Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath Series #9)

Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath Series #9)

by Brad Thor

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Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath is called to action once again in this pulse-pounding political thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor.

Navy SEAL turned covert operative Scot Harvath is called to action in Brad Thor’s red-hot thriller—a “must read for our times” (James Rollins). Buried within the black ops budgets of the Department of Defense, a newly created spy agency reports only to a secret panel of military insiders. Its job is to target America’s enemies—both foreign and domestic—under a charter of three simple words: Find, Fix, and Finish.

When a bombing in Rome kills a group of American college students, the evidence points to a dangerous colleague from Harvath’s past. Tasked with leveraging this relationship to lure the man out of hiding, Harvath must destroy him. But what if it is the wrong man?

In Chicago, a young woman is struck by a taxi in a hit-and-run, and the family’s attorney uncovers a shocking connection to the Rome bombing. Harvath must link together the disparate violence and race to prevent one of the most audacious and unthinkable acts of war in the history of mankind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416586609
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 05/24/2011
Series: Scot Harvath Series , #9
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 34,700
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen thrillers, including Spymaster, Use of Force, The Last Patriot (nominated best thriller of the year by the International Thriller Writers Association), Blowback (recognized as one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” by NPR), The Athena Project, and Foreign Influence (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of the year). Visit his website at and follow Brad on Facebook at and on Twitter @BradThor.

Read an Excerpt



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.


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.”


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

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Quite possibly the next coming of Robert Ludlum.”

Chicago Tribune, on The Last Patriot

"The Master of thrillers"


“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,

Customer Reviews

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Foreign Influence 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 476 reviews.
AndrewPeterson More than 1 year ago
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!
Fighterjock More than 1 year ago
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.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Brad Thor. Even though this is a work of fiction, you can easily see these events happening today. He has a good grasp of what's occurring in our ever-smaller world. On to book #10!
melamia More than 1 year ago
I have read almost all of his books and loved all of them. Thor never disappoints. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first Brad Thor and it was action, intrigue and violence from start to finish Absolutely loved it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1st Brad Thor that I ever read and now I cant stop reading his books.
rmd270 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definatly thrilling alwas kept me on my toes definetly recomend
Chiefe7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the domestic angle and wow what a twist for an ending. Can't wait to start the next installment.
bitsy08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! I really enjoyed this one and I'm extremely happy to have discovered another new writer (for me, at least). Some of the things he describes in the book about what kinds of benefits foreigners receive from our country is a little frightening. The sad thing is that I believe him. I recommend this book highly.
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thankfully, this was a decent story that didn't involve anywhere near as much political preaching as Thor (and Vince Flynn) have become prone to. That said, parts of the book can almost be described as 'torture porn' as Thor looks for new and inventive ways for his hero to torture the bad guys. I like the character of the Troll and hope to see more of him. I'm not sad to see a slow departure from the series for a certain female character, and I understand Harvath's reasons, but the writing on the subject (I'm trying to avoid spoilers) has not been Thor's strongest work.
daisygrl09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fast paced thriller is most believable and looking at the newspaper headlines, the story presents a frightening scenario.Counter terrorism operative Scot Horvath is working for a new secret agency that is buried deep within the Department of Defense and isn't burdened with having to answer to self-serving politicians.Scot is asked to go after a man who had helped him in the past. The man is known as The Troll and is accused of being the mastermind behind the bombing of a bus filled with American college students in Rome.Elsewhere, a cap runs down Alison Taylor, who had been partying with her friends in Chicago. When Alison's family doesn't get any results from the police investigation, they hire, John Vaughan, a former Marine, to see what he can find.While this is going on, Scot believes that someone was trying to pin the bombing on The Troll. Scot wants to find out who really was behind the bombing and punish them. With The Troll's help, they prove that someone else was the mastermind and that there is a terrorist organization planning two more strikes in Europe and then moving to the United States with a massive strike.Meanwhile, in Chicago, Vaughan is working with Paul Davidson from the Public Vehicles difision. They get a lead on the cab driver who ran down Alison but when they get to his home, he has left. However, they do find bomb making material and learn that the cab driver was part of an undercover terrorist scheme.The two cases come together with excellent action and suspense. Scot Horvath is an enjoyable protagonist. He stops at nothing to get his man and is brave, while ultra patriotic. He also uses whatever means necessary to get information so he can stop the terrorists.
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