The Widow's Strike (Pike Logan Series #4)

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Overview

In the fourth thriller in Brad Taylor’s New York Times bestselling Pike Logan series, the Taskforce must stop a suicide bomber intent on triggering a global epidemic.

Invented by nature but genetically manipulated by man, a mutation of a deadly virus has fallen into the wrong hands. Angered by sanctions placed against its nuclear program, a rogue state is determined to release it. Their chosen method: one of ...

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The Widow's Strike (Pike Logan Series #4)

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Overview

In the fourth thriller in Brad Taylor’s New York Times bestselling Pike Logan series, the Taskforce must stop a suicide bomber intent on triggering a global epidemic.

Invented by nature but genetically manipulated by man, a mutation of a deadly virus has fallen into the wrong hands. Angered by sanctions placed against its nuclear program, a rogue state is determined to release it. Their chosen method: one of the Black Widows—female suicide terrorists of Chechen descent with a deadly reputation for slaughter that rivals any other group.
 
The only thing standing in the Black Widow’s way is the Taskforce, an extra-legal counterterrorism unit. Racing against time to prevent a global pandemic, Taskforce operator Pike Logan and his partner Jennifer Cahill follow the trail across Southeast Asia to the United States, only to learn that the enemy they face may not be the enemy they should fear.
 
The Widow’s Strike ties together government-sanctioned terrorist activities, nefarious multinational conglomerates, and frighteningly plausible science. Infused with authenticity from Brad Taylor’s decades of service as a Delta Force commander, it’s an explosive ride alongside America’s counterterrorism operators that will leave readers breathless.

 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Using female suicide terrorists who the media nicknamed "Black Widows" is frightening enough; in this new Pike Logan adventure, an Iranian intelligence officer plots to escalate their work from mass murder to worldwide health catastrophe. On the surface, his plan is simple: He seeks to infect Chechen "Black Widows" with a genetically altered virus of deadly potency. Taskforce operative Pike Logan and his partner Jennifer Cahill must stop this insatiable killer dead in his tracks. (P.S. Author Brad Taylor is no neophyte: He had decades of experiences as a U.S. Delta Force commander.)

Publishers Weekly
Terrorists seek to cause mass devastation using a virus as a bio-weapon in bestseller Taylor’s entertaining fourth Pike Logan thriller (after Enemy of Mine). The job of thwarting the terrorists falls to Grolier Recovery Services, a company Logan has set up to be independent of Taskforce, a technically “illegal” counterterrorist unit of the U.S. government. Logan’s group traces an Iranian general, Malik Musavi, who’s trying to acquire the virus, to Thailand, where one of their own, an agent known as Knuckles, has been imprisoned after an operation to tap into a police database. Musavi hopes to use a Chechen’s fury at the West to persuade her to infect herself with the disease and then pass the plague on to others. While genre fans will find much that’s familiar (Logan continues to struggle with his feelings toward attractive series regular Jennifer Cahill), clever plotting and solid prose set this above many similar military action novels. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
Taylor's latest Pike Logan thriller. A lab technician dies a quick and ugly death after exposure to an experimental virus. Nefarious Iranian forces get their hands on both the limited supply and its preventive vaccine, with the goal of reshaping humankind. Their plan is to inoculate Iranians and kill off the rest of humanity. To this end, they recruit a Chechen woman--a "Black Widow"--who is willing to martyr herself by taking the virus to the infidels. Along the way, Pike is surrounded by obstacles ranging from a fearsome antagonist to obstructive colleagues. Alongside him is tough-as-steel Jennifer Cahill. Their friendship is more than platonic and less than sexual. After surviving rough setbacks, Pike faces the ultimate challenge on his way to saving the civilized world. The themes of Islam and terrorism are timely, and Taylor does not burden the reader with technical descriptions of military hardware. The pace is quick, with plenty of point-of-view switches to show what the bad guys are up to. Don your hazmat suit, prop up your feet, and enjoy a good yarn.
Library Journal
The premise of Taylor's latest thriller (All Necessary Force; Enemy of Mine; One Rough Man) is simple: Iranian bad guys want to release the virus that caused the influenza pandemic of 1918. The carrier will be a Chechen widow who hates the United States. If Logan and his cohorts from the Taskforce (an off-the-books group created to solve problems without having to get authorization from Congress or the courts) don't stop her, the death toll could run into the millions. VERDICT Taylor writes a tight, exciting script. Fans of the previous Pike Logan books will be delighted, while newcomers will be pleased to make Pike Logan's violent acquaintance. Although this title draws heavily on its predecessors, reading them is not essential to newbies. And while the idea of a unit like the Taskforce is not original (see Tom Clancy's Campus among others), there is plenty of solid military and scientific tech and a ton of action here. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/13.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525953111
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Series: Pike Logan Series , #4
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 176,283
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Taylor

BRAD TAYLOR is the New York Times bestselling author of three previous Pike Logan novels. He served for more than twenty years in the U.S. Army, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment–Delta, commonly known as Delta Force. He retired as a Special Forces lieutenant colonel and now lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

1

The technician thought the sign on the door said it all. warning: biohazard level iv—h5n1 research ongoing. It looked official enough, the universal biohazard symbol followed by a host of precautions proclaiming its authority, but it was listing a bit to the side, the tape holding it in place losing adhesive in the humid air. An indicator of the less-than-perfect nature of the work beyond the door.

Takes more than a sign to make a level-four facility. The technician thought again about telling someone what they were doing. Perhaps preventing a tragedy. He knew he wouldn’t, though, because the money was too good, and there just wasn’t anywhere else to do the research.

Singapore had only one level-four biosafety facility in the entire country, and it was owned by the government at the Defence Science Organisation laboratory. No way was his employer going to let them in on the action. Too much profit at stake. Not to mention the red tape involved.

He clocked in on the computer and pushed through into the anteroom, seeing the old biosafety level iii warning mounted in a frame on the wall—what this facility had been rated before they used some tape and a new sign. He waited for the outer door to snick closed, then entered the lab, still empty at this hour, and continued on, through another double-doored anteroom and into the animal housing facility.

He moved straight to two isolator boxes, ignoring the large cage at the back of the room teeming with European ferrets. Before he even reached the first box, he could see through the containment glass that the vaccine had failed. The ferret lay on his side, a small bit of blood seeping out of his eyes and nose. Golf Sixteen had lasted as long as Golfs One through Fifteen, which is to say about four days. Three healthy, and one day of agony before his body quit.

He turned his attention to the other containment box and was surprised to see the ferret sniffing the glass, patiently waiting to play.

The door opened behind him, and he heard, “Another female lived, huh? That’s going to be a blow to the weaker-sex theory.”

He smiled at his partner, knowing she secretly liked the fact that all the males croaked no matter what the scientists did. “Good morning to you too, Chandra. And it remains to be seen whether the vaccine took or if she’s just an asymptomatic carrier like the others. We’ll get the sample from Golf Sixteen in a second. Help me with Sandy Eight here.”

The Sandy side of the house had fared better than the Golfs. Seven of the initial eight had lived after being given the vaccine, but in so doing had forfeited their lives anyway. The vaccine had prevented the virus from gobbling them up whole but had not created the antibodies necessary to destroy it. The end result was a biological truce, with the virus living inside the host without attacking, patiently waiting to be unleashed on another victim. Which meant the first seven Sandys had gone into the incinerator just like the first fifteen Golfs.

He struggled into another set of surgical gloves, his third, while his partner put on a flow-hood respirator. Once he had his own hood in place, she unsealed the top hinge of the containment box. She reached in and pinned the ferret behind the skull, using her other hand to trap the animal lower on the spine.

Before it could get antsy, he used a syringe to extract a small amount of blood. As the needle bit, the ferret writhed violently, twisting out of Chandra’s grip. They both ripped their hands out of the box, and he lost the syringe as Chandra slammed the lid down to prevent Sandy Eight from escaping.

Taking in great gulps of air from the flow hood, the technician felt the sweat rolling down his face, the forced air making his skin clammy. He leaned against the box and said, “Man, I like it better when they’re dead. We need more sophisticated containment boxes. Biosafety cabinets designed for this instead of the makeshift stuff we have. Real equipment intended for the work.”

Chandra’s face was chalk white.

“What’s wrong with you?”

She began backing toward the door.

His first thought was that she’d been bitten, and he knew the consequences of that. He held his hands up to calm her. To keep her from running outside the containment zone. And noticed the needle of the syringe hanging from the back of his left hand, a faint ribbon of blood visible.

Three days later the first symptom appeared. A simple headache. When he looked in the mirror, his eyes were bloodshot. The whites crisscrossed with a latticework of red. He felt his stomach clench in fear, wanting to believe it was coincidence. But he knew he was dead.

Inside his quarantine room they began administering massive amounts of Tamiflu in an effort to stop the progress. Like the nurses feverishly cramming him full of intravenous injections, he understood it was futile. The virus had been genetically engineered to be resistant to Tamiflu, and true to its nature it continued to ravage his body from the inside out, exploding his cells in a furious haste to replicate.

By day four he was on a respirator, with all manner of drugs funneling into him to slow the assault. He turned cyanotic from the lack of oxygen, his skin almost translucent, his lips looking like his meals consisted of grape popsicles.

He made it to day five before he began to weep blood from his eyes and nose, his body drowning in the excretions created by the battle raging within.

Doctors from the laboratory hovered around him in pressurized biohazard suits, but they could do little to help him. It had been almost one hundred years since the great influenza pandemic of 1918, when the very existence of viruses was still unknown, yet the doctors from the lab were just as powerless as their predecessors. They might as well have put leeches on his body for all the good the leaps of modern medical knowledge did them.

On day six, at 0436 local time, his heart stopped beating. The cadaver sat inside the quarantine room for an additional eighteen hours while his employer decided what to do with it, the virus boiling away inside, desperate to find another host.

At 2230 three men entered his room dressed like they were about to walk on the surface of the moon. One carried a roll of thick plastic sheeting. Two sported cordless bone saws.

At 0100 local time his body was fed into the incinerator in ferret-sized chunks.

At 0800, Golf Seventeen and Sandy Nine were inoculated.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Excellent book

    Really enjoyed this new book, just as I had expected to based on how much I have enjoyed his previous works.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    Great Read

    Again Mr. Taylor keeps the reader interested with the action and story line. Pike is on a level playing field with Mitch Rapp from the Vince Flynn series. In seeing what is going on in the world today very plausible scenario. Keep them coming

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Great

    Hands down a great book in a wonderful series. Just his attention to detail should make you stand up and take notice. Thank you Mr. Taylor and I am sorry for yours and this nations loss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    The action was non-stop! This is the best story in the Pike Loga

    The action was non-stop! This is the best story in the Pike Logan series to date. Brad takes you inside the minds of the players on both sides of the story with uncanny accuracy and details drawn from events happening today. He doesn't make Pike out to be some type of superman who can do no wrong. Mistakes are made and consequences result, sometimes leading to collateral damage. I couldn't put this book down! I truly enjoyed the interaction between Pike and Jennifer, and hope the next novel arrives sooner than later. Thanks much Brad, have a good one Dude!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Great book!

    Great book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    What is a man when his wif dies?

    ?????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Starry Nights, Chapter five. 'The Fire Inside'

    "You're in Fireclan." The med-cat said. <br> "F-Fireclan?..." Lily looked around. Her eyes went wide for a moment, gulping. <br> Before their mother, Flareheart, had the litter of Wolfkit, Lilykit, and the others, Flareheart had a litter of three. When the all turned apprentices, a cat from Fireclan named Windcloud, was deeply in love with one of the cats of her mother's litter, and her name was Lightstrike. <br> One day, Windcloud spotted Windcloud in the forest. Approaching her slowly, he asked her if she wanted to be his mate. They were of different clans. Before Lightstrike could answer, Windcloud cat-napped her and took her to Fireclan. No one's seen her since, at least, Lilykit's clan didn't notice. <br> Lilykit lightly growled, slowly getting up with a groan. <br> "My dear kit, you shouldn't get up right now. You need rest." The med-cat said, turning away from her herbs to face the angered kit. <br> "I'm not tired." Lilykit mumbled, getting up and walking out of the med-cat den. Wolfkit and Blazekit were waiting outside of the den, raising their heads from their mossball. <br> "You okay?" Blazekit asked. <br> "I'm fine." Lily lied, looking around for her sister. She wanted her back. And she was going to get Lightstrike back, no matter what. It didn't matter if she never saw her before, but she did see her face. <br> And she saw Windcloud. <br> She searched around franticly, until she saw a calico cat, with black and orange fur. She stared at her. <br> It was Lightstrike. <p> NEXT PART SOON!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Highly recommended

    this is one great book series, getting it first hand from an ex-military man....


    excellant series!!!!

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    Very much recommended

    This is a wonderful thriller in the Pike Logan series. I was very pleased with the story and Pike's remarkable ability to get things done. The conclusion was remarkable and a quite surprising.

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

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Spin the bottle(kiss)

    '

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    highly recommended

    Great book. My favorite out of the series so far!!!!

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

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Best Taylor book yet!

    I have been a Pike /Jennifer fan since the beginning. Each book reads better than the last ... Brad Taylor grows with each novel and is better than ever! Make sure you order the next Pike/Jennifer book !

    Skeeter B

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Good Series

    Plenty of action.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    In typical Taylor style, the details are extremely accurate. It was amazing when the "White Widow" search emerged on CNN this week, how much that story fit in with this novel.
    This is a definite read!!

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Brad Taylor¿s hard-pounding novel, THE WIDOW¿S STRIKE, throughou

    Brad Taylor’s hard-pounding novel, THE WIDOW’S STRIKE, throughout its first three-quarters is pretty darn good.  But it is its concluding 100 or so pages that lift it far above its contemporary competition.  The conclusion is so well crafted, filled with so much conflict, tension and forward momentum, that I actually took an afternoon off from my own writing to finish reading it.  

    The final pages bring to mind comparisons with Frederick Forsyth’s THE DAY OF THE JACKAL and Nelson DeMille’s THE CHARM SCHOOL.

    The story, in nutshell, focuses on Taylor’s fictional but very believable Taskforce racing to stop a female Chechnyan suicide bomber, a “Black Widow,” before she can blow herself to Kingdom Come and in the process unleash a global pandemic.  Her primary weapon isn’t explosives, but a bioengineered, highly lethal version of the H5N1 avian flu.

    It’s the stuff of high drama and Taylor handles it with exceptional skill.  He also handles his characters with a deft touch.  The two protagonists, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill, and even the Black Widow, are not one-dimensional cartoon icons bearing “licenses to kill,” Pike and Jennifer for the greater good, the Black Widow for the greater evil.  Each is riddled with moral ambiguity about what they do.

    Brad Taylor’s THE WIDOW’S STRIKE is a solid five-star thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    If you like military/political thrillers, I highly recommend this book.

    I bought Brad Taylor's first book on the Daily Deal and really enjoyed it. I have since purchased and read all four of his Pike novels. I have always enjoyed Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Brad Taylor's books are along the same line, with a few different twists. I really like his character Pike and his muse Jennifer. I will definitely look for and read future Pike installments.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Brad Taylor and his Pike Logan series is just another author and series that is one I try not to miss--another one who has never disappointed a reader with his plots and characters. Even if the author's name might escape you, the character's name won't be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Great book!

    Never disappoints! Grabs you from beginning to end just like his others. A must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

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