The Widow's Strike (Pike Logan Series #4) by Brad Taylor, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Widow's Strike (Pike Logan Series #4)

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

4.5 40
by Brad Taylor

View All Available Formats & Editions

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


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.


Editorial Reviews

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)
From the Publisher

"Clever plotting and solid prose set this above many similar military action novels.” - Publishers Weekly

"The fourth novel in the Pike Logan series starts with an intense mission, and the relentless pace does not let up until the end...Get this one into the hands of Vince Flynn fans." - Booklist

"Taylor writes a tight, exciting script...plenty of solid military and scientific tech and a ton of action here." - Library Journal 

"Taylor's The Widow's Strike is the perfect book for summer reading. It's fast-paced, authentic, and thrilling." -

Praise for Enemy of Mine

“[T]hose who prize authentic military action will be rewarded.”
Publishers Weekly

“Satisfies from start to finish.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Readers of novels set in the world of Special Forces have many choices, but Taylor is one of the best. His obvious insider knowledge, combined with a well-constructed narrative, make all his work—and this novel, in particular—a delight for fans of the subgenre.”

Praise for All Necessary Force:

"Fresh plot, great action, and Taylor clearly knows what he is writing about...When it comes to tactics and hardware he is spot-on."
-Vince Flynn on All Necessary Force
“The high violence level and authentic military action put Taylor, a retired Delta Force officer, solidly in the ranks of such authors as Brad Thor and Vince Flynn.” — Publishers Weekly on All Necessary Force
 “Well written, edgy, and a damn good yarn.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Brad Taylor has been at the absolute tip of the American military spear and has lived to write about it. All Necessary Force is one of the best international thrillers I have read.” —BlackFive magazine

“Fill your lungs before you start All Necessary Force because it will leave you breathless.” —Suspense Magazine

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
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.

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Pike Logan Series, #4
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt


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.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“[Taylor is] solidly in the ranks of such authors as Brad Thor and Vince Flynn.” —Publishers Weekly

“Taylor clearly knows what he is writing about.”—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Vince Flynn

“[An] exciting thriller that the covert-ops crowd will relish.”—Booklist

“Don your hazmat suit, prop up your feet, and enjoy a good yarn.”—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >