Near Dark: A Thriller (20) (The Scot Harvath Series)
“Brad Thor has mastered the art of the thriller cliffhanger, and readers will definitely be grateful to have this particular arc brought to a close, as well as wondering where Scot Harvath might venture next.”
What happens when a top-notch covert operative loses the will to live? How does a hero or anti-hero move on from revenge and loss? To explore these questions, Brad Thor’s newest thriller continues the story arc from his last two novels as his seemingly invincible main character, Scot Harvath, descends into a pit of despair, drinking, and apathy. Still reeling from the loss of his wife and not feeling any peace at the revenge he wrought in Backlash, Harvath opens this book wasting away in Margaritaville, determined to try and drink away his demons in peace and seclusion.
Unfortunately, as someone who has an extensive body count to his credit and an even longer list of enemies, his solitude is broken as Harvath learns via an unexpected bar fight that he has a $100 million bounty on his head from an unknown enemy, making him the target of the most ruthless assassins on the planet.
Trying to determine who killed a trusted friend as part of this bounty hunt, he is forced to return to what he does best, outthinking and outgunning his enemies by any means necessary. To save his own life in the process, Harvath must enlist the help of his team, along with a new potential ally in a beautiful Norwegian intelligence agent, to try and track down who is trying to kill him and turn the tables before he finds himself in a body bag.
Thor is at his best as Harvath tries to determine who is friend or foe, ally or betrayer, weaving together elements from previous novels into a seamless story that moves along at a brisk pace, leaving the reader trying to figure out how all the pieces will fit together. Although the adversary seems pretty obvious, there are still enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning and the reader wondering about the final outcome.
Through it all, we see Harvath and his new ally each try and come to terms with darkness in their pasts as they race across Europe to a showdown with one of the world’s most prolific assassins. The ending is definitely vintage Brad Thor, as Harvath slowly emerges from his self-imposed exile to determine that he still has work to do that only he is capable of accomplishing and that maybe time does bring some sense of closure to past tragedies. Although the reader is left wondering if this book is going to be another cliffhanger, Thor rather quickly wraps up all the loose ends in the last dozen pages, leaving open where he might take his troubled hero in the next installment.
One of the best things about these series of novels is how they can function both as standalone books and the occasional multivolume story arcs. Brad Thor has mastered the art of the thriller cliffhanger, and readers will definitely be grateful to have this particular arc brought to a close, as well as wondering where Scot Harvath might venture next.