Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath Series #9)

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Overview

Navy SEAL turned covert operative Scot Harvath is called to action once again in Brad Thor's hottest political thriller yet.

Buried within the black ops budget of the Department of Defense, a new spy agency has been created. Unfettered by the oversight of self-serving politicians, it reports only to a secret panel of insiders. Its job is to target America's enemies—both foreign and domestic—under a charter of three simple words: Find, Fix, and ...

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Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath Series #9)

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Overview

Navy SEAL turned covert operative Scot Harvath is called to action once again in Brad Thor's hottest political thriller yet.

Buried within the black ops budget of the Department of Defense, a new spy agency has been created. Unfettered by the oversight of self-serving politicians, it reports only to a secret panel of insiders. Its job is to target America's enemies—both foreign and domestic—under a charter of three simple words: Find, Fix, and Finish.

Recruited as a field operative, Scot Harvath has just returned from his first assignment abroad when a bombing in Rome kills a group of American college students. The evidence points to a dangerous colleague from Harvath's past, and Harvath is tasked with leveraging his relationship to lure the man out of hiding and destroy him. But what if he has the wrong man?

Simultaneously, a young woman is struck by a taxi in a hit-and-run in Chicago, and city police soon abandon their fruitless investigation. But when the family's attorney digs deeper, he uncovers a shocking connection to the Rome bombing and the perpetrators' plans for America. Tying together the disparate violence, Scot Harvath races to prevent one of the most audacious and unthinkable acts of terror in the history of mankind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Thor's formulaic ninth Scot Harvath thriller (after The Apostle), the ex-navy SEAL has lost his job with the disbanding under a new presidential administration of the Apex Project, a Department of Homeland Security secret antiterrorist program that didn't worry about obeying any rules. Fortunately, Harvath lands on his feet with the Carlton Group, funded covertly by the Department of Defense, with an identical mission. After a bus full of Americans is blown up in Rome, Harvath travels to Europe to track down a man known as the Troll, who's been implicated in the bombing. Meanwhile, John Vaughn, a Chicago cop who somehow moonlights as an attorney for private clients, seeks to identify the Middle Eastern-looking man who ran down a woman with his cab. Predictably, Vaughn uncovers a plot against civilian targets in Chicago. Bumbling CIA agents make members of the secret Carlton Group look even more heroic. Fans of TV's 24 may enjoy the over-the-top setups, but even they might wish for a little more sophistication. (July)
From the Publisher
“Quite possibly the next coming of Robert Ludlum.”

Chicago Tribune, on The Last Patriot

"The Master of thrillers"

—Bookreporter.com

“One of the best thriller writers in the business."

The Ottawa Citizen

“Frightening, illuminating and always entertaining, Thor gives us yet another work of pulse-quickening clarity. If you’re not hyperventilating once you’ve reached the last page, then you weren’t paying attention.” –Joe Hartlaub, bookreporter.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444712360
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2011
  • Series: Scot Harvath Series , #9

Meet the Author

Brad Thor

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Order, Black List, Full Black (one of Suspense Magazine's best political thrillers of 2011), The Athena Project, Foreign Influence (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of 2010), The Apostle, The Last Patriot (nominated best thriller of the year by the International Thriller Writers Association), The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback (recognized as one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” by NPR), State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne. Visit his website at BradThor.com.

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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

INNER MONGOLIA

The strategic military outpost was such a closely guarded secret it didn’t even have a name, only a number—site 243.

It sat in a rugged, windswept valley far away from cities and centers of industry. Its architecture was minimalist; a cross between a high-end refugee camp and a low-rent university. Tents, trailers, and a handful of cheap concrete buildings made up its “campus.” The only outward signs of modernity were the Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Subway mobile restaurant trailers which made up the outpost’s “food court.”

It was just after three a.m. when the attack began. Lightweight Predator SRAW missile systems took out the fortified entry control point along with the watchtowers. Mortar rounds blanketed the campus, obliterating key infrastructure and force protection targets. When the heavily armed assault teams breached the perimeter, the outpost was in complete chaos.

The well-trained soldiers tasked with 243’s security were no match for the men who now overran their positions.

Dressed in black, with specialized night vision goggles and suppressed weapons, the professional combatants appeared only long enough to engage each soldier with an economy of surgically placed rounds before slipping back into the darkness, often before their victims’ lifeless bodies had even hit the ground.

At the main concrete structure, a detachment from the assault team used a shaped charge to blow open the fortified door. As they rushed in, they heard the high-pitched whine followed by the thump of a limited EMP device being detonated. It was part of 243’s emergency protocol meant to destroy the facility’s data. The men in black, though, didn’t care. Their superiors already had a copy.

With night vision goggles impervious to electromagnetic pulse, the men swept through the rest of the building, making sure they killed every occupant. From there, they moved on and cleared two more buildings while their teammates took care of the remaining tents, trailers, and concrete structures.

Fifteen minutes later, three helicopters landed and the team was extracted. As they lifted off and disappeared back into the ink-black sky, not a single member of military outpost 243 had been left alive.

LONDON

A man in a blue linen blazer pushed away the hand of his subordinate. “I know how it works,” he said, placing the tiny bud into his ear and activating the video on the smart phone.

His liver-spotted hands cradled the chrome device in his lap as he watched the scenes from Mongolia. It had been the most expensive and dangerous undertaking of his life. Though his club was actually a haven for members of the espionage community, he also sensed the presence of some of history’s greatest sociopolitical figures around him at this moment. Had he looked up to see the smiling ghosts of Lenin, Stalin, Marx, or Mao, he wouldn’t have been surprised. Great men who change the world shared a bond that transcended time, and he was on the verge of becoming just that, a great man who would change the world.

Though they were alone in the club’s library, he kept his voice low. “We’re confident that all of their data was destroyed?”

The subordinate nodded. “We have the only copy that remains.”

“And the personnel?”

“Everyone associated with the program has been terminated. The Chinese have gone berserk trying to figure out what happened. They have no idea who hit them.”

“Excellent,” said the man in the linen blazer. “Let’s keep it that way. Now, what about our network?”

“The network is fully intact and ready to go operational.”

This was an incredible moment, the man thought as he plucked the bud from his ear.

He removed the SIM card from the phone and handed the device back to the subordinate. “I want you to initiate stage one as soon as possible.”

“So I have your permission to activate the network then?”

“You do. And whatever happens, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.”

CHICAGO

Alison Taylor hadn’t planned on going out drinking after work, but it was a gorgeous summer night, the sales presentation was pretty much complete, and everybody else in her department was going.

It was supposed to be only one drink at RL, but as things often go, one drink led to another and then another. The party worked its way south hitting Pops, Shaw’s, the Roof bar atop the Wit Hotel, and finally some seedy dive bar just west of the Loop. Before any of them knew it, it was four a.m. and their presentation was in less than five hours.

To counteract the heavy volume of alcohol they had consumed, someone had suggested the nearby 24/7 pharmacy for charcoal tablets and caffeinated beverages, but the idea was put on the back burner when they noticed that the tiny burger joint across the street was still serving. “There’s nothing like grease to absorb the alcohol molecules in your system,” one of them said.

After cheeseburgers and fries, they conducted an unsuccessful search of the pharmacy for charcoal pills, loaded up on energy drinks, and then headed for the subway.

Since two of the women lived in the suburbs, Alison invited them to stay at her apartment where they could borrow clothes and head into work with her in a few hours. The fact that one of the women was five inches shorter and the other seventy-five pounds heavier was lost on all of them in their drunken state.

They spent the subway ride cursing the bright lights of the train compartment, downing Red Bull, and wondering how much sleep they could grab at Alison’s before having to leave for the office.

At Division Street, they stumbled up the steps from the Blue Line platform and out onto the sidewalk where they began to head east. It was in the crosswalk at Milwaukee Avenue that the unthinkable happened.

A taxicab came flying around the corner and slammed into Alison. Her friends watched in horror as she was tossed into the air and then landed, headfirst, fifteen feet away.

All of it had happened so suddenly. Everyone was in shock. As the taxicab sped away into the night, neither of Alison’s friends had even gotten its number. The only thing they would be able to remember was the color of the vehicle, and that its driver appeared to be Middle Eastern.

© 2010 Brad Thor

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 463 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(204)

4 Star

(126)

3 Star

(72)

2 Star

(31)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 465 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Brad Thor is Awesome!

    FOREIGN INFLUENCE is a fast paced, thrill ride into the world of covert ops. Former Navy SEAL Scot Harvath is back, and in fine form. After a bus loaded with American college students is bombed in Rome, Harvath shifts into high gear. It's a horrific crime that can't go unanswered and Harvath is the man for the job. Clear across the world in Chicago, a second, less spectacular crime is committed--a seemingly random hit and run. The fuse is now ignited and the clock ticking. Harvath is no stranger to violent terrorism or the fanatical minds behind it, but Harvath can't know the depth of the evil in play.

    In a brutal pursuit that will test his knowledge of justice and mercy, Harvath must also confront his own inner demons, and they're as dangerous as the people he's pursuing. FOREIGN INFLUENCE rocks the house with Thor's best effort yet! We would expect nothing less from the New York Times #1 bestselling author of THE LAST PATRIOT.

    Cheers for Brad Thor!

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2010

    Another Thriller

    Thor takes it to the bad guys once again. It is a shame our current administration in Washington can't see into the future, for they are creating the scenarios depicted here.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Excellent Read...for our panty-waisted political leaders!!

    Brad Thor's novels (do you think that's his real name?) are great works of fiction..and this one is much better than his last. While Harvath's exploits are sometimes unbelieveable, the novel's scenarios are not. In fact, the premise is downright scary. I love the line about Islam being a peaceful religion, unless you tell one of the believers it isn't...then they will kill you. I'm on my way to the store to buy a burqa so I can go through airport security unchallenged.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2010

    Don't have to read the previous

    This is the ninth book in the Scot Horvath series. The world is rocked by multiple terrorist attacks in Europe and there are more on the way including a possible attack on American soil. This is a very insightful look into covert ops and the restrictions that have been placed on our agencies that are hunting terrorist cells.

    The action is non-stop as Horvath must not only figure out how to stop the imminent attacks, but deal with his own demons. The use of torture to extract information is vividly described and is the main tool in Horvath's arsenal. He will stop at nothing to prevent the attacks and his journey takes him all over the globe. You will not be disappointed in the frantic action and twists that permeate through this story.

    Even though this is the ninth book in the series, you do not need to have read the previous books to know what is going on, but you will need to read "Foreign Influence" before the next novel in this series. We are cruelly left with a cliffhanger that only makes us thirsty to find out what happens next!

    Reviewed by: Suspense Magazine
    www.suspensemagazine.com

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2010

    Another winner for Brad Thor

    Foreign Influence continues with a plot that could be (but hopefully not!) ripped from current news headlines. The story, at times, moves at breakneck speed and the majority of the action is realistic, although sometimes pushes the edges of credibility. Of course, we all should hope that there exists people and organizations with similar goals and ambitions .... i.e. to protect civilized way of life for everyone; as we all are aware that there are groups that want to take that away from all of us. Even if you have not read any of his other books and enjoy an action packed story, then Brad Thor should definitely be on your 'to read' list.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    Great book- riveting storyline- exciting plot- can't put it down! Recommend this book highly! We included this book in our summer reading list of books as we recently visited the book store, a summer tradition, to gather up all of our pics for our summer reading list. This includes books for myself, my husband, kids and nieces and nephews. We also buy some books as birthday presents for others so they can join in on our discussions, like the aunts and uncles and grandparents. We have a mini book club where we discuss our books as we all read along. We all read several books so as the reading goes along there are a lot of books to review. The kids have found a wonderful book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures. They all love thrilling action-adventure books and this one is full of mystery and intrigue! From a parental point of view, Smitty's Cave Adventures also has a good moral overtone. Even the girls wanted to read this book and they all concluded that this is their favorite book so far!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Recommended

    Formulaic, yes, but still a lot of fun. I am one of those people that LOVES Armand Schultz for this kind of story (BT and Vince Flynn) And I think this is my favorite BT book besides Lions of Lucerne, which I consider to be basically Thor's anthem. I recommend this book, especially the audiobook with Schultz at the helm. He captures Harvath like no one else can.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    More Brilliance from Brad Thor!

    Great stuff from Brad Thor! This book had more action than a number of the other books and gives the reader a deeper connection into mind of Scot Harvath. One of the things that I love most about Brad Thor books is his detail into the equipment and techniques used by special forces around the world. The attention to detail really brings the action to life provides a ton of insight into special forces and espionage around the world.

    Very enjoyable read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    Another Great Book by a Great Author

    This is definitely a must read for anyone who loves thrillers. This is definitely a great sequel and has a lot more action than the last couple of books. The book's details and the author's knowledge makes this book a great read. If you like Vince Flynn, Alex Bernstein, etc. this is a must read as are all of Thor's previous thillers! A definite buy!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Thor never disappoints

    I have read almost all of his books and loved all of them. Thor never disappoints. Recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    Awesome Read

    My first Brad Thor and it was action, intrigue and violence from start to finish Absolutely loved it !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Awesome

    1st Brad Thor that I ever read and now I cant stop reading his books.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another great Scot Harvath Story

    In this Scot Harvath story everything was kicked up a notch and the multiple story lines really came together to weave a compelling and exciting story. The Athena team was introduced and added great dimension to this story and the cliff hanging ending leaves me looking forward to the next chapter of this long running and still strong series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Hightly Recommend

    I have enjoyed many of these types of series starting with Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp and Brad Thor's Scot Harvath. I especially enjoy reading them in order.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Foreign influence

    This is the first time to read a Brad Thor book & it was great! I loved it & couldnt put it down & am about to order another one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    Love it

    Definatly thrilling alwas kept me on my toes definetly recomend

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    Egar ak Eager

    Diary of a whimpy kidfjfdue

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    Exciting Terror Plot

    Exciting novel with many twists and turns.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Thor Hits the mark with Foreign Influence

    After a slow read in the Apostle, this book brings back the great writing style that Brad Thor is known for. Working for a civilian security firn, with the task of killing all enemies of the United States, Scot Harvath does what he does best tortures people to get information and kills the bad guys. Non-stop action from the first page.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2010

    GOOD, GOOD STUFF!!!!

    He is so good. Everything he writes is totally, totally awesome. Read them all and you will not be sorry.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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