Blowback (Scot Harvath Series #4)

Blowback (Scot Harvath Series #4)

4.1 185
by Brad Thor

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"When a mystery thousands of years in the making threatens to catapult the enemies of America to a sure and decisive victory, the only person the president can call for help is the man the administration has just fired." "Caught live on Al Jazeera in an off-the-books operation, Scot Harvath's career has been terminated and he is forced to go to ground as the president…  See more details below


"When a mystery thousands of years in the making threatens to catapult the enemies of America to a sure and decisive victory, the only person the president can call for help is the man the administration has just fired." "Caught live on Al Jazeera in an off-the-books operation, Scot Harvath's career has been terminated and he is forced to go to ground as the president bows to pressure from a ruthless senator with her sights set on the White House. But when the tide in the war on terror suddenly turns against the U.S., the president has no choice but to secretly bring Harvath back inside." "Ducking a congressional subpoena, Harvath travels to the Mediterranean, where he learns of a shadowy organization that has been combing the earth for decades in search of the ultimate weapon to use against the United States and her allies." "Now, after three summers of record-setting heat across present-day Europe, one steadily melting Alpine glacier has given up an ancient secret - one with the potential to thrust civilization back into the Dark Ages." From Cyprus, London, and Paris, to Italy, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia, Harvath must race against the clock to stop one of the greatest evils ever to face the United States.

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Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Scot Harvath Series, #4
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.40(d)

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Col de la Traversette

French-Italian Alps

Donald Ellyson tried to scream, but nothing happened. He had done a lot of reprehensible things in his fifty-five years, but this was not how he had expected to die -- his throat sliced and hot blood running down the front of his parka. This was supposed to be the discovery of his life, the one that would legitimize him and land him at the top of the academic heap. But the moment of his greatest triumph had suddenly become the last moment he would ever know. And for what? Did his benefactors actually think he was going to stiff them?

Sure, he was known to gamble, and yes, he often stole artifacts from archeological digs to sell on the black market, but so did a lot of other people. It was just the way the world worked. Certainly, the punishment shouldn't be death.

It was only three years ago that Ellyson had joined a group of archeologists excavating a site southwest of Istanbul. During the dig, a hidden room with a vast trove of parchments had been discovered. Upon closer inspection, the documents appeared to be remnants of the famous Library of Alexandria, which was considered to be the greatest collection of books in the ancient world.

The library had been almost completely destroyed by the Romans who sacked and burned it in both the third and fourth centuries. It was widely assumed that the balance of the library's contents were destroyed when the Muslims, under the Caliph Umar I, laid siege in 640, but as Ellyson and his colleagues pored over the documents, they realized how wrong that supposition was. Someone at some point in history had apparently managed to preserve a large portion of what remained.

Ellyson was fascinated by what the parchments contained. One in particular was absolutely astounding. It was written in Greek and detailed a firsthand account of one of the most brilliant and most deadly undertakings in ancient history. He never catalogued that manuscript and went to great pains to make sure no one else on the dig even knew of its existence.

It was a treasure map of sorts, and though it did not have a great big X marking the spot, it promised unfathomable rewards. Once out of Istanbul, Ellyson went straight to the most likely source of funding for an expedition like this. He had been in the game long enough to know players who would jump at the chance to get their hands on what the manuscript suggested was waiting out there. And, indeed, the promise contained within the manuscript proved irresistible to his erstwhile partners.

Like Ellyson, those partners had read the classical accounts of Livy and Polybius, as well as works by renowned historians such as Gibbon, Zanelli, Vanoyeke, and a host of others too numerous to list. The more the partners read, the more they learned, and the more they learned, the more they became intrigued with the potential power of Ellyson's discovery.

Based on the archeologist's request, the partners spent millions on aerial surveys by planes, helicopters, and even satellites, combing many of the Alpine passes between southern France and Italy in hope of locating a particularly valuable item referred to in the parchment.

Ellyson had defied convention, turning his back on the more popular historical locations, as none of them fit the picture he had cobbled together from his ancient texts. Good fortune, though, did not smile upon his undertaking. Still, despite the lack of progress, the archeologist was confident he'd be successful in the end.

Though at times money was extremely difficult to come by, the men funding Ellyson's search did whatever they had to do to keep the coffers full. Their organization had been searching for decades for just this type of find and couldn't stop now. The power it promised to deliver was too important to give up on over something as trivial as money.

It wasn't until recently, aided by three summers of record-setting heat across Europe, that the snow had begun to melt, glaciers had begun to recede, and, near the Col de la Traversette, Ellyson had uncovered the first pieces of archeological evidence that proved he was on the right track -- straps of leather from an ancient harness, shards of pottery, and a small collection of broken weapons. He had narrowed a staggering field of haystacks to just one, but that one was replete with fathomless gorges and crevices, any number of which might contain his needle.

The Col de la Traversette was one of the most treacherous and highest mountain passes in all of France. Over the centuries, both French and Italian authorities had attempted to sabotage parts of it in the hope of stemming smuggling between their countries, but the pass lived on. A mere ten meters wide at the summit, the remote pathway was only accessible during a short period between mid-summer and early fall -- and even then conditions could still be unbearable. Locals referred to the region's weather as eight months of winter followed by four months of hell.

Despite these daunting obstacles, Ellyson had finally found his needle. He was a much better archeologist than he had ever given himself credit for. And the interesting thing about it was that the group funding his project wasn't even concerned with the entire find, only a part of it -- the part he had used as bait. It was all that had been necessary to get them to finance the operation. What they wanted from the find was a mere token to him, something he could easily do without. It was, in his mind, a minor footnote that had been lost to history. If his benefactors were willing to cover the cost of his entire project, he had no intention of denying them such a small item in return.

Even now from his prone position on the floor, Ellyson could see the object they had been after -- a long, intricately carved wooden chest. It was right there -- theirs for the taking. He didn't need or want it. So why did they have to kill him? Nobody would have ever known that the box, or more importantly what was inside it, was missing. Much like me, thought Ellyson as he heard the sound of his two Sherpas approaching and watched as his killer removed a small-caliber automatic from his parka.

After calmly replacing the pistol in his pocket, the assassin stared at the wooden, coffinlike box. For over two thousand years, the ancient weapon had lain beyond the reach of man, frozen within the glacial ice of this remote Alpine chasm, but all of that was about to change. The assassin removed a satellite phone from inside his coat and dialed the ten-digit number for his employer -- a man known to him only as the Scorpion.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Brad Thor

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Blowback 4.1 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 185 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought he couldn't come up with anything better, Surprise, Surprise!!!! Have read them all, this one sizzles. I can't wait for anything new from Brad. A great story teller. His story lines are terrific and his plots never fail to entertain.
Anonymous 30 days ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Pads in,"is this the shadow clan? May i join?" She asks
Anonymous 7 months ago
A creamy white she cat pads in and bows. "Please...may I join? I lost my clan... i hve nowherw to go"
Anonymous 7 months ago
A tom pads in.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
A light brown tabby cat with a white splashed chest and underbelly, black tipped ears, tail, toes. Icy blue eyes.))) She softky pads in. "May i join ShadowClan?" She asked in a voice that sounded like the wind.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Hey Shadowclaw! I need to talk to you! Go to "shadow" first result and go there now or so help me I will cause all sorts of problems for you! Go now! ~ Lilywolf &hearts
Anonymous 8 months ago
Why? I dont get why you do this to yourselfs. I came to say that you all could change what you've become but now you are totaly lost. I cant help you, I am sorry. Now every cat, animal, and/or person will hate you and ignore you. I am truly sorry, bye. ~A Cat Who Wanded to Help
Anonymous 8 months ago
The big tom cat looked down on Shadowclaw and the kits, "The kit could be a clan guard. He does look able." Eir was organizing her herbs into nice neat piles. She had gotten a death berry to give to a very Annoying cat that she knew in another clan.
Anonymous 8 months ago
A dainty vanilla colored she-cat with deep gray eyes padded in. She looked harmless, maybe even a bit like a kittypet. But her words were like thorns. "May I join?" The female purred lowly, her eyes flickering. Before anyone could speak she thrashed her tail sharply and ripped her claws through the dust and dirt.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Slowly pads in.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Pads in cautiously looking around "H-hello?" She said
Anonymous 9 months ago
I need an adoptive mom
Anonymous 9 months ago
An elegant black she cat stolled "My name is Teardrop and I'm here to join you flea bags."
Anonymous 10 months ago
A built she cat padded in. "May I join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story line interesting enjoy the historical facts could cut out many no need to know info and shorten the pages good read moves long
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic page turner; Scot Horvath matures.
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