Backlash (Scot Harvath Series #18)

Backlash (Scot Harvath Series #18)

by Brad Thor

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“Raw emotion, nonstop action, and relentless pacing makes Backlash another one-night read from Brad Thor, who delivers the book to beat in 2019.” —The Real Book Spy

#1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 Publishers Weekly bestselling author Brad Thor is back with his most gripping thriller yet!

In ancient texts, there are stories about men who struck from the shadows, seemingly beyond the reach of death itself. These men were considered part angel, part demon. Their loyalty was to their families, their friends, and their kings. You crossed these men at your peril. And once crossed, there was no crossing back.

They were fearless; men of honor who have been known throughout history by different names: Spartan, Viking, Samurai.

Today, men like these still strike from the shadows. They are highly prized intelligence agents, military operatives, and assassins.

One man is all three.

Two days ago, that man was crossed—badly.

Now, far from home and surrounded by his enemy, Scot Harvath must battle his way out.

With no support, no cavalry coming, and no one even aware of where he is, it will take everything he has ever learned to survive.

But survival isn’t enough. Harvath wants revenge.

In the most explosive novel Brad Thor has ever written, page after captivating page of action, intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982104054
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Series: Scot Harvath Series , #18
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 357
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen thrillers, including Spymaster, Use of Force, The Last Patriot (nominated best thriller of the year by the International Thriller Writers Association), Blowback (recognized as one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” by NPR), The Athena Project, and Foreign Influence (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of the year). Visit his website at and follow Brad on Facebook at and on Twitter @BradThor.

Read an Excerpt




    The transport plane, like everything else in Russia, was a piece of shit. For years, mechanics had swapped out its worn scavenged parts with even older parts. Cracks had been filled with epoxy. Leaking tubes and frayed wires had been wrapped with tape. A crash had been inevitable.

    A booming noise, like a horseshoe thrown into a dryer, had been coming from the left engine. The pilot had throttled back, but the noise had only gotten worse.

    He and the copilot had scanned their instruments, searching for clues, but hadn’t found any. Everything, right down to the cabin pressure, had appeared normal.

    But suddenly, the interior had begun filling with smoke. Seconds later, the left engine died, followed by the right.

    As the pilot restarted them, an explosion erupted from the right engine. Seeing the exhaust temperature spike, he immediately ordered the copilot to activate the extinguisher. They had to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of the aircraft, even if it meant shutting the right engine down permanently.

    The copilot pulled the fire extinguisher handle as ordered, but they had another problem. The left engine, which had successfully been restarted, wasn’t producing enough thrust. They were falling at a rate of more than one thousand feet per minute. Over the blaring of cockpit alarms, the pilot put out a distress call.

    They were flying in bad weather over one of the most remote, most inhospitable regions in the country. It was unlikely anyone would receive the transmission.

    The pilot never got a chance to repeat his Mayday. The avionics and electrical system were next to go.

    After trying to get the auxiliary power unit back online, the pilot instructed the crew to prepare for the worst. They were going down. Hard.

    All this risk, he thought, all this danger, just to deliver one man—a man chained in back like an animal.

    A Russian Special Forces team had boarded him with a hood over his head. No one had seen his face. The entire crew had assumed he was a criminal of some sort; maybe even a terrorist. They had been informed that he was dangerous. Under no circumstances were any of them to speak with or get anywhere near the prisoner.

    But that was before they knew the plane was going to crash.

    Moving quickly to the rear of the aircraft, the plane’s loadmaster approached the large Spetsnaz soldier sitting nearest the prisoner.

    “You need to put an oxygen mask on him,” he said in Russian.

    The operative, who already had his mask on, looked at the hooded prisoner, adjusted the submachine gun on his lap, and shook his head.

    “Nyet,” he stated. No.

    Career Russian Air Force, the loadmaster was used to transporting elite operators. He was also used to their bullshit.

    “I’m not asking you,” he replied. “I’m ordering you.”

    The soldier shot a sideways glance at the intelligence officer sitting nearby.

    The plane was losing altitude. The smoke in the cabin was getting worse. The officer nodded back. Do it.

    The ape reached over, snatched off the hood, and affixed a mask over the prisoner’s face. Then he replaced the hood and, satisfied, leaned back in his seat.

    “Now unshackle his arms so he can brace for impact,” the loadmaster continued. It enabled only a minor altering of the body’s position, but in a crash it could mean the difference between life and death. Whatever the prisoner had done, surely he didn’t deserve to die, at least not like this.

    Pissed off, the soldier glanced over again at the intelligence officer. Once more, the man nodded.

    Producing a set of keys, the Spetsnaz operative reached down and opened the padlock securing the prisoner’s handcuffs to his belly chain. Grabbing the man’s arms, he raised them and placed them against the seat in front of him.

    “His feet as well,” the loadmaster ordered. “He must be able to rapidly evacuate the aircraft.”

    The soldier didn’t need to look to his superior a third time. The intelligence officer answered for their entire team.

    “The only way that man walks off this plane is with one of us,” he said from behind his mask.

    The loadmaster gave up. He had done what he could and knew it was pointless to argue any further. They were out of time.

    “Make sure your weapons are secure,” he directed, as he turned to make his way to his jump seat.

    Suddenly, the plane shuddered and the nose pitched forward. The crewman lunged for the nearest seat and buckled himself in as anything not locked down went hurtling through the cabin like a missile.

    With no instruments and no visibility, they were flying blind. The pilot and copilot fought to regain control of the aircraft.

    Fifteen hundred feet above the ground, the pilots managed to pull the nose back up and slow their descent. But with no thrust from the remaining engine, they were still falling. They had to find someplace to land.

    Peering through the weather, the pilot could see they were flying over a dense forest. Ahead was a clearing of some sort. It might have been a field or a frozen lake. All he could tell was that it appeared to be devoid of trees.

    “There,” the pilot said.

    “There’s not enough length. It’s too short.”

    “That’s where we’re landing,” the pilot insisted. “Extend the landing gear. Prepare for impact.”

    The copilot obeyed and engaged the emergency landing gear extension system. With no electricity with which to activate the PA, he turned and shouted back into the cabin, “Brace! Brace! Brace!”

    The command was acknowledged by the loadmaster, who then yelled over and over in Russian from his seat, “Heads down! Stay down! Heads down! Stay down!”

    Only a few hundred feet above the ground, the pilot pulled back on the yoke to lift the aircraft’s nose in an attempt to slow it down, but he misjudged the distance.

    The belly of the plane scraped across the tops of the tall snow-laden trees. The left landing gear was snapped off, followed by the right.

    Just before the clearing, one of the wingtips was clipped, and the plane went into a violent roll.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Backlash 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Brad Thor is one of the best authors around, in any genre, but especially the thriller with international intrigue. Backlash is my new favorite from Mr. Thor. A great read!
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Good book. Needed more in depth of the retribution process. Should’ve been 50/50. But still enjoyed it.
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Thor does his homework. You can follow Harvath’s trails on real maps, to real places. And the details of Scot’s actions and why he does what he does are totally convincing. The book reads like a real life report, not a made-up story line.
    Julie Watson 9 months ago
    In BACKLASH, a Brad Thor fan recognizes the opening scenario with shock and it's a roller coaster ride of survival from there. Plane/helo crashes, wolves at the door, emotionally & physically beaten, it's survival mode en extremis. The fan empathizes with the protagonist- can feel the ice crystals and numbing arctic cold. It is quintessential Harvath, who climbs out of the abyss and finds a solution to every problem. He never gives up; he never gives in. Rage is the empowerment fuel. The reader will see Old Hands on deck, all with one thought-Harvath would risk all to come for them and as family, they aren't leaving him behind enemy lines. Harvath captures the true essence of the Navy SEAL, and of all today's warriors,including clandestine services It is a story of grit, determination, a fight every step of the way with a stunning kill ratio. This is justice, not revenge. And the finale is poetic justice. Superbly written by a master. Emotional too-the parting scene with Lara's son Marco, his stepson, leaves readers with a tear in eyes. Thor reaches a new level, exploring the visceral emotions of a man who has lived his life on the edge for country, friends, and family. This is a story of a warrior thrown into the abyss who rises above the challenges to survive. It's Thor at his best! Scot Harvath will return for another terrific romp thru hell. Thor pays homage I think to the SEALs in this story, he honors all the Teams and clandestines and acknowledges those pilots, PJs and support staff for their ever ready assistance throughout the world. I've read the bios of SEALs and the Teams and their code for living and code for dying. Harvath sums it up by saying "It wasn't about money, or medals, or fame. It was about loyalty, friendship, and honor." BACKLASH is a powerful salute to our nation's best! KUDOS BRAD THOR. IT'S SUPERB!
    Anonymous 7 months ago
    best book yet. couldn't put it down. Have read them all and always look forward to the next. Loved the action!
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    A rather simple tale actually....but it did not lessen the suspense or make me care less for a single second. Now how long till brad Thor’s next book cones out...???
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Anonymous 10 days ago
    His pacing and story telling continue to improve.
    Anonymous 12 days ago
    Brad Thor does it AGAIN !! Backlash was AWESOME once I started reading it I couldnt put it down !!! I cant wait for the next one . I have fallen in love with Scott Harvath, Nicholas ( and his guard dog) and so many other great people. PLEASE don't stop writting this series !!!
    Anonymous 12 days ago
    Outstanding thriller that I had a hard time putting down. Thank you Brad Thor.
    ReadyRabbit 12 days ago
    I own all of Brad's books and this is the best one yet.When you loose someone the way Scot Harvath experienced, it made the book even better and more intriguing to the very end. The end didn't shock me in the B&N additional chapter, but will make the next book even more exciting and I can't wait. Tom Clancy has someone who writes as well and stories are just as impressive for the reader.
    Anonymous 14 days ago
    I love the suspense Brad puts into his books. The stories are believable albeit on the outer edge anything most of us have encountered. His characters fit well together and gives one the sense that he has been there. I found this book very hard to put down. Bring on the next one!!
    Anonymous 16 days ago
    with good writing, as usual, thor takes the reader on a thrilling episode with horvath.
    Anonymous 18 days ago
    Could not put it down! Best one yet!
    Anonymous 26 days ago
    The last 30 pages should have been half the book. 90% of the book was Harvath introspection, instead of the normal action. If I wanted a course in SERE, there are manuals and field guides. Still a good read, but obvious that Thor is going for page count for the publishers now.
    Anonymous 27 days ago
    Anonymous 30 days ago
    One of the best yet. Can't wait for the next one
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Another fantastic addition. Fast paced. Love the change up to focus on scot in a microcosm
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    One of his best Looking forward to the next.
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    loved it
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Couldn't putt it down!!!
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    You did it again....couldn't put the book down...
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    One of his best yet cannot stop reading once you start
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Solid read.