Ray Palen's Reviews > Hard Target

Hard Target by Howard Gordon
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Jan 16, 2012

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Read from January 16 to 24, 2012 — I own a copy

Riding high on the success of his recent Golden Globes win for Best Television Drama with the show he penned, HOMELAND, Howard Gordon once again revisits the world of print fiction with the second novel in the Gideon Davis series --- HARD TARGET.

This time around, Gideon is facing a threat to our nation that exists at the very heart of it. Home-grown terrorists with a serious chip on their shoulder towards the U.S. and their government are planning an attack on the Capitol that will literally cripple the entire governmental system. Planned for the night of the President’s State of the Union Address, this band of fanatics have their sights set on taking out the government in one fell swoop.

The only thing standing between the terrorists and their target is Gideon Davis and his brother, Tillman. In GIDEON’S WAR, Gideon Davis and his brother Tillman were pitted against each other --- or so we thought. Now joined together and with the help of Gideon’s ex-girlfriend and FBI Agent, Nancy Clement, they represent a small band of patriots with a large task to handle.

Tillman does his part by going undercover and joining the ranks of the conspirators while Gideon and Nancy try to enlist support from the rest of the FBI and anyone who will listen to guard the nation’s Capitol. Nancy’s boss, Director Dahlgren, has serious reservations about trusting Tillman Davis and his meth-head informant within the white supremacist group planning the attack. Additionally, the FBI does not want to overreact against a bunch of hicks and create another Waco.

The Davis brothers realize they are mixed up with some really bad people who have an anti-government agenda that is quite alarming. When two of the leaders of the rebel group, Jim Verhoven and his sadistic wife, Lorene, take Tillman into their circle of trust they share with him their deadly intent to decapitate the entire top tier of the US government. Even though they know about the group’s plans, the Davis’ are in a race against time to stop them since no one takes the threat seriously and many of the players involved have their own hidden agendas.

HARD TARGET is far more dramatic and slower-paced than the high-turbo action of the previous novel, GIDEON’S WAR. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Howard Gordon uses his knowledge of the U.S. government’s inner workings coupled with the twists and turns that make his series HOMELAND such a treat and pushes them to the extreme. The most frightening reality within HARD TARGET is the fact that those who are capable of causing the most damage to our nation may be currently living safely within it. A solid, suspenseful read!

Reviewed by Ray Palen for New Mystery Reader

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