Act of War, by Brad Thor, A Review

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The Scot Harvath Series, Book 13

The excitement doesn’t stop in Brad Thor’s Act of War. After finishing Hidden Order just last week, I couldn’t wait to start Act of War.  I am trying to catch up in the series faster than planned because of the author’s latest and already bestselling, Code of Conduct.  That is supposed to be the best yet.  Of course, every addition to the series seems to warrant that title.

Every one of Mr. Thor’s books paints an all too vivid picture of events within our country. Several of the ideas he has included have actually come to pass.  His books are so clever and on point  that Mr. Thor was chosen to be a part of the “Red Cell” several years back, tasked by a former president to consider scenarios that could evolve if one thing or another occurred.

The author does his research.  He is thoroughly knowledgable about what he writes.  Much of the background included is not fiction.  With writing so effective you sometimes can’t be certain at what point the truth turns to fiction.

The Story

A CIA agent dies overseas.  One of his contacts surfaces with word of a horrible threat to the United State in the very near future.  Scot Harvath, now a covert counterterrorism operative, is asked by the new president to help.

A team from the United States sneaks in North Korea.  Scot Harvath and his team are in the Middle East. Both on separate assignments that may connect in an unexpected way.

The Tip

China is planning an attack against the United States  that will supposedly leave only 10% of Americans alive.  That is the tip they get, unconfirmed.  What is planned, when, and where it will strike leaves Scot racing for answers anywhere he can find them.

Clue by clue, Scot narrows the suspects to a select few.  Those few were muslims invited and welcomed into the United States for a six month internship.  The only requirement being that they were muslim.  When the six months were up, they were to return home.

They didn’t.  Now there are cells scattered, perhaps across the country, to participate in an attack.

The terrifying question is what sort of attack?  What could render that great a disaster to the nation?  The other question, nearly as frightening, is how did we get into this high risk position?

Chilling Facts

The description Mr. Thor includes about our government’s choices should frighten.

No matter where your political loyalties lie, it would be hard for anyone to disagree that our government is spending too much money.  Money that it doesn’t have.

The author gives us a comparison on a personal level.  What would you do in your family if you had no money?  Would you continue to spend?  Acquire more credit cards?  Buy new cars? Bigger houses? Would you—could you—go on spending as if there were no problem?

Now realize our government is in that position.  How can those governing continue to permit it? The irresponsibility shown by congress and the president (in this book, and I’m afraid in our real life) is leading to trouble.

Why?  Does it continue so a few hundred politicians can be assured of votes for reelection?  Is it because of one-up-manship among the parties, neither willing to do the hard thing?  Instead they continue to promote class warfare and increase the number receiving entitlements.

These issues are well highlighted in the book.  What comes with overspending? Since we don’t have the money, we must borrow it.

“China will be holding the Deed to the United States…”

That sentence is a quote from the book. Perhaps the biggest concern is to see where we turn to borrow money.  It’s mostly China now.  With all that debt, doesn’t it give them some amount of control?  In the book, Mr. Thor discusses China requiring actual collateral, rather that lending based on the US reputation.  I don’t know if that is true, but if so, China could own us.

Brad Thor is excellent at explaining these issues, and bringing them to light. It is fascinating to learn. The background of both North Korea and China is well detailed.   As I said, I’m not sure where the facts stop and the fiction begins, but even if it is fiction, it is clearly a daunting possibility not far down the road.

I hope and pray that we have a Scot Harvath or two somewhere behind our scenes.

This entire series is one of the best. I’m a definite fan of Scot Harvath and his creator Brad Thor.  If you want an exciting suspense thriller that will keep you thinking long after you have finished the book, pick one up.  I’ve read them in order, just my preference, but each is a fine stand alone novel that is sure to satisfy.


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 Citarella

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