The Apostle (Scot Harvath Series #8)

The Apostle (Scot Harvath Series #8)

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by Brad Thor
     
 

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A new administration and a new approach to dealing with America’s enemies have left covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath without a job. But when American doctor Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan, the terms of her ransom leave the president with only one course of action.

Every politician has a secret. And when the daughter of a politically

Overview

A new administration and a new approach to dealing with America’s enemies have left covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath without a job. But when American doctor Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan, the terms of her ransom leave the president with only one course of action.

Every politician has a secret. And when the daughter of a politically connected family is kidnapped abroad, America’s new president will agree to anything—even a deadly and ill-advised rescue plan—in order to keep his secret hidden.

But when covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is assigned to infiltrate one of the world’s most notorious prisons and free the man the kidnappers demand as ransom, he quickly learns that there is much more to the operation than anyone dares to admit.

As the subterfuge is laid bare, Harvath must examine his own career of ruthlessly hunting down and killing terrorists and decide if he has what it takes to help one of the world’s worst go free.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller Thor's less than convincing sixth Scot Harvath thriller (after The Last Patriot), Robert Alden, the new and naïve U.S. president, has just taken office with a landslide victory, due mainly to the assistance of strategist Stephanie Gallo, who "delivered the mainstream media for him on a silver platter." When Gallo's daughter, a doctor working in Afghanistan, is kidnapped, Gallo turns to Alden for help, and he, in turn, calls on Harvath, a former Navy SEAL and intelligence operative. Since the kidnappers are demanding the release of one of Osama bin Laden's lieutenants, Alden can't be seen to be negotiating with them. Thus Harvath must carry out his tricky assignment without official sanction. Meanwhile, Secret Service agent Elise Campbell, troubled by a conversation fragment she overheard indicating that Gallo has serious dirt on the president, launches an off-the-books inquiry into the pre-election death in a car accident of an attractive aide to Alden. The overseas rescue operation is more plausible than the stateside plot, but that's not saying much.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416586746
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Series:
Scot Harvath Series , #8
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
4,398
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

The Apostle


  • CHAPTER 5

    MCLEAN, VIRGINIA

    WEDNESDAY (TWO DAYS LATER)

    The bright spring day stood in sharp contrast to the new president’s mood. Robert Alden had suggested a walk outside as a way to allow things to cool down between himself and the woman he was with. So far, it wasn’t working.

    “You and I both know,” said the president’s guest, “that the CIA is so risk-averse that even if you showed them where their asses were, they’d be afraid to grab on with both hands.”

    Stephanie Gallo was perhaps one of the biggest reasons forty-eight-year-old Robert Alden now occupied the highest office in the world. Gallo had not only helped orchestrate the Alden campaign for president and been one of its biggest donors and best fund-raisers, she had delivered the mainstream media to him on a silver platter.

    She was an entertainment titan who, upon the death of her husband in the early 1970s, had spun a “midmarket newspaper and two shitty AM radio stations” into a series of conglomerates that owned newspapers, movie studios, and television stations around the world. She was the person who had convinced Alden not only to run for president, but that he would win.

    Would. It was an interesting choice of words. She had not said could win, but would win. She was that confident. And she was right. The election had been a blowout. Alden’s mild-mannered opponent never stood a chance.

    To secure this incredible win, Gallo had insisted that her media strategy be at the very center of the campaign. It was the hub that everything else radiated out from. They had worked tirelessly and it had paid off with overwhelming dividends. Alden owed Gallo a tremendous debt, which made the discussion they were having that much more difficult.

    “If we can’t remain calm about this, Stephanie, there’s no way we’ll be able to think clearly.”

    “Remain calm?” Gallo shot back. “How calm would you be if it was your daughter those animals had kidnapped?”

    If Robert Alden hadn’t already been married, he and Stephanie Gallo would have made a stunning couple. The new president was athletic and handsome. He stood six-foot-two with dark hair and hazel eyes and had a magnetic personality that drew people instantly to him.

    At fifty-five, Stephanie Gallo was seven years his senior, but didn’t look a day over forty. She was an incredibly attractive woman with auburn hair, blue eyes, and a large, sumptuous mouth. She was tall, five-foot-ten when not in heels, and had a very alluring physique.

    An international celebrity in her own right, Gallo competed successfully in a largely male world and made no apologies for doing it as a woman. Women around the world adored her not only for her sense of style, which retained just a hint of sex appeal, but also for her frank belief that God had blessed women with curves and that any woman who tried to exercise her body into a replica of a teen-aged boy’s was a fool.

    But despite everything she had going for her, all of the notoriety, money, and power, right now she needed a man: this man. Only Robert Alden could effect her daughter’s release, and Stephanie Gallo was determined to make that happen—no matter what it took.

    Alden put his hand on her shoulder. “I understand how you must feel.”

    Gallo didn’t like being patronized. “Really? Then why aren’t you doing anything? We own that fucking country, for God’s sake. Agree to the terms!”

    And here they were again, back at the beginning of the argument. Alden tried to explain his position once more. “Stephanie, I agree with the CIA’s assessment. These people kidnapped Julia for this very reason. They knew you would come to me and ask me to intervene.

    “The terrorist imprisoned in Kabul, the one they want for Julia, is an al-Qaeda operative—a very bad one. Do you know how many high-level Afghan government officials he has helped kill? For the Afghan government, this is like capturing Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinkley, and John Wilkes Booth all at once. We can’t say that we want Afghanistan to obey the rule of law only when it serves our interests. Besides, I ran on a platform of being tough on terrorists and not repeating any of the mistakes of my predecessors.”

    “Screw your platform and screw your predecessors,” snapped Gallo. “We’re talking about Julia’s life, for Christ’s sake.”

    “I’m sorry, Stephanie. I—”

    “What do you mean, you’re sorry? Are you telling me that we can’t convince the Afghans to give us this Mustafa Khan for twenty-four hours, forty-eight tops, so that we can get my daughter back?”

    “And if we lose him?” asked Alden.

    “Then flood the skies with Predators and retask all of our satellites over Afghanistan. I don’t care. I just want her back.”

    “I know you do. I do too. I also care about what happens in Afghanistan. You’ve got to know that this is not easy for me.”

    Gallo scowled at the president. “This is your first chance to really exercise your power, and you’re afraid to use it. That’s what I think.”

    Alden could feel his blood pressure rising, and he fought to keep it under control. “I warned you both about this. Julia knew the risks when she took that job over there.”

    “That doesn’t change anything.”

    “Stephanie, I’ve explained to you how this works. The Afghans take the lead in kidnapping investigations within their own country—even those of American citizens. The CIA, everyone at our embassy in Kabul, and our entire military apparatus in theater are doing everything they can to get Julia back.”

    “Except giving her kidnappers the one thing they’ve asked for.”

    Alden shook his head sadly.

    “You’re the president of the United States. You’re telling me you can’t tell the Afghans that Khan is part of a larger investigation we are running and that we need to interrogate him in our facility at Bagram? Once we trade him for Julia and get her back, we can hunt him down ourselves. If the Afghans caught Khan once, we should be able to catch him a second time with no problem.”

    “First of all, the Afghans got lucky because someone tipped them off. Second, what you’re asking me to do is dishonest, and that’s not how I operate.”

    Gallo stared at Alden and let the president’s statement hover between them like a lit stick of dynamite.

    It didn’t take Alden long to get uncomfortable. His guest didn’t have to say a word. He knew what she was thinking. “Listen, Stephanie, we’re going to get Julia back. I promise.”

    “I’m sorry, but your promise is not good enough. You need to start doing more. A lot more.”

    “Or what?”

    Gallo’s eyes bore right into Alden’s. “Or your presidency is going to be one of the shortest in U.S. history.”

    “Are you threatening me?” he asked.

    “You’re damn right I’m threatening you. We’ve lost two days. It’s time for you to get her back.”

    “And if I don’t?”

    “Then,” said Gallo, choosing her next words carefully, “the world is going to quickly find out that the new American president was not only an accessory to the deaths of four innocent people, but actively conspired to cover it up.”

    *       *       *

    Fifteen yards away, in the thick blanket of trees that bordered Stephanie Gallo’s equestrian estate, a young Secret Service agent froze dead in her tracks.

  • Meet the Author

    Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Code of Conduct, Act of WarHidden OrderBlack ListFull Black (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of 2011), The Athena ProjectForeign Influence (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of 2010), The ApostleThe Last Patriot (nominated best thriller of the year by the International Thriller Writers Association), The First CommandmentTakedownBlowback (recognized as one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” by NPR), State of the UnionPath of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne. Visit his website at BradThor.com.

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    The Apostle 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 225 reviews.
    Billinthewild More than 1 year ago
    Brad Thor's worst book yet. I have, and have read, all of his work. In The Apostle it is as if he did not have enough material for a full length novel, so he combined two short stories. The Harvath plot was good, but the injection of a secondary far fetched plot involving a secret service agent was distracting from the main story. After a few chapters of the sub plot I found the book a better read by skipping those chapters. The worst was that after I posted a critical comment on his forum, I was banned!!!!! I would not waste my money on it. His previous books were all first class.
    Fighterjock More than 1 year ago
    My wife is home sick, so I had time to read this cover to cover in about a day. This was the worst of his Scot Harvath books...reading like two weak story lines woven together to take up more space. Perhaps his next effort will be back on track.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Have read all of his books, and this book follows admirably in the line of excellent reading. You know that it is relevant to our current day.
    RmalloryRC More than 1 year ago
    This is the 4th novel I've read of Brad Thor's and I've enjoyed every one. I'm sure our shared leanings and patriotic belief's have much to do with this, but because "The Apostle" presses so painfully on the open wound of todays unacceptable political environment and defensive posture, I found I had to respond with review. As a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era, I know only too well how unselfishly devoted and determined the men and women of our military and their associated agencies are to protect this great country of ours and it's people. Unfortunately, these protectors of our freedom need intelligent and strong leadership from our commander-in-chief on down. Sadly, this is non-existant under our current administration. We need Ronald Reagan, we have Neville Chamberlain with a personal agenda! I will admit that I would loose the plot at times to play fill in the name blanks for the characters in Washington, but it didn't make the book any less enjoyable. I just would have liked a little more of it. I recommend this book to everyone and I think it should be mandatory in our public schools.
    KenCady More than 1 year ago
    What made this very predictable novel worthwhile was the picture of life in Afghanistan and the customs still in effect. The corruption was well laid out, as was the conflict between the villagers and their would-be occupiers, the Taliban. The subplot involving the zealous young Secret Service agent was just a distraction from the main story and added nothing to the book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book didnt grab me nearly as much as some of the other Brad Thor books. Very straight forward without any twists and turns or really any mystery. Unless youre a big Brad Thor fan I would pass on this one.
    Silas_Dogood More than 1 year ago
    This entire series is just great. Brad Thor does such a great job of incorporating current events from national and international politics and weaving a story that keeps you interested from beginning to end. If you are a political buff or just enjoy an interesting story with lots of military insight, you will really enjoy this series.
    Praetor More than 1 year ago
    This is the first Brad Thor book I've read. It is a well-researched thriller with the right amount of detail to make it believable without boring the reader with information overload. Exciting action scenes woven into the personal relationships between Harvath and team make this a fun read. The sub-plot didn't really add to the book and I found myself speeding through those chapters to get back to the Harvath storyline. All in all, a good, fast-paced story that was entirely entertaining. Good work by Brad Thor.
    kbwest More than 1 year ago
    Fabulous novel! This 8th novel in the Scot Harvath series might not 'kick your teeth in' like The Last Patriot did but it does offer an amazing adventure and realism. The Apostle depicts the complexity of the Afghan culture and urgency to ensure success in Afghanistan. The challenges are real and success is imperative. The other message this novel explores is the despicable corruption of our politicians. Neither party is immune and the American people are sick of it. It was nice to have a character like Elise Campbell see through her adoration to ferret out the truth and hold people accountable. If we want this country to truly change that is what we all must demand. It is time for Americans to give themselves a 'gut check'. Thank you, Mr. Thor for another terrific novel!! PS: I loved all the wit and salty language too.
    danm68 More than 1 year ago
    Great reads. I have read the first 7 books in the series and so far am not disappointed in the 8th book. They are sorta predictable but still the plots have enough excitement and differences to keep my interest. However with all the books with Scott Harvath you really know hes not going to get killed off anytime soon.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I am only in middle school, but i personally believe that this is an amazing novel. Maybe not as exciting and thrilling as we all know his books can achieve, but very well written! It had me turning the pages!!!! In conclusion, this is an amazing thriller and i believe people will love it!!!!!!
    David Jelley More than 1 year ago
    Quite a disconnect btwn the two plots. Dont understand the need for both. By far, the Afghanistan action was better. Nonetheless, worth your time and money.
    Pennmate More than 1 year ago
    Brad Thor's writing style imparts a unique sense of heart pounding action to the reader. Like no other author, Thor has the ability to set and maintain a pace within his story lines that literally increase the reader's heartbeat with anxious anticipation of the next event to unfold. Ths Apostle is one of Thor's finest books, packed with action and plot twists where the characters all use the most recent weaponry, equipment and technology that is being introduced to the modern day battlefield. Thor's main character, Scot Harvath, is a true American Hero and a very interesting character to follow from novel to novel.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Stalks through the undergrowrh.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Pads over. Stops at sound of mouse. Quitly walks over then jumps. Snaping its spin and neck. Buries it for later.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Hunts
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    If you like thrillers with lots of action and plot variety, you should love the Scott Harvath series by Brad Thor. I am currently reading Thor's #9. The Apostle, #8, doesn't disappoint. You can read this without starting out with series #1, but I would highly recommend you start at the beginning of the series which starts with Harvath's early history and goes from there. Series #1 will get you hooked. It was extremely fast-moving with lots of twists and turns. I discovered Brad Thor soon after my 'then favorite series' writer Vince Flynn. I had just finished Flynn's series featuring Mitch Rapp and was eagerly awaiting another book when I learned that Flynn had died. Then came along Brad Thor to continue Flynn's legacy, so-to-speak. He's proven to be just as good a writer as Vince Flynn...so, start reading!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have read the previous 7 books and enjoyed them. This book was mot up to par with the previous 7. The president story line was uninteresting and Scot Harvath acceptimg a mission did nit seem to go with his personality. I will be reading book 9 soon. I hope it is better.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love this series!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago