Monday, July 20, 2009

Apostle: A Thriller (by Brad Thor)

Reviewed by Tracy L. Karol

5 stars

This was my favorite Brad Thor novel. I waited for the price to go down before I bought it on my Kindle, but I would have paid the extra few books had I known how good it was.

In this installment, our hero, Scot Harvath, has been fired from his job at the CIA by the new president, who ran on a platform of "change" and was elected largely due to the maneuverings of a media maven. (Any of this sound familiar?) The new administration is quick to make changes, ushering out programs and leaders and bringing in "new" and "diverse" but not necessarily better (or qualified) people to take their places. Harvath is fine with it -- he's ready to work in the private sector. But he's a patriot, and when duty calls he's unable NOT to answer.

Turns out the beloved new president and is media mogul friend need a guard dog when times get tough and her (Stephanie Gallo's) daughter, who is a doctor working in Afghfanistan, is kidnappaned and the people holding her ransom don't want money -- they want the release of a known Taliban terrorist.

All Gallo's money is of little use, and the campaigning, the peace, the closing of Gitmo, the Geneva convention -- none of that matters when her daughter's life is at stake. This truly makes one wonder if those who protest for the freedoms and securities of these terrorists -- because they certainly are NOT soldiers -- would fold when their own lives were at risk. Do they realize they sleep easily at night because brave men and women are willing to risk their lives? Or that they can protest because a soldier gives them that right?

No matter...Gallo begs the president for help, but he's not willing to budge, until she blackmails him, which leads to a subplot. Of course, this president is not clean. There are some interesting parallels in this book, but not too close to get Thor into trouble. Enough that you can easily spot them, though.

Without the official backing of the United States, Harvath must do what he can to free the terrorist and save Julia Gallo. Not an easy task, and not something he's willing to let go, considering what this terrorist might do in the future. But I won't give away any spoilers. Besides, you'll be so hooked you'll read the book in a matter of days.

Highly recommended. Great job. I eagerly await the next installment.