Tag Archives: CIA

Thor’s Thriller is at the Top of the List

Brad Thor’s newest novel, Act of War (New York:  Atria, 2014) was one of the best-selling novels in the summer and early fall, topping the fiction lists for awhile.BradThorPicture

Thor, has written numerous thrillers, one of which, The Lions of Lucerne (New York:  Pocket Books, 2002) will be adapted for the big screen in 2015.  You can read more about him at his web site by clicking here.

There are only a few books that I can honestly describe as not being able to put down.  This is one of them.

I believe that one reason Thor is a great writer is that his books focus.  There are not too many characters and not too many scenes, but just enough to keep the reader moving.

The key character is Scot Harvath, a former Navy SEAL and presidential secret service veteran, who returns from Thor’s previous books.  He finds his hands full with the CIA, FBI, and local law enforcement when a critical quest for a terrorist provides startling information.  The novel revolves around a top-secret operation developed by high-level individuals in the Chinese government.  They have the objective of bringing the United States to its knees through multiple terrorist activities.  At every level, their plan seems to have a strong chance to succeed in a swift and devastating manner.  Harvath is pressured by the American president who stays on top of all the activities.  He approves two missions that if Harvath cannot keep secret would end his career, and even his life.  One of these Harvath controls, and the other is a chilling attempt to send a group secretly into North Korea.  Time remains prominent and of the essence at every point in the story.

ActofWarCoverReaders will tell that this is a well-researched book.  Thor provides a long list of acknowledgements, indicating the extensive scope of historians, military and law enforcement officials, and various other contributors who make this book believable.

I won’t tell you more so you can read this yourself.   Since this is fiction, it does not qualify for the kinds of books we present, so you won’t be able to hear this at the First Friday Book Synopsis.

However, maybe in a few years, you will watch an adaptation of this at a theatre.  I think it’s that good.



Back to the Future With Physical Paperback Books

In a stunning reversal against the digital book market, the Wall Street Journal reports that a successful author has turned to phyiscal paperbacks through a contract with a traditional publisher.  The article, authored by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, is entitled “E-Book Author Tries New Format:  Real Paperbacks” (August 23, 2011, p. B4).

The  author, John Locke, was the first self-published writer to sell more than one million digital books on Amazon.com.   The contract with CBS Corporation’s Simon & Schuster will distribute eight of Locke’s thrillers that feature Donovan Creed, a former CIA assassin.

Despite the trend of books moving to the digital format, and despite the trend of traditional bookstores such as Borders closing, the good news is that “there are still lots of retail outlets for books,” according to a quote in the article from Adam Rothberg, a spokesperson for Simon & Schuster.

Are you surprised by this?

Let’s talk about it really soon! 


Fiction Turns into Reality on the Same Day

I was amazed that the same day that I read about the bombing of the hideout for Osama bin Laden in a novel was the same day that the United States Navy Seals and our intelligence operations actually killed him!

One of my favorite fiction authors is Stuart Woods.  His recent best-seller is entitled Strategic Moves (Putnam, 2011).  The featured character is Stone Barrington, a playboy-type attorney, who is “of counsel” to a large New York City law firm.

In the book, a foreign arms-dealer and fugitive,  Erwin Gelbhardt (Pablo), reveals he knows the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden at the end of a four-day interrogation which the CIA conducted in Barrington’s home office.

The book notes that the area that Pablo identified became the target of heavy and intense bombing from Unites States forces.  However, the book does not provide a conclusion that the attempt killed or captured bin Laden.

Not so on Sunday!  It was 10:00 p.m. and I turned on the news to check on the DFW weather.  The local news was not on, but an ABC network breaking news story was.  And,  you know the end of the real story as well as I do.

How many times have you seen fiction turn into reality the same day?

Let’s talk about it soon!