Ray Palen's Reviews > Black List

Black List by Brad Thor
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's review
Jul 05, 2012

really liked it

Are they watching us?

This is the question posed by the latest electrifying and extremely relevant new novel by Brad Thor. BLACK LIST plays to the fear that Thor himself has that our government is crossing the line in efforts to maintain total control over the population.

Imagine, if you will, a government that attempts to reconfigure the Internet in such a way that they can dictate who is able to receive what information and decide who is even privileged enough to be allowed access to the ‘new’ Web! Brad Thor’s hard-hitting novels have created a new terminology to describe them --- faction. His work with Homeland Security’s Red Cell division made him privy to much top secret information in the wake of 9/11 and it is remarkable how much he is able to disclose in each novel. What is more disarming is what he may NOT be telling us.

BLACK LIST starts off with the tragic murder of Riley Turner in front of Thor’s main protagonist, Scott Harvath. Riley was a member of the Athena Project --- an all-female band of U.S. Special Forces operatives who were featured in their own novel. Harvath, himself a member of the Carlton group and former Secret Service Agent is more determined than ever to bring about justice since he realizes he was also a target of the assault that killed Riley Turner.

A member of a group known by the acronym ATS --- Adaptive Technology Solutions --- have decided to bring about a major upheaval of the government that begins with the overhaul of the Internet and may end with the death of millions. In order for the ATS, who are operating under contract from the NSA, to sell their deadly agenda they must eliminate any U.S. operatives that pose a threat. This ‘black list’ includes Scott Harvath, several of his colleagues and his boss at the Carlton Group, Reed Carlton.

It is an uphill battle as the ATS has smeared the entire Carlton Group membership to the current President and the group must operate independently and in total communication black-out --- never even knowing if their colleagues are even alive. Harvath makes his way from Europe to Texas (via Mexico) to team with his friend, Nicholas --- a dwarf with amazing political reach and superlative technical and hacking skills. Nicholas is able to put Harvath in touch with the right people to both arm and protect him. More importantly, Harvath gets the opportunity to enact his revenge on the ATS.

In the author’s note, Brad Thor states: “all of the technology contained in this novel is based on systems currently deployed, or in the final stages of development, by the United States government and its partners.” If that fact is not enough to keep you awake at night --- I don’t know what will!

Reviewed by Ray Palen for New Mystery Reader


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