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Blowback: A Thriller Paperback – Jun 17 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (June 17 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416553479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416553472
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,098,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Brad Thor is as current as tomorrow's headlines."

-- Dan Brown

About the Author

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Black List, Full Black, The Athena Project, Foreign Influence, The Apostle, The Last Patriot, The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback (recognized by NPR as one of the “100 Best Thrillers of All Time”), State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne.  Visit his website at

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brad Thor's "Blowback" is a spy thriller again about international terrorism; of course, with a twist of biological warfare that actually has a complex historical base to its origin. Scot Horvath is once again thrust into character trying to unlock the key to its origin and at the same time hunting his target Khalid Sheik Alomari. Alomari is of course killing scientists who hold vital evidence for unlocking the secret behind the ancient biological weapon.

Add in the subplot of an ambitious politician is bent of destroying Scot's protector - President Rutledge but using Scot as the medium, this book allows its readers to turn the pages with ease.

Scot teams up with a molecular biologist (Jillian Alcott) to solve the puzzle, and both travel through the Muslim world. Mr. Thor did a fine job in his research in this area, giving his readers insight into this world, its history and status.
I did find this publication a tad too long with what the nature of the book was. It travels along nicely, is then dragged and immediately concluded. He has better publications.
Still, worth the read. It gives the readers good insight into possibilities real and imagined. Rating is based on other books he has written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I always find myself engrossed by Thor's writing. Never a dull moment. I have yet to be disappointed in any of his books. I would highly recommend his books to anyone who loves a good thrilling, patriotic adventure.
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By chris gregory on July 24 2014
Format: Paperback
"just OK"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 327 reviews
92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Ripped from the headlines. June 30 2005
By E. Bukowsky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Brad Thor's "Blowback" is an action-packed spy thriller about the complex world of international terrorism, biological warfare, religious fanaticism, and political corruption. The macho hero is Scot Harvath, a former SEAL who works for the Office of International Investigative Assistance in the Department of Homeland Security. He has repeatedly sacrificed his personal happiness and peace of mind in order to serve his country. Scott's archenemy is Khalid Sheik Alomari, a high-ranking al-Qaeda operative and ruthless assassin. Alomari has been traveling around the world killing Muslim scientists who may have unlocked the key to a devastating super weapon.

This scenario plays out against the background of a vicious power struggle between an ambitious Democratic senator named Helen Carmichael and Republican President Jack Rutledge. Carmichael will do anything to unseat the popular president, and she has been secretly compiling damaging information about Rutledge in order to turn public opinion against him. Scott Harvath soon becomes Carmichael's pawn in her scheme to destroy President Rutledge.

"Blowback" is timely story that is "ripped from the headlines," with references to people and organizations that we read about in the news every day. Brad Thor provides well-researched and detailed background information about the Muslim world, and he explores the many ways in which the United States is battling the terrorist threat posed by radical fundamentalists. Scot Harvath's courage, knowledge of weaponry, and unerring instincts make him a worthy and appealing hero, and for a change, the author doesn't provide his protagonist with a love interest to distract him from his duties. Although Scot does have a beautiful and brainy partner, a molecular biologist named Dr. Jillian Alcott, his relationship with her is strictly platonic. Jillian provides the scientific expertise that Scot needs in order to fight a terrifying biological weapon that may soon be unleashed against the United States.

At over four hundred pages, this novel is a bit too long. However, Thor keeps the narrative from dragging by shifting rapidly between characters in far-flung locales, such as France, England, Cyprus, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Washington, D. C. You may need a scorecard to keep tabs on who is doing what to whom and why. However, "Blowback" packs an undeniable wallop, especially in light of the very real dangers that we face in today's frightening and unpredictable world.
4 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Does for Islam what the DaVinci Code did for Catholicism Feb. 21 2007
By DWD's Reviews - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brad Thor's thriller "Blowback" delivers as far as the international thrills and chills go. Main character Scot Harvath is a counterterrorism expert on the tail of an Al-Qaeda operative who catches wind of something new - a plague that is being resurrected from the ancient past to be used against all non-Muslims.

Harvath pursues his leads across Europe and the Middle East - that part is lots of fun. I have issues with Thor's treatment of Muslims and his main thesis.


Every Muslim in the book, with the exception of two, is either a brazen hypocrite or a crazed religious fanatic. One of the good Muslim is killed by the virus being spread the fanatics and the other is shot by the hypocrites. There are literally dozens of Muslims in the book - and only two are decent people?

Thor's book rests on the premise that the Ottoman Empire is trying to resurrect itself by using fanatics like Al-Qaeda and the Wahhabis to weaken modern Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia. The problem with that is this: most Muslims openly hated the Ottoman government. Why? The Sultan (head of the secular government) also gave himself the title of Caliph (head of the religious structure). That is a giant no-no in Islam - Islam must not be subservient to a government. Also, there was a bit of enthic dislike thrown in since the Ottomans were Turks and there has often been a pro-Arab stance in Al-Qaeda and the Wahhabis.

To even make it more laughable, the Ottoman Empire was one of the most poorly-run countries in Europe throughout most of the 18th and 19th centuries - it was called the "Sick Man of Europe" because everyone was waiting for it to collapse at any second. Why would descendants of that inept dynasty be of any interest to modern Muslims?


So, great thrills marred by laughable conspiracy and hopeless stereotyping of Muslims. I give this one a grade of C-
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Let's Hope This Remains Fiction - Gripping Stuff!!!! Aug. 18 2005
By John R. Linnell - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that most readers will find unsettling. Not so much for the terrific story contained within, but more for the history lesson the reader receives about the Saudi Royal family, the tenuousness of the world's oil supply, and the danger posed to the non-Muslim world by the Wahhabis, the radical Muslim movement from which all modern Islamic terrorisim has sprung. We can hope and pray that there are many Scot Harvaths out there doing the work of defending us from the plots and plans of the radical Muslims, but no one should be sanguine that the threat is not real and the situation is not truly dangerous.

Brad Thor weaves a chilling tale involving the release of a disease which can cause a pandemic in the non-Muslim world with its roots in the crossing of the Alps by Hannibal hundreds of years ago. There is no need for a suspension of belief in reading this book as the author lays out his case very well and convincingly.

This book is hard to put down and the world situation it describes will give you some sleepless nights, however you owe it to yourself to read and learn from one of the masters of this genre.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
His best yet Oct. 12 2005
By Konrad Kern - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Brad Thor has continued to amaze me with his wonderful International thrillers. Filled with intrigue and suspense that puts him at the top of my 'must read' list. His well researched novels, this time around, includes Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, some history of bio-chemical warfare, the divide between Muslims two major groups and much more. With all this, you get a great adventure to boot. Doesn't get much better than this for great entertainment.

Highly Recommended.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Follows the established format June 3 2006
By C.L. Barker - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the genre of story I usually prefer and since Brad Thor has been touted by well-known authors such as Dan Brown as being hot stuff, I was expecting a great deal in this latest book. As I got into the story I had a vague feeling of deja vu nagging at me until I realized that this was at best a clone of other stories by writers who have made a mark in this genre, most notably Vince Flynn. I had a hard time remembering that this hero was named Scot(sic) Harvath and not Mitch Rapp. Both are ex-military deadly covert ops experts, both speak Arabic and both secretly work for the President. Each is apparently the only man in the universe who can accomplish the task of capturing and/or killing the al-Qaeda-related terrorist bad guys while almost romancing a beautiful companion whom they drag, unprofessionally, along into the most dangerous situations ever conceived. And then there's the usual Washington D.C. intrigue and back-stabbing liberal Democrats to deal with. The nemesis on the political front is a bitchy woman senator of high ambition and lacking a moral compass whose husband chases skirts while she plots dastardly political maneuvers. Her name is Helen Carmichael. Do the initials seem familiar?

In any event, the book is not bad, but I found it rather tedious in places, such as two and a half chapters devoted to dialogue between scientists and Harvath about Hannibal. No, not Hannibal the Cannibal, but the guy who crossed the alps on Dumbo and his cousins. This story is an action-adventure, but every so often Thor drifts into the professorial lecturing mode and seems to think we all need a text book review of historical facts about Islam, Hannibal, heraldry, biology, etc. Other than making the book about two hundred pages too long, it was well written and the plot was fairly imaginative in places. I would be more impressed with the plethora of post 9-11 terrorist-fighting books if they had some more original facets and plot twists. The benchmark for this type of book in my opinion, was Arabian Assignment, which came out two months before that fateful attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Back then, very few people had any idea who bin-Laden or al-Qaeda were. If you like authors Brown, Clancy, Flynn, or Carpenter, then you probably will like Thor and enjoy reading this book more than this critic, who admittedly is becoming somewhat jaded.

- Barker Reviews