century). That helps it being consistent - Scot and his environment have a better continuity.

If high-speed chases across the world (and in well known cities) and consistories are your thing, this series will probably work for you (but start with the first one - this novel is the conclusion of the first book in more ways than one). The end sets the series cleanly - Scot is not going back to the Secret Service, he has a new job so the series will remain international. ( )
  AnnieMod | Aug 10, 2021 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Book 2 of Scot Harvath series. Good thriller. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
How does Thor get suck high ratings? The characters are juvenile idiots. Does he have people read and give advice to him? He has good plots but the execution is just dumb. ( )
  swampwampagus | Apr 14, 2021 |
I liked this book. It's the 2nd in the Scott Harvath series that I've read, and Brad Thor's 2nd book. I think it's amazing that he wrote such a detailed, interesting, suspenseful book, with such little experience. I would've liked this book to be shorter; at 503 pages, it was too bloated with unnecessary details and fluff. However, I felt like I was actually in Capri and Rome, and enjoyed his descriptions.

The story centers on Scott Harvath, a former Secret Service Agent, who in the 1st book, saved the President's daughter and of course, has his undying gratitude. Scott roamed through Europe in the last book, to rescue the President and kill the kidnappers. He excels at that, of course, although he gets pretty beaten up doing so. That's all in the first book, The Lions of Lucerne, which I highly recommend reading before this one. It was also enjoyable, and there's a romance in it.

This 2nd book continues Scott's pursuit of the kidnappers and terrorists who were behind the plot to kidnap the President. He's not really working as a Secret Service Agent anymore, but he still has the full backing of the President and others. Which is handy when the team he gets assigned to is the CIA and he hates them. Oh, they hate him, too, for being a brash, arrogant wise ass who isn't a team player. I think Harvath's dislike of the CIA is very grade school, it's immature and weird, but maybe it's something in Mr. Thor's background that prompted it, and it comes across in his books. Fortunately, Scott's dislike is eventually tempered by some nice people he meets, and his attitude mellows. I'm relieved he wrote it that way. He's a one man army, and he needs friends/backup. Plus, enough of the stupid, macho, testosterone-driven I'm better than you, crap. It doesn't play well in books, and I have to roll my eyes when it happens in a movie as well.

Some of the stunts, injuries etc. strained believably surviving (although it was worse in the first book when Scott fell into an icy river, swam out and was fine). This genre is kind of ripe with that kind of macho "bravery" and exaggeration, so because I love thrillers, and particularly political thrillers, I overlook it.

FYI, for the prudish, there's no sex/romance in this book. There is violence and death of bad guys, so that's OK in my book. There's no gore or torture, which I'm opposed to in books/movies, & life! So, I recommend this book and hope you enjoy it. ( )
  Fubarahh | Apr 10, 2017 |
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Dressed in the traditional robes of a Muslim pilgrim, a lone figure tore back the carpeting from beneath a window of the sumptuously appointed room and fastened the feet of a tripod firmly into the concrete floor with a commercial-grade bolt gun.
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Seeking the people responsible for a plot to kidnap the president, Secret Service agent Scot Harvath follows clues that point to the world's most ruthless terrorist and enlists the aid of a hijacking survivor who knows what the terrorist looks like.

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Average: (3.8)
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