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The First Commandment (Scot Harvath Series #6)

The First Commandment (Scot Harvath Series #6)

4.4 167
by Brad Thor

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A master assassin. A vendetta years in the making. And a counterterrorism operative who will risk everything -- even treason -- to keep the people he loves alive.

Brad Thor, the New York Times bestselling author of Takedown, delivers an explosive international thriller featuring Navy SEAL turned Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath,


A master assassin. A vendetta years in the making. And a counterterrorism operative who will risk everything -- even treason -- to keep the people he loves alive.

Brad Thor, the New York Times bestselling author of Takedown, delivers an explosive international thriller featuring Navy SEAL turned Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath, who somewhere, somehow, has left the wrong person alive.

"Thou shalt not negotiate with terrorists..."

Six months ago: In the dead of the night, five of the most dangerous detainees in the war on terror are pulled from their isolation cells in Guantanamo Bay, held at gunpoint, and told to strip off their orange jumpsuits. Issued civilian clothes and driven to the base airfield, they are loaded aboard a Boeing 727 and set free.

Present day: Covert counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath awakens to discover that his world has changed violently -- and forever. A sadistic assassin with a personal vendetta is wreaking havoc of biblical proportions. Unleashing nightmarish horrors on those closest to Harvath, the attacker thrusts everything Harvath holds dear -- including his life -- into absolute peril.

Ordered by the president to stay out of the investigation, Harvath is forced to mount his own operation to uncover the conspiracy and to exact revenge. When he discovers a connection between the attacks and a group of prisoners secretly released from Guantanamo, Harvath must ask himself previously unthinkable questions about the organizations and the nation he has spent his life serving.

A renegade from his own government, Harvath will place his life on the line as his search for the truth draws him into a showdown with one of the most dangerous men on the face of the earth.

Brad Thor roars through this nonstop adventure full of international intrigue, twisted betrayals, and ultimate revenge.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Thor's latest thrill-ride begins in anguish. Scot Harvath, navy SEAL turned Homeland Security superagent, sits at the bedside of girlfriend Tracy Hastings, who's in a deep coma after being gravely wounded at the end of Takedown. Meanwhile, five terrorists have been released from Guantánamo Bay as part of a secret hostage deal forced upon U.S. president Jack Rutledge. When one of the terrorists starts targeting Scot's friends and family, Scot discovers that the president won't allow the assassin to be hunted down. Soon enough, Scot is on the run from his own government and in pursuit of the killer. Many characters make appearances from earlier books, in particular Scot's ongoing nemesis, the fascinating, intelligence-gathering expert known as the Troll. It's a long, violent, shoot-'em-up, blow-'em-up pulse-pounder that will leave Thor's fans cheering and begging for more. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Barely a month after the July 4 terrorist attacks on Manhattan (Takedown), counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath, the U.S. President's dog of war, and his girlfriend, Tracy Hastings, come under a sniper attack that wounds Tracy in the head. Determined to track down the sniper, Scot is shocked when the President orders him to back off. Unbeknownst to Harvath, the President had six months earlier violated the first commandment of the war on terror-never negotiate with terrorists. In order to avert a major disaster, he had approved the release of five of Guantánamo's most dangerous detainees. Now one of them is carrying out a series of brutal attacks on Harvath's friends and family, basing his actions on the ten plagues in the book of Exodus. As one horrific attack follows another, Scot is faced with the unthinkable: he will have to commit treason if he hopes to save those he loves and survive a confrontation with one of the world's most feared assassins. Always fast-paced and action-packed, Thor's novels have grown in moral and emotional resonance as Harvath demonstrates increasingly more depth and vulnerability. Sure to please his many fans and gain new ones; immensely satisfying and highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Ron Terpening

Kirkus Reviews
A terrorist mysteriously allowed to leave Guantanamo visits biblical plagues on the friends and relations of a Secret Service agent for whom he carries a mammoth grudge. Recurring hero Scot Harvath (Takedown, 2007, etc.) broods at the hospital bedside of his girlfriend Tracy, a Naval Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician who took a bullet in the head from an unknown assassin. Harvath wonders what was the significance of the weird radioactive blood smeared on the lintel of his and Tracy's love nest by the sniper who shot her through the window. Moreover, who could hate somebody as patriotic as Tracy? Could the evil sniper in fact be after Harvath, who has managed to piss off armies of terrorists in the years since the Fourth of July attack on Manhattan? What's really troublesome is U.S. President Rutledge's peculiar directive forbidding Harvath to take any action against the nameless monster. Does he really think Harvath is going to take this lying down? When further hideous acts reminiscent of the divine bedevilment of Egypt 3,000 years ago start cropping up among Harvath kith and kin, well, not even the president could expect a fellow not to take action. Does the president take Harvath into his confidence to explain how his government was blackmailed into freeing five super-rotten terrorists from their top security cells in Guantanamo, or why Harvath's involvement would imperil a mighty nation? He does not. So Harvath has to continent-hop independently in search of the truth, dodging not only the Franco-Semitic fiend who shot poor Tracy, but the very best government agents, who have orders to stop his investigation even if they have to take the Most Extreme Action. It takes all ofHarvath's wits, the help of his powerful mercenary soldier buddies and an alliance with a treacherous dwarf to get to the bottom of things in, of all places, Wisconsin-and all the while poor Tracy's vital signs are slipping. Incessant action and artless narration for G. Gordon Liddy fans.
From the Publisher
"Brad Thor proves again to be a brutal master of suspense. The First Commandment is as riveting as it is relentless. A must-read for our times!" --James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Black Order and The Judas Strain

"Brad Thor knows how to excite the senses. The First Commandment is an adrenaline-charged, slick thriller, packed with suspense, that never relents. Another winner from a proven master." -- Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Alexandria Link

"Fast-paced and action-packed. Sure to please his many fans and gain new ones. Immensely satisfying and highly recommended." -- Library Journal

"Readers who like Tom Clancy and Stephen Coonts will love Brad Thor -- quite possibly the next coming of Robert Ludlum." -- Chicago Tribune

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Atria Books
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Scot Harvath Series , #6
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Chapter 1

Camp Delta

U.S. Naval Station

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

When it was hot and humid, life in Cuba hovered somewhere between absolute misery and "the bath is ready does anyone have some razor blades?" But when it was cold and raining, Cuba was downright unbearable. Tonight was one of those nights.

When the guards arrived at the isolation cells of Delta's "Camp 5," where the most dangerous and highest-intelligence-value detainees resided, they were in a worse mood than usual. And it wasn't because of the weather. Something was wrong. It was written all over their faces as they pulled five prisoners from their cells and ordered them at gunpoint to strip.

Philippe Roussard hadn't been at Guantanamo the longest, but he had definitely been interrogated the hardest. A European of Arab descent, he was a sniper of extraordinary ability whose exploits were legendary. Videos of his kills played on continuous loops on jihadist websites across the internet. To his Muslim brothers he was nothing short of a superhero in the radical Islamist pantheon. To the United States, he was a horrific killing machine responsible for the deaths of over one hundred U.S. soldiers.

As Roussard looked into the eyes of his jailers, though, he saw more than the usual pure hatred. Tonight it was coupled with absolute disgust. Whatever middle-of-the-night interrogation tactic the Joint Task Force Guantanamo soldiers had in store for Roussard and his four colleagues, something told him it wasn't going to be like anything they had experienced before. The guards appeared on the verge of losing control.

Had an attack been successfully executed against the United States? What else could have put the soldiers in such a state?

If so, Roussard felt certain that the Americans would make the prisoners pay. Undoubtedly, they had devised yet another humiliating exercise designed to insult their prisoners' Muslim sensibilities. Privately, Roussard hoped the torture involved the attractive blond soldier and that she would disrobe down to her lacy, black lingerie and rub herself against him. Though he knew it was wrong, his fantasies of what he wanted to do to that woman were what kept him nicely occupied during the long, lonely hours of isolation he endured.

He was still speculating about his fate when he heard the door at the far end of the cell block shut. Roussard looked up, hoping it was the blond, but it wasn't. Another soldier had entered carrying five paper shopping bags. As he passed, he threw each of the prisoners a bag.

"Get dressed!" he ordered in awkward Arabic.

Confused, all of the prisoners, including Philippe, removed the civilian clothing from their bags and began to get dressed. The men cast furtive glances at one another as they tried to figure out what was happening. Roussard was reminded of stories he'd heard about Jewish concentration camp prisoners who were told they were being taken for showers when they were actually on their way to the gas chambers.

He doubted the Americans were dressing them in new clothes only to execute them, but nevertheless the uncertainty of what they were about to face filled him with more than a little trepidation.

"Why don't they try to make a run for it?" one of the guards whispered to his comrade as he stroked the trigger guard of his M-16. "I just want one of these fuckers to rabbit on us."

"This is bullshit," replied the other. "What the hell are we doing?"

"You two, shut up!" barked their commander, who then called in a series of commands over his radio.

Something definitely wasn't right.

Once they were completely clothed, shackles were placed around their wrists and ankles and they were lined up against the far wall.

This is it, thought Roussard as he held the stare of the soldier who had been hoping for one of the prisoners to make a run for it.

The soldier's finger went from his weapon's trigger guard to its actual trigger and he seemed about to say something when a series of vehicles ground to a halt just outside.

"That's us," shouted the Task Force commander. "Let's mount up."

The prisoners were shoved toward the door. Roussard hoped that once they got outside and he could see where they were going, things would make more sense.

That plan was dashed as one by one, black hoods were placed over each man's head before he was taken outside to a waiting column of green Humvees.


Ten minutes later, the convoy came to a stop. Before Roussard's heavy hood was removed, he could make out the distinct, high-pitched whine of idling jet engines.

On the rain-soaked tarmac, the prisoners stared up at an enormous Boeing 727 as their shackles were removed. A metal staircase had been rolled up against the side of the aircraft and its door stood wide open.

No one said a word, but based on the demeanor of the soldiers -- who seemed to have been ordered to keep their distance from the plane -- Roussard came to a stunning conclusion. Without being directed to do so, he took a step forward. When none of the soldiers tried to stop him, he took another and another until his feet touched the first metal step and he began climbing upward two at a time. His salvation was at hand! Just as he had known it eventually would be.

With the sound of the other prisoners pounding up the gangway behind him, Roussard stepped cautiously into the cabin. He was met by the plane's first officer, who compared his likeness to a photo on his clipboard, removed a heavy black envelope, and said, "We were told to give you this."

Roussard had received envelopes like this before. Without even opening it, he knew who it was from.

"If you wouldn't mind taking a seat," continued the first officer. "The captain is eager to be underway."

Roussard found an empty place near the window and buckled himself in. As the main cabin door was closed, several members of the flight crew disappeared into the rear of the aircraft and returned lugging odd-looking pieces of medical equipment, along with an equal number of large, plastic coolers.

None of it made any sense to Roussard until he opened the envelope and read its contents. A slow smile then began to spread across his face. It was done. Not only was he free, but the Americans would not be able to come after him. He was going to have his revenge -- and much sooner than he would have thought.

Opening his window shade, Roussard could see the soldiers climbing back into their Humvees and driving away from their airstrip, several with their hands hanging out the windows and their middle fingers raised in mock salute.

As the aircraft's engines roared to life and the heavy beast began to roll forward, cheers of "Allahu Akbar," God is great, erupted from the front of the plane.

Allah was indeed great, but Roussard knew it wasn't He who had arranged for their release. As he stared at the black envelope, he knew their gratitude was owed to someone much less benevolent.

Turning his attention back to the window as the soldiers quickly disappeared from view, Roussard cocked thumb and forefinger, took aim, and pulled an imaginary trigger.

Now that he was free, he knew that it was only a matter of time before his handler turned him loose inside America to exact his revenge.

Copyright © 2007 by Brad Thor

Meet the Author

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Foreign Agent, Code of ConductAct 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 First Commandment: A Thriller 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
BookMouse More than 1 year ago
This was the second book, a sequel, I read by Brad Thor. I enjoyed this book immensely. It kept me on edge from the very beginning, all the way to the end. I was glad I happened to read Takedown prior to this as that was the beginning of the story. I highly recommend both books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'First Commandment' is a well-crafted political thriller rife with action and plot twists. Nano-chapters and -paragraphs help kick the story along in high gear. Not only must the hero Scot Harvath fight the bad guys, namely the terrorists, in this one, he must also duel with the president of the United States, who wants him out of the picture, dead or alive, for reasons of his own. In short, everyone's got it in for Harvath. He must use all his wits to hunt down the villain who is terrorizing his family, and at the same time survive while the president assembles a team of Navy SEALS to do away with him. Brad Thor has done his homework with a lot of research for his book and it sounds like he has good sources as well. A la Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, Harvath tortures and maims his way through the novel to a final bloody mano a mano with the terrorist on Lake Geneva.
annieCG More than 1 year ago
One will never be disappointed with a Brad Thor book. He keeps one on the edge of their seat and it is nearly impossible to put down a Brad Thor book. "The First Commandment" absolutely lives up to that indeed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brad Thor continues the thrilling adventures of Scot Harvath. I have read all the books and have not been disappointed. It is never ending, believeable action. Unlike some action novels these people get tired, sleep and eat and they have emotions. I cant wait to see what is next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my second Brad Thor novel and it was worlds better than the first. Ill read more Scott Harvath novels
harstan More than 1 year ago
President Jack Rutledge authorizes a deal with terrorists. Although the American government leaders always insist they will never negotiate with terrorists even for the release of hostages, he secretly releases five hardcore known terrorists locked away at Guantomino as part of a deal to protect at risk children. In fairness his advisors told them they can keep this quintet under control with monitoring of the isotope they put in the blood of these killers. --- The President¿s advisors missed another slammed dunk when they lose sight of the fearsome five. Just under six months later, an assassin shoots Homeland Security agent Scot Harvath¿s girlfriend Tracy Hastings (see TAKEDOWN), leaving her comatose and he furious as isotopic blood is found at the crime scene. Soon afterward, his mother is attacked by locusts and some friends of Harvath murdered. He knows someone is coming for him, through his loved ones. Harvath begins to make inquiries, but is told to stay out of it. Even before these incidents he knew the leadership saw him as an expendable renegade so he ignores the order to take no action against the person methodically destroying his loved ones. --- TAKEDOWN is an exciting action-packed frightening thriller THE FIRST COMMANDMENT is as exhilarating and action-packed, but even more frightening as the plausibility of the plot will not be questioned. Harvath is at his anguished best in this often violent tale as he is ordered to do nothing although his counter terrorist instincts are screaming to go on the offense. The return of several characters from previous books enhances the feel of the long term concept of the war against terrorism as Brad Thor raises the adrenalin with this terrific thriller. --- Harriet Klausner
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I have read all of Brad Thor's book and this one is probably my favorite. I couldn't put it down.
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Goes to bed.
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Mommmmy More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to get on the plane on Tuesday to start his book. I always enjoy anything he writes. I don't expect this to be anything less than the others have been.
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Brad Thor is one of my favorite authors and he certainly doesn't disappoint in The First Commandment. His books are difficult to put down.
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