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Blowback (Scot Harvath, #4)
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Blowback (Scot Harvath #4)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  13,337 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
When a mysterious new weapon tips the balance against American and Allied forces throughout the Middle East, the only person the president can call for help is the man the administration has just fired - Navy SEAL turned covert Homeland Security operative, Scot Harvath. Caught live on Al Jazeera in an off-the-books operation, Harvath is forced to go to ground, as a senator ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published June 28th 2005)
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Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
So I like to read thrillers whenever I take a trip by plane. I'm routinely disappointed, but I still keep it up. Brad Thor's Blowback is not the worst, but it's definitely not much above mediocre either.

Here's an example of the main problem I have with the book. [MINOR SPOILER ALERT]

In one chapter, a king explains why he hasn't banished his rebellious son by explaining that if you had a child, you wouldn't be able to bear sending him away from the land of his birth, no matter how dangerous he wa
Mar 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Archaeologists make a stunning discovery in a pass high in the French – Italian Alps, but do not live to tell the tale. A year later, Islamic scientists begin dying in seeming accidents or outright assassinations and kidnappings all around the world. And then a US army unit moves into the peaceful, multi-religion village of Asalaam near Mosul in Iraq. They are checking up on some Christian missionaries who haven't been heard of but are startled to find half the village dead from a horrible, flu ...more
Terence M
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Audio book 1 star out of 5 DNF
I expected to enjoy this book, but sadly, I did not. I did persevere because Brad Thor is a pretty good novelist and I had enjoyed Scot Harvath #3, State of the Union, but after listening to about 60% of the book, I decided it was a could not finish and onto the DNF shelf it flew. The story started out well enough but throughout its telling, there was simply too much, too detailed, Ancient History. While this provided evidence and background related to the deadly il
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo

Function: noun
: an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions
: CIA code name for an agent or operation that has turned on its

: botched covert action

Former Navy SEAL Scot Harvath in an instant realizes he's blown and many fatwa will be placed upon his head. Al Jazeera has captured him beating a poor, helpless Iraqi, not his nemesis Khalid Sheik Alomari, a superior and ruthless Al Qaeda assassin he has been tracking for months. Though his face is not seen, the
If you are a fan of Ludlum, you may like Brad Thor. If you are a fan of "24" & "Burn Notice" you may like Thor's novels. If you are a right-wing conservative who believes in "might is right", then you'll like Brad Thor's novels. I like Thor because he writes a good thriller & keeps the criticism of liberalism on the down low (totally unlike author Vince Flynn's novels).
In this thriller, counter-terrorism operative, Scot Harvath, sets out to prevent a Muslim caliphate from becoming a rea
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brad Thor is back on track with Blowback.

This was a super interesting storyline - albeit full of stereotypes and biases that are likely much easier seen post 9-11, it was none-the-less a true page turner.

The story lines follow two distinct plots. Firstly the attempted political and career discrediting of the main character, Scot Harvarth, by a US Senator who has her sights set on the Vice-Presidential and ultimately Presidential nomination though the destroying of the current sitting President.

Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, drama, brad-thor
Brad Thor's main character, Scot Harvath, is a man to behold. While I found his antics a little too much to believe in this book, I found myself engaged by the storyline. Middle Eastern politics, mixed in with historical war figures and bioterrorism from books over 3000 years old. It has my mind leaping at parts. Thor did bring his character back to reality a couple of times, when right in the middle of dangerous stunts he would wonder where his life was heading and if he was taking his career t ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book crushed any joy I had left in the Scot Harvath series. The arrogance and annoying, childish attitude of this character was certainly written to make him likable in a roguish sort of way.

Nothing could be further from reality. I found myself openly rooting against the protagonist. The writing is inconsistent and common. The story is utterly unbelievable as well.

There are too many other quality writers in this space (like Vince Flynn) for me to waste any more time with this series.
Keith Dickson
May 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Typical American anti terrorist evil Muslim one dimensional story.
US hero saves the world from decedent hypocritical Arabs.

There's has to be more to "thrillers" than this.
Do authors in the Middle East write the same styles of book where the Americans are portrayed as prime evil trying to force their way of life and religion on unsuspecting people

I hope they have more maturity as a comunity than the tripe produced in the book.

We need to get over this type of story.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This series has the same premise as the Vince Flynn books, but lacks in readability. Thor's writing is elementary in nature and I found myself thinking, "I'm not in 1st grade, why are you writing like I am." I was so annoyed with his style that I stopped reading the series. Scot Harvath also isn't nearlly as BA as Mitch Rapp.
An Odd1
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
How did warriors battle before? How could their weapons affect us now? Scary. I'd never heard of paleopathology, ancient bioweapons. Author Thor makes history Fascinating, real. I flip pages fast, zip along.

"Zafir was not a man who would abandon his post" p 385. In enemy warehouse, they cannot raise sniper outside. I like when tense situations snowball. Definitions of title can be found in many pages. Possible 1 "unintended consequences of failed foreign policy or botched covert action", 2 "CIA
Patrick Gibson
I can’t use the work ‘blow’ any more. Lets face it—‘blow’ is a lot more funny than it used to be. It has taken on new multiple meanings since the 1970s indicating either drug use or highly entertaining sexual act. Mostly, these days we are on our own deciphering the correct connotation, if any. Can you imagine how confused I became when I realized the movie ‘Blow’ was not the biography of Linda Lovelace and ‘Come Blow Your Horn’ was not about doing toot at band camp? ‘Blowback’ is a real word—ap ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Blowback" is a pulse-pounding, in-your-face, espionage thrill ride - I'd expect nothing less from author Brad Thor, who is one of my favourite authors. It's been quite a while since I finished reading "State of the Union", and reading this book was like visiting with an old friend. I've always enjoyed the character development of Navy SEAL-turned-Secret Service agent-turned Special Operative Scot Harvath from book to book. Harvath is not just a character that advances the story - you experience ...more
Doran Barton
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little skeptical when I started reading this book because recommendations for Brad Thor had come from people who also liked Brad Meltzer and Andrew Gross and I found their work to be less satisfying that I would have liked.

The first few chapters of Blowback had me worried because the chapters were short and seemingly formulaic in structure. As the story went on, however, I found myself enveloped in the book and, to a certain extent, the characters. The science and the history used in th
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the rating system within GR, I must say that a 2 is what I must give this story....I try to start each book I read with a five and allow the author to downgrade from that lofty level. The manner in which this story is told, with stories within the story, ie, switching to one part of the tale to another part wherein they climax toward the end, is a favorite method for me....Fine so far, but then it drops quickly to a four due to the writing skills of the author, to me lacking in composition. i ...more
Barbara Sheppard
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Brad Thor book I have read. I actually listened to it on Audible which made it come to life even more. The narrator did a nice job on the voices and accents of each character. I enjoyed learning of Scott Harvath's newest mission and finding out how he takes care of business.
The plot is international bio-terrorism and we are taken through a long historical journey on the origin of Islamic terrorism.
I am not sure about the author's contention that Artha Sasthra contains recipe
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I checked out from public library the audio book version. The narrator is one of the best narrators in my opinion; I wanted to read/listen something similar to Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, after I finished the entire series and had withdrawals for more of the same. This is not as good as Flynn's flawless, absorbing, nail biting suspense in the Mitch Rapp books. I was unable to finish this book. That us unusual for me because I never give up on books! I just could not take this story and characters ...more
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just when I think that I have read a really action filled thriller, then another one like this comes along. It is fascinating to think that some of Hannibal's soldiers might have been preserved in ice along the route through the Alps. What isn't is to think of various ways men have come up with germ warfare or pestilence to kill off the enemy. Scot Harvath is the hero who works with others to defeat some villains and make the world more safe than it might have been. Obviously he and his 'team' c ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Brad Thor books I have had the occasion to read. My conclusion on the author after reading just one book is that he is second to none.
The plot is international bio-terrorism and we are taken through a long historical journey on the origin of Islamic terrorism.
While I can't agree with the author's contention that Artha Sasthra contains recipes for bio weapons I must agree that his inclusion of the reference makes the novel all the more dramatic.
This book is highly readable.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm getting tired of thrillers, but my reaction to this book has been underwhelming. I was looking forward to it with much enthusiasm, it having won a prestigious "best thriller of the year" award, and it IS a great yarn - but is buried under an avalanche of dizzying detail. Detail that, at least in my opinion, almost obliterates the story. Thor's research is admirable, down to brand names and minute detail, but this one seemed over the top to me. For a complete change of pace, I'm going t ...more
Karen Roettger
Really a 2 1/2. The ancient history part about Hannibal was interesting but it went on & on & bogged down my interest in reading the book but I continued until the end. I was amazed that he would drag the woman, Jillian into all of the dangerous situations that he did. She wasn't even trained as a SEAL or for CIA work. And climbing that mountain to find the archeological dig. How unbelievable! I have read several of his books now & find most of the story lines questionable. He is def ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-espionage
A militant Islamic faction has discovered a 2,400 year old WMD developed during the wars between Carthage and the Roman empire. The faction now desires to use the weapon to rebuild the Ottoman Empire. Apparently, only one man can stop them: you guessed it, Agent Scot Harvath. This thriller (I use the word loosely) stretched credulity and I found it somewhat plodding and tedious. Author Thor can do better than this. It is the 4th tome(and I felt the weakest so far) in his Scot Harvath series.
Andrew Kendall
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this novel. It was full of historical references, coupled with tense actions scenes. Scot Harvath is definitely a likeable character, even though he's a bit of a "G.I. Joe" type. My only real issue was that the author is all too obvious in his dislike for democrats, and the character "Carmichael" was clearly (loosely) based around Hilary Clinton, who I happen to admire.
I would absolutely recommend this book, and as it's the first Brad Thor novel I've ever read, I will look f
This premise is interesting, but it lacks the action and stamina of the first books. The descriptions are (way) too long, and it takes ages to get to the point. Although wend it gets to the that point, the scenes, specially the action ones, are up to the challenge.

I find this book to be behind the others in the series, although a must read if you wanna go more in deep in to the skin of Scot Harvath.
Todd Rohner
Considering how many high reviews this book has, I was disappointed. While I am willing to let quite a bit go to support a good story, this book was highly unbelievable.

The heavy handed partisan politics in this book also put me off. A taste would have been fine, but there was just too much. There is an entire subplot that does not add to the story and seems to solely exist to bash liberals.
I skipped most of the middle of this book--just wasn't my cup of tea. I have read several of Thor's other books featuring Scott Havarath and enjoyed them, but this wasn't one I cared for (plot-wise).
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I jumped right into this series and flew through the first ones. This one was overly detailed for me. It was almost like reading a history book (which is great for people who really want to dig in). I was just looking to kick back with an action novel and this one hurt my brain.
Robert Sterling
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The books just keep getting better and better.

I am so glad I discovered this author, his books have been most enjoyable, if you like spy books you will enjoy reading these, but read them in order.
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Gross sexism in "Blowback" 6 52 Apr 28, 2014 09:46AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Scot Harvath (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Lions of Lucerne (Scot Harvath, #1)
  • Path of the Assassin (Scot Harvath, #2)
  • State of the Union (Scot Harvath, #3)
  • Takedown (Scot Harvath, #5)
  • The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6)
  • The Last Patriot (Scot Harvath, #7)
  • The Apostle (Scot Harvath, #8)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Full Black (Scot Harvath, #10)
  • Black List (Scot Harvath, #11)
“For instance,” said Alan, “we’re now learning that the smallpox pandemics of the Middle Ages, not the plague, mind you, but smallpox, left generations of people with a rare genetic defect that protects them against infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. We estimate that approximately one percent of people descended from northern Europeans are virtually immune to HIV infection.” 1 likes
“Aerotechnik Super Vivat Icarus motorgliders had an enormous wingspan and looked like a typical side-by-side pilot/passenger configuration sailplane that had been crossed with a small Cessna single-prop aircraft.” 1 likes
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