by Dr. D ~
*NOW IN PAPERBACK
By Brad Thor (New York: Pocket Books-Simon & Shuster, 2009, 516 pages)
Brad Thor’s latest ‘Scot Harvath’ action adventure. This time it takes place in Afghanistan. It begins with the kidnapping of a American Doctor on a relief mission by the Taliban. They are demanding the release of one of their major terrorist leaders who had recently been captured in return for the doctor. It is an official American policy not to negotiate with terrorists.
However her mother is an influential media mogul who is close to the President and blackmails him into taking action anyway.
Scot Harvath is sent over to Afghanistan on an ‘unofficial’ mission by the newly elected President (who ironically had just let him go because he was against Harvath’s type of covert operations) to take care of the mess privately. The plan is for Scot to raid the Afghan military prison, take the Taliban leader by force and trade him for the American doctor.
As usual in a Scot Harvath story nothing goes as it was planned but it turns out for the best anyway.
This book is not only a good read but also gives the reader an opportunity to get to know the situation in Afghanistan a whole lot better. The place is out of control but there are regular folks living in villages trying to look out for there own people the best they can in the face of the Taliban onslaught and the counter attacks by the allied American forces.
There is an Afghan cultural bias against foreigners which is balanced out by an Afghan tradition offering hospitality and protection. No one likes the Taliban but at least they are Muslims and many are native Afghanis. Add to that the fact that everyone is armed with automatic weapons and nobody really likes Americans all that much and you get a glimpse of the backdrop to this story and what Harvath has to deal with.
Meanwhile back in America there is a continuing subplot surrounding a Secret Service agent that over heard the doctor’s mother blackmailing the President and this launches an undercover investigation that ultimately could end up bringing down the new President.
A real ‘page turner’ that I highly recommend. The story is particularly useful in providing a better understanding of what our military is currently facing in Afghanistan. *Top