Hard Target

Release Date: 
May 23, 2012
Norwood Press
Reviewed by: 

“Alan Jacobson’s best work to date, . . . Wow!”

Alan Jacobson hits a grand slam with Hard Target, a story that snaps its jaws shut on the reader like a rabid pitbull and refuses to let go.

The first chapter explodes with an attempted assassination of the president-elect. This scene alone was enough to cause me to move to a room away from all distractions—I didn’t want to miss one word of this fast-moving story.

Filled with action from beginning to end, Hard Target is Alan Jacobson’s best work to date, and he has written several bestsellers. In particular, his intimate knowledge of how the FBI works—including his use of the often cryptic and acronym-filled Bureau speak—makes this novel especially authentic. Mr. Jacobson’s research and networking has enabled him to create characters that could be mistaken for actual FBI agents.

The story takes place in Washington, D.C., and the Northern Virginia suburbs, and Mr. Jacobson leverages the historical significance of both venues with much of the action occurring in high interest venues such as the White House, the Pentagon, FBI Headquarters, and the Justice Department.

In this story, Special Agent Aaron Uziel jumps off the pages as a dynamic, bold, dedicated federal agent. His past, however, is clouded in secrecy and should it ever see the light of day, would be enough to cause him to lose his career and freedom.

Uziel, or “Uzi” as his friends and colleagues refer to him, is partnered with a Department of Defense agent, Hector DeSantos, who harbors secrets of his own. The duo develop an extraordinary working relationship, one that keeps both of them alive through circumstances that would kill lesser agents.

The author, aware of the tremendous popularity of his character FBI Special Agent Profiler Karen Vail, drops her into the mix to play a pivotal role in deciphering matters affecting national security. And each chapter becomes more tension-filled than the previous one as Mr. Jacobson ratchets up the action.

The book’s premise finds Uzi with just nine days to track down the assassin who attempted to kill the President-elect. Domestic terrorism is on stage here with key roles played by the Mossad, the Russians, homegrown militia groups, and an unbelievable covert operative, masterfully developed by the author and nurtured to the very end.

With angles that toss black ops into the mix and suspects that include the FBI Director and Attorney General, Mr. Jacobson has created a complex tale with more twists and turns than a Grand Prix auto race. Conspiracy theories abound throughout Hard Target, causing us to wonder along with the protagonists just who can and cannot be trusted. And to avoid spoiling it, I won’t comment about the ending except to say: Wow!

Hard Target is a just-shot-bullet-fast-moving thriller mirroring present-day concerns affecting our nation and her allies. With enough drama and suspense sustains even the most critical of thriller fans. While the story is fictional, it’s definitely not farfetched.

If you’ve ever wondered about our government’s vulnerabilities, read Hard Target—it’s like shining a spotlight into a dark, dank, mysterious basement: You might be surprised at what you find hiding there.

Writer Vince Flynn finally has some serious competition.