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Blowback (Scot Harvath Series #4)

Blowback (Scot Harvath Series #4)

4.1 185
by Brad Thor

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A weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has just become the number one threat to the United States.
From the national bestselling author of The Lions of Lucerne, Path of the Assassin, and State of the Union comes the most gripping international thriller yet featuring Navy SEAL turned covert counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath.


A weapon designed to decimate the Roman Empire has just become the number one threat to the United States.
From the national bestselling author of The Lions of Lucerne, Path of the Assassin, and State of the Union comes the most gripping international thriller yet featuring Navy SEAL turned covert counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath.
"Scot Harvath is the perfect all-American hero for the post-September 11th world."
-- Nelson DeMille
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. With his characteristic high-voltage action, sweeping international locales, and meticulous research, Brad Thor has created another supercharged novel that is sure to thrill.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brad Thor will kidnap even the most demanding readers...and convert them into instant devotees."

— Dan Brown, #1 bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code

"Brad Thor is as current as tomorrow's headlines."

— Dan Brown

Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Scot Harvath Series , #4
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File size:
4 MB

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Read an Excerpt


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

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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Blowback 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Vince Flynn and David Baldacci fan so moving over to Brad Thor seemed like a natural move. I am thoroughly impressed with the combining of imagination with realism. The details were spot on and the protagonist , Scot Harvath, is not a super hero, just a mere mortal with mortal thoughts and reactions. Being a retired Special Ops Operator and Senior Enlisted Leader has given me a critical eye in most thrillers containing protagonist military, or para-military backgrounds. Suffice to say, Mr Harvath truly captures the essence of a Spec Ops Warrior. Very nicely done Mr. Thor, I'll be reading the rest of your novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Follows along with what is going on in the world today. Hopefully we have the Scot Harvath type working for us.
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2nd Paperback I have received with missing or miss cut pages in the middle of the book. 20 pages of repeated chapter and this one was 16 pages cut off at the top. Please tell me how someone could not see a gap of 16 pages. I am currently reading this book and as always Brad Thor is excellent.
Laurel_Ayers More than 1 year ago
From the very first chapter, the book had my attention. I admit, I am a picky reader. It's hard to find an author I really enjoy. Brad Thor has officially made my list of favorite authors. Page after page. I never wanted to put it down- cover to cover, a perfect masterpiece!
Ed333 More than 1 year ago
Once again Scott Harvath has saved our nation and preserved our way of life. Brad Thor has suceeded in keeping the reader engrossed and anticipating the next turn in this exciting drama. If you love the thrill of the chase, the twists of politics and the fall of the bad guy you will like this latest installment.
sbd1988 More than 1 year ago
After Scot Harvath's career just went down the drain due to video of him beating up the wrong guy, the United States faces yet another attack; this time, an illness with mysterious symptoms that belong in Bram Stoker's Dracula. In Blowback, the fourth novel of Brad Thor's series about the infamous Scot Harvath, he and the rest of his team must find the source before the president must begin Campfire Protocol - a last resort that no one hopes it will come to. A continuation of the adrenaline pumping action in each page, I thought this was another great book for The Ultimate Reading Adventure. This book takes the reader from the U.S. to Afghanistan, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Like the rest of Thor's books, this one has everything the reader could want: humor, action / adventure, romance, suspense, and emotion. The message brought out in this novel through Harvath's realization that he cannot continue working forever the way he has in the past is that even when dedicated to a cause, one must have something outside of work to hold onto, no matter how good that cause is.
LenCW More than 1 year ago
Thor never disappoints. His knowledge of history in amazing.
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want a page turning thriller with a modest historical bend as well as modern day action then this book is a winner. This was my first Brad Thor novel and I must say it was a captivating read. I liked the mix of action and technology and history. The premise is that Hannibal¿s famous crossing of the Alps to invade Rome suffered a severe loss of its secrete weapon involving biological warfare. Wow, that is a nice set up for a modern thriller! Scott Harvath, the main character is seen on live Arab TV capturing a suspected terrorist. Talk about a real bad day for a government spook. The result is rioting by Muslims and increased worldwide tensions between Westerners and the Arab World. For instance Scott openly wonders what he will do if he is kicked out of the clandestine service he works for? How many folks have worried about losing their job and can relate to the anxiety this stress causes? Then there is the worry that he will be exposed to the millions of Muslims who are calling out death threats against him and pressuring America to give him up or else. This book seems as if it was inspired by today¿s headlines, but with a stressed out hero inserted for good measure. I will check out future Brad Thor novels as I come across them. His writing style is just what the bored air traveler ordered, not too much technology to bog down the tension and with just enough unique historical potential for this plot to be plausible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Brad Thor's books and this one is another among my all time favorites. The main character Scot Harvath is back again and although I am not going to give the story away, I finished it in one day, very thrilling. Harvath is after terrorists and there is an interesting plot of history going on as well reguarding Hannibals Army crossing over the mountain passes in France with a bio weapon. Another reason why I enjoy reading Brad Thor is that he never overplays the various locations around the world that Harvath travels to like many authors do. He gives you just enough to get the flavor of a location vs. trying to write in a travel manuscript to cover for actual story. It's the little things that are important to me as a reader and if I wanted a travel book, I would have bought one. Brad Thor's books are thrilling from start to finish...no B.S. and I can not wait for the next one.
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