Book Review: Black List, by Brad Thor

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Brad Thor is One of the Best.

The excellent novel, Black List, may have you reconsidering your electronic fingerprint.  Though in all honesty, it may be too late.  According to the author the technology included in the book is currently in use or in final stages of development.  In a revealing look at our potential future, the author shows what a few people with power over technology might achieve.

This is the twelfth selection in the Scot Horvath series by Brad Thor, published in May of 2013.  What a fantastic story it was, all too realistic, leaving me hopeful that there are real life Scot Horvaths out there somewhere, working for the good of our country.

Several have called this particular book prescient, coming ahead of the NSA scandal with Mr. Snowden.

The Story

In Washington DC, a woman is hunted at a mall.  She runs out of the mall into traffic to be killed.

In Texas, Nicholas, the familiar dwarf from previous books, is also on the run, but for another reason.  A small drive that contains a plot so complex and disturbing, it is difficult for the technology specialist to comprehend.

In Northern Virginia,  Reed Carlton, founder of the private intelligence agency, Carlton Group, is locked in a safe room while his house burns

In Paris, a team of men nearly kill Scot Horvath, and do kill a good friend and associate.  Learning other members of his team were killed, perhaps his own boss, Reed Carlton, he realizes he must go off the grid if he is to avoid capture.

Because it appears his own government is after him, calling him a traitor. Someone has put his name on the secret Black List.  A list that means death. Scot must find who is responsible for this error before one of the teams of killers succeeds.

All of them are on the run, staying just ahead of killers who are after them. Searching for those responsible.   Avoiding anything that might track them.  Yet the answers they seek are the same.

Only the hunted are usually the hunters.  Scot will take the lead in a cross country search, heading straight for the source of the orders.  Because besides protecting the nation, this time it is personal.

That’s enough to say about the plot.  Mr. Thor is an excellent writer who will take you along with his characters in this exciting novel. It should make you think about where we are headed, but even if it doesn’t you will enjoy the thrills.

Information Gathering Extremes

You know it will happen. Think of the ways technology can find a person.  We are talking far beyond the basic GPS in our cars or cell phones.  Every single thing we buy online, each social media connection, even a Google search, can provide clues if not details of our whereabouts.  The most inconsequential detail can give us away.  Even when you think you won’t be found, the tracking and collection of data might give you away.

When you consider what could happen if that information were in the wrong hands, it should give you pause.  Mr. Thor thoroughly draws you in to the possibility.  Would a book you’ve purchased perhaps be considered subversive?  Have you left a comment on social media that someone may not have thought appropriate?

Even while the book makes you think going off grid might be a good idea, it also shows you how difficult that can be today.

The Author, Brad Thor

Mr. Thor is an fantastic author.  His stories always seem so timely, as if taken right from current events.  His plots are so plausible that they make you wonder if it is already happening or will soon.

It’s also a delight to know that when starting a book by him, I’m certain to enjoy what he writes.  He is one of those authors for me.  There was a smile on my face through most of this one, knowing the twists and turns that awaited.

His newest novel, Code of Conduct, was released on July 7th to excellent reviews.  The fourteenth in the series mentions, “secret committee with a devastating agenda,” as part of its description.  It should be another excellent thriller.

Code of Conduct….You can order it here.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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