Friday, July 12, 2013

'Hidden Order' by Brad Thor

About two weeks in my bookstore I was telling a friend that it takes me, on average, about three to four days to finish a book.  This one took me a day and a half.  Why?  The answer is obvious; this book was good.  No wait, this book was ‘Good Times’ good.  And by ‘Good Times good’ I mean it was “damn… damn… damn!” good.  This one also had the flavor of ‘The Last Patriot’.  Harvath is still front and center but he’s doing more tracking down and investigating than killing.  That’s OK because others have taken up his slack and wow… does Brad get brutal.

This story has a few major story lines going on and (at least to me) more characters than usual.  So while you’re up at 2 AM reading this book make sure you pay attention to who is who because the person on page 150 might not be the person on page 152.  Brad has never been one to shirk from taking the truth, mudstomping it, and then throwing it in our face.  ‘Hidden Order’ is no different and this time the Federal Reserve is the one on the Brad Thor guillotine. 

I’ve always been of the mind that fiction authors write to entertain and non-fiction authors write to educate.  Brad (and a few others) the enviable insane skill to accomplish both.  I consider myself pretty educated but I had no clue about some of the Federal Reserve facts and even some of the facts about Boston, MA.  I probably could have finished this book in a day if I didn’t stop to Google fact check.  But it’s literally impossible not to because you would think that our government… OUR flippin’ government isn’t that blind (stupid) or naïve to not see what we see.  But they are.  And someone has taken upon themselves to exploit it.

As I alluded to earlier, Scot is wearing the uniform of an investigator vs. his usual two taps to the skull get up that I like seeing him wearing in this book because some really bad people are doing some REALLY bad things.  I know, I know… they are always doing bad things.  But there is something really… sinister about these guys and in the manner in which they dispatch their victims.  Terror, abject fear, and unimaginable pain don’t even come close to describing it. 

In between the history lesson about the Federal Reserve and beloved Boston there is a lot of action and a very interesting story line between Harvath and another character.  I say interesting because this interaction could have some deeper ramifications as this series moves on.  I like how Brad has developed Harvath over the years and grown him as well.  I seriously don’t think a twenty-five year old Harvath would have done what the forty-year old Harvath did. 

Anyway, Brad can tell a story like nobody’s business and you no choice but to enjoy the conflict between the alpha males, Harvath and Cordero.  You’ll wonder how you could admire (too strong a word?) the genius and creativity of the killers while you are given a history lesson you would NEVER learn in today’s schools, all while apprehensively turning the pages because you really don’t want to see how they slaughter the next person.  But you can’t help it.  This type of voyeurism goes way beyond craning your neck to see an accident.  This is craning your neck to see an accident all while crossing your fingers that there is another one around the corner. 

Brad Thor never disappoints and this one is another bullet!  On a personal note; I had the honor of meeting Brad Thor at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library last year.  I also had the honor of getting to ask him a question during the lecture.  My question was “You use a lot of high tech weapons/technology in your books, do you in real life”?  His answer was “yes”.  Keeping that answer in mind I was blown away to read about the Aerion Supersonic Business Jet.  You know he’s flown on that baby… you know he has!  Brad… dude… I wanna be you when I grow up!  And Natalie… oh mama!  Of course Natalie would just be pure eye candy lest Mrs. Thor kicks Brad’s ass and Mrs. Frost kicks mine.

‘Hidden Order’.  5 stars, 13 stripes, red white and blue over and through!


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