Near Dark (Scot Harvath, #19)
Scot Harvath returns in the newest thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor.The world’s largest bounty has just been placed upon America’s top spy. His only hope for survival is to outwit, outrun, and outlast his enemies long enough to get to the truth. But for Scot Harvath to accomplish his most dangerous mission ever—one that has already claimed the lives of the people closest to him, including his new wife—he’s going to need help—a lot of it. Not knowing whom he can trust, Harvath finds an unlikely ally in Norwegian intelligence operative Sølvi Kolstad. Just as smart, just as deadly, and just as determined, she not only has the skills, but also the broken, troubled past to match Harvath’s own.

Near Dark (Scot Harvath, #19) Details

TitleNear Dark (Scot Harvath, #19)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherAtria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN-139781982104061
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller

Near Dark (Scot Harvath, #19) Review

  • Adah Udechukwu
    January 1, 1970
    Near Dark spent a lot of time talking about the past. I know that the author is capable of better. The novel also lacks the consistent mind-boggling action that i've come to expect in Scot Harvath novels. Hopefully the next novel in the series will be straight-forward and action-packed.
    more
  • Vicki Elia
    January 1, 1970
    It's a shame Thor spent half the book revisiting the last book to properly set the foundation of this one. The only saving grace were sporadic action scenes and the ending, which was predictable and weak.I've also decided that I really don't enjoy Armand Schultz's narration of this series. His pace and tone make everything seem trite.Next time I'm hoping for a full new novel and perhaps a new narrator?
    more
  • Michael Houtz
    January 1, 1970
    I had an amazing opportunity to read an early copy of Brad Thor's next Scot Harvath release scheduled for July '20, NEAR DARK. I've read every book since Lions of Lucerne and developed into a HUGE Thor fan. At this point in Brad's career, he's in the enviable position where just about anything he writes will be received by an eager, paying crowd. At the risk of guessing a writer of his position might sooner or later fall into a pattern of repetition and 'call one in', I would be dead wrong. His I had an amazing opportunity to read an early copy of Brad Thor's next Scot Harvath release scheduled for July '20, NEAR DARK. I've read every book since Lions of Lucerne and developed into a HUGE Thor fan. At this point in Brad's career, he's in the enviable position where just about anything he writes will be received by an eager, paying crowd. At the risk of guessing a writer of his position might sooner or later fall into a pattern of repetition and 'call one in', I would be dead wrong. His novels continue to evolve and improve with each release. Hard to imagine NEAR DARK could improve on last summers smash hit, BACKLASH. But it does. What Brad does this time is put you directly in the agony of Harvath's existence--the loss of so many loved ones in his inner circle crushes the will of existence for one of the toughest men ever to grace the pages of a novel. You see him at rock bottom; you turn pages begging him to find the will and resolve to pick up the pieces. Scot Harvath is at his true breaking point, and you know why. For me, this book shows what a master storyteller is capable of when they want you to 'feel' the emotions of the protagonist. Without experiencing Harvath's trauma myself in the real world, I've never been so close to a fictional character's agony. I have no doubt you'll feel the emotion of this book like never before in a Brad Thor tale. Buy it.
    more
  • kartik narayanan
    January 1, 1970
    Near Dark is another good addition to the Scot Harvath series. It is as formulaic as some of the previous entries but still manages to be entertaining as ever.Brad Thor fans must read this.
  • Kashif
    January 1, 1970
    Near Dark is an amazing follow-up to Backlash. A blend of fast-paced narrative, thrilling events, well-written action, and characters that feel real and relatable. The book explores Scot Harvath in an emotionally damaged state of mind after the events of Backlash while having to navigate through a hundred million bounty on his head as retribution for Harvath’s brutal acts of vengeance in Backlash. This dynamic amps up the stakes for Harvath on a very personal level.The storyline is crafted with Near Dark is an amazing follow-up to Backlash. A blend of fast-paced narrative, thrilling events, well-written action, and characters that feel real and relatable. The book explores Scot Harvath in an emotionally damaged state of mind after the events of Backlash while having to navigate through a hundred million bounty on his head as retribution for Harvath’s brutal acts of vengeance in Backlash. This dynamic amps up the stakes for Harvath on a very personal level.The storyline is crafted with a sense of constant worry for Harvath and his remaining family due to the extravagant bounty on his head. This creates a strong desire for readers to keep on reading to find out what happens next. Near Dark, while being a story of emotional healing, is also an espionage narrative at heart. Clandestine meetings, undercover operations, unlikely alliances, and more are all part of the brilliant aspects of Near Dark. Harvath must get to the bottom of the bounty on his head and make sure he doesn’t get claimed by an adversary before he gets the chance to release his bottled-up rage. Harvath is joined in this undertaking by an operative of Norwegian Intelligence Service, Sølvi Kolstad. Kolstad and Harvath make a great duo, being in sync when it comes to tactics and thoughts. Kolstad is a lethal and well-trained operative who proves to be just as hell-bent in this undertaking as Harvath, for her own reasons, and is established earlier on in the story with bona-fides that leave no doubt for readers that she is a worthy ally of Harvath. With a dynamic chemistry between the two operatives, the read becomes even more intriguing to see how the two operatives would get along.The action is smooth and fast-paced, comprising of fast-paced shootouts and some brutal melee combat. Even though I had expected more action sequences, the brilliant espionage aspects and characters made up for less-than-expected action sequences. The technical accuracy in details pertaining to firearms and tactics also played an important role in retaining the gritty espionage and operations vibe Scot Harvath books are known for.I was a bit taken back by what I felt was a slightly abrupt ending. The compartmentalized branches of the narrative that collectively formed the bigger picture felt too quickly tied up at the end, not feeling as satisfying as I thought they would to finally unravel.All in all, Near Dark packs exciting moments, three dimensional characters, realistic and grounded elements of espionage, and the devastating impact of the loss of loved ones for those who live dangerously at the edge of the sword. A great and engrossing read that does not let up till the very end.
    more
  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    I was a little disappointed in this book, judging from all the reviews and “best in the series” hype. A lot of time was spent retelling the details from the previous release, and it seemed like Near Dark could have been added as several chapters in the last book instead of a stand-alone. The ending felt extremely rushed and anti-climatic. That being said, there’s enough here to satisfy the series fans (like myself), but I think I was somewhat blinded by the advance reviews, and I was expecting m I was a little disappointed in this book, judging from all the reviews and “best in the series” hype. A lot of time was spent retelling the details from the previous release, and it seemed like Near Dark could have been added as several chapters in the last book instead of a stand-alone. The ending felt extremely rushed and anti-climatic. That being said, there’s enough here to satisfy the series fans (like myself), but I think I was somewhat blinded by the advance reviews, and I was expecting more.
    more
  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Not a fan of this one. After 40%, I skimmed the hell out of it because it was so boring. I can't believe the last book was so exciting and now this one is a whole bunch of talking and no action. (view spoiler)[ AND the romance? Too soon! (hide spoiler)] Not a fan of this one. After 40%, I skimmed the hell out of it because it was so boring. I can't believe the last book was so exciting and now this one is a whole bunch of talking and no action. (view spoiler)[ AND the romance? Too soon! (hide spoiler)]
    more
  • Joseph T.
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing. First third of the book was essentially filled with biographies of fictional characters (supposedly character development, I guess?) and rehashing of previous books. In what was left, the plot was not fully developed, rushed and left unanswered questions. Seems like I am in the minority, but not Mr. Thor's best effort.
    more
  • Matt Persson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, just Wow!!How in the world could Brad Thor out do himself again. I thought he was at the top of his game when he wrote, Backlash, but i was wrong. Near Dark is even better and keeps the thriller genre on the edge of the seat waiting to see how Thor can out do himself again. Near Dark almost read as a Swan Song for Scot Harveth but I believe it is a new beginning and even better things to come. With a huge cast of characters from Harvaths past it really brought all 20 books together!With som Wow, just Wow!!How in the world could Brad Thor out do himself again. I thought he was at the top of his game when he wrote, Backlash, but i was wrong. Near Dark is even better and keeps the thriller genre on the edge of the seat waiting to see how Thor can out do himself again. Near Dark almost read as a Swan Song for Scot Harveth but I believe it is a new beginning and even better things to come. With a huge cast of characters from Harvaths past it really brought all 20 books together!With some Younger members of the team getting more action and a great new "partner" for Scot. The future and the sky is the limit.!!!
    more
  • Todd Wilkins
    January 1, 1970
    When the bounty on your head is the most expensive ever, you either resign yourself to your fate... or... you have to find a reason to want to survive at all costs. Whether it's starting off the book just south of me in the Florida Keys or across the pond at one of the most beautiful building on the planet, Brad Thor leads his readers on an epic journey filled with twists and turns, ups and (serious) downs on a mission the likes of which Harvath has seen.Everyone from The Real Book Spy to The Cr When the bounty on your head is the most expensive ever, you either resign yourself to your fate... or... you have to find a reason to want to survive at all costs. Whether it's starting off the book just south of me in the Florida Keys or across the pond at one of the most beautiful building on the planet, Brad Thor leads his readers on an epic journey filled with twists and turns, ups and (serious) downs on a mission the likes of which Harvath has seen.Everyone from The Real Book Spy to The Crew Reviews kept saying that this was Brad Thor's best novel, I was almost expecting the hype to overshadow the book. How could he possibly out do Spymaster or Backlash? I. WAS. WRONG! The term "lean" has been thrown around a lot in regards to this book. This is also an accurate description. Near Dark is written in a tight, no nonsense, strictly business style that is heavy on the best parts of we've come to love in a Scot Harvath book. Action, strategy, intrigue, and a cast of characters we love to root for.In Near Dark, Thor also dives much deeper into the emotional and mental state of his protagonist than previous novels and that is what makes us connect to and sympathize with Scot all the more. When he in facing impossible situations, we know that they're that much more difficult than they have ever been.With any author, I struggle to say that any particular novel in a series in their "best"... but anyone saying Near Dark is Brad Thor's best novel will not hear a word of contradiction from me.
    more
  • Maddie Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    Near Dark was a very impactful follow up to Backlash. After the events of the previous book we start with Harvath at rock bottom trying to drink away all of his devastating losses. Little does he know that there is a massive bounty taken out on him by someone and put to a pool of assassins to whichever can get to him first. Once he gets caught up with all he has missed since going off on his own and with what they’ve been able to find out about the bounty nothing will stop him from getting to th Near Dark was a very impactful follow up to Backlash. After the events of the previous book we start with Harvath at rock bottom trying to drink away all of his devastating losses. Little does he know that there is a massive bounty taken out on him by someone and put to a pool of assassins to whichever can get to him first. Once he gets caught up with all he has missed since going off on his own and with what they’ve been able to find out about the bounty nothing will stop him from getting to the bottom of it before someone else gets him before he can get payback.He eventually goes to work at dismantling who is involved one by one, all the while making sure his remaining family is well taken care of. Soon after he starts on his mission he meets NIS operative Sølvi Kolstad. They realize very quickly that they are after the same certain person and team up to get him and answers. While getting to him is only part of Harvath’s goal, it is all Sølvi is after for personal reasons. Sølvi is a very lethal and and focused on getting what she needs to done. She is also very to the point and doesn’t play games with anyone. She made a very worthy ally to Harvath, and it was fun to read the banter between the two. They had a fantastic chemistry that really made the story. I was really glad to see how healing their partnership was for Harvath after all the trauma he has recently been through.I really enjoyed the fast paced storyline, brutal action sequences, and characters that feel completely real. While the ending was wrapped up a bit quickly, I am looking forward to reading what is coming next for Harvath and his team and hopefully getting more into that ending! Overall it turned out to be one of my favorite Brad Thor novels and I enjoyed every moment.
    more
  • Erica Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent read, as always keeps you on your toes.
  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*. Scot is the character that I remember from the earlier books and I’m glad that he is back.
  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    Scot Harvath, the hero of Brad Thor's terrific long-running series, has had a really tough go of it lately. He has lost his wife; his mentor, Reed Carlton, of the Carlton Group, which employed him; and a trusted colleague, Carl Pedersen. He has elected to drop off the grid and drink himself into oblivion in Key West, Florida. But after being asked to leave his regular resort following an altercation, he drives to the far end of the island, checking into a lowbrow hotel for two weeks. The action Scot Harvath, the hero of Brad Thor's terrific long-running series, has had a really tough go of it lately. He has lost his wife; his mentor, Reed Carlton, of the Carlton Group, which employed him; and a trusted colleague, Carl Pedersen. He has elected to drop off the grid and drink himself into oblivion in Key West, Florida. But after being asked to leave his regular resort following an altercation, he drives to the far end of the island, checking into a lowbrow hotel for two weeks. The action in NEAR DARK takes off when he visits a seedy local bar.The prologue features a conversation between Andre Weber, a Westerner, and Lieu Van Trang, an elderly Vietnamese gentleman. Both are extremely wealthy and powerful. Their discussion quickly shifts to the amount of money they need to hire the best assassins in the world to take out someone permanently. That target is the one and only Scot Harvath. As he is fighting two bikers outside the Key West bar in which he had been drinking bourbon, a stealthy gunman takes aim at him. A shot is fired, but it is not Harvath who goes down --- it is the shooter himself.Harvath is rescued by a small team that he had become acquainted with during his top-secret government work. He is whisked away to Washington, D.C. for a meeting with an old friend. Nicholas, the diminutive dwarf and his one-time foe, has stepped up in the absence of Carlton. He is an expert at many things, not the least of which are hacking and scanning the dark web, where he finds chatter about a hit put out on Harvath. Now they need to determine who wants him dead to the point where money is no object and all the top assassins are invited to claim the bounty on him.One of these hitmen is a former Irish citizen now living in France under an assumed name. Michael McElhone is now Paul Aubertin and is one of the best in the business at what he does. He has a special love for the French national landmark Mont-Saint-Michel, which not only will play a role in the story but also is keenly depicted on the book’s cover.Against the wishes of his superiors and peers, Harvath decides to throw himself back into the most recent places in which he had stirred up trouble to see if he can pick up the scent of who is paying to have him killed. Everyone at the Carlton Group wants Pedersen's killer dead, but they are not confident that Harvath is going to figure it out.We also are introduced to a Norwegian version of our protagonist, a tall and striking female operative named Sølvi Kolstad. She has experienced a tragedy of her own involving personal loss and drug addiction, and finds an almost instant kinship with Harvath. Having an ally is a good thing at this point, but he still has no intel on how, when or where the attempt on his life will come. In true Brad Thor style, the book continues to globe-trot across the planet as Harvath and Kolstad fight, torture and go clue-tracing until they get a jump on the assassin. A final breathtaking showdown will take place, like something out of a James Bond novel or film.NEAR DARK is everything you would expect from a Brad Thor book. A staunch conservative who has shown his disillusion for the current political landscape through his recent work, Thor gets an opportunity to step away from these trappings --- and the result is an outstanding chase novel. He knows his stuff, as evidenced by his work in many secret government think tanks throughout his career, his depictions of “spook life” and his knowledge of great international locales. He dedicates the book “To all those we lost. And to all those who bravely served so that the rest might live.”I am looking forward to the next installment (the 20th!) of this series, which hopefully will be set amidst our current global pandemic. If there is anyone who could get to the bottom of this mess and come up with a solution, it would be Scot Harvath.Reviewed by Ray Palen
    more
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Well, Well, Well, what an interesting turn of events ...You see I've worked like a dog to get a copy of this gem & lady luck was again on my side as Marian Sutherland Kirby Library saved the day with this new release just ten days after publication. So make sure you support your local libraries during these troubling times for curbside pickup reading marathons. Saved by the bell...now on to the show!Atria get those ears perked up -no cherry coating here- this was superb!Sure we have the procedur Well, Well, Well, what an interesting turn of events ...You see I've worked like a dog to get a copy of this gem & lady luck was again on my side as Marian Sutherland Kirby Library saved the day with this new release just ten days after publication. So make sure you support your local libraries during these troubling times for curbside pickup reading marathons. Saved by the bell...now on to the show!Atria get those ears perked up -no cherry coating here- this was superb!Sure we have the procedural, tactical, militaristic charm but we also have a new romance and while it's sudden it's just starting to blossom so give this some growing room.We also have some bad-assery (is that a word?) action that's beyond the mere grenade throwing, sniper shooting, drone flying overhead action.This was a non stop heart pounding fulfilling read that centers upon a bounty on our main guy of this fab series Scot Harvath- a determined spy-that can't be stopped.Finding the folks behind this contract is the name of the game and bringing them in -alive- or alive enough till we get answers- is the overall mission.Teaming up with an unlikely ally proves not only worthy but heated and shows the softer edge of this hardened baller.Solvi carries her own -just as smart, deadly, with skills that match Harvath's broken past.Comfort, empathy, nurturing, and communication is key to making this duo indestructible and all powerful.Staying on top of your game is the ultimate tool for survival as we're all in ..or at least "In for a penny, in for a pound."Along the way there will be roadblocks, trouble spots, counter intelligence being exchanged with anonymous funding behind the scenes but bitcoin be damned there's more than one way to skin a cat and we all know about Edward Snowden and the spyware being used to easily track anyone, anywhere, anytime.So watch your damn back, check around corners, keep an eye on those moles (no not those the other ones) and keep your friends close-your enemies closer...Revenge is sweet...Believe that!Thank you Marian Sutherland Kirby Library for this 'New copy' located during pick up of other material at front desk circulation.SCORE!! Carry on!
    more
  • Maura Towne
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge Brad Thor/Harvath fan! I will say that this is the first book that I didn’t care for. The first reason is that too much of the book was spent recapping the last books’ plot. The second reason is that I did not like that a love interest was introduced for Scot, knowing that his wife had just been killed. I know that Lara’s death was in a previous book, but when you think about the time line, this book is maybe two months since she was killed. When Scot started to have an inner monolog I am a huge Brad Thor/Harvath fan! I will say that this is the first book that I didn’t care for. The first reason is that too much of the book was spent recapping the last books’ plot. The second reason is that I did not like that a love interest was introduced for Scot, knowing that his wife had just been killed. I know that Lara’s death was in a previous book, but when you think about the time line, this book is maybe two months since she was killed. When Scot started to have an inner monologue about Sølvi, or announced that he dreamt about her, I thought it was way too soon. Just my opinion.
    more
  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was good, but I didn’t quite feel it lives up to my expectations. In many ways, it was a continuation of the previous book which I didn’t mind, but it felt like a lot of time had to be spent retelling what happened vs. advancing the story. I found some the character development lacking as well, and some of the issues the characters were dealing with just seemed to end at the flip of a hat with little consequences. I found the ending extremely rushed and anti-climatic too. All of t I thought this was good, but I didn’t quite feel it lives up to my expectations. In many ways, it was a continuation of the previous book which I didn’t mind, but it felt like a lot of time had to be spent retelling what happened vs. advancing the story. I found some the character development lacking as well, and some of the issues the characters were dealing with just seemed to end at the flip of a hat with little consequences. I found the ending extremely rushed and anti-climatic too. All of that is to say I do enjoy the Harvath series quite a bit especially the last few, but this one fell a bit flat for me.
    more
  • Troy Pool
    January 1, 1970
    While Brad Thor never fails to deliver, he has outdone himself this time!A year ago if you would have told me that Brad Thor could top Backlash I would have thought you crazy, yet here we are. Near Dark finds Scot Harvath a broken man slowly drinking himself to death. Having lost his wife and mentor Harvath has nothing left. Then after a failed assassination attempt Harvath learns of a 100 million dollar bounty on his head. His only chance of survival is to find who placed the bounty and end the While Brad Thor never fails to deliver, he has outdone himself this time!A year ago if you would have told me that Brad Thor could top Backlash I would have thought you crazy, yet here we are. Near Dark finds Scot Harvath a broken man slowly drinking himself to death. Having lost his wife and mentor Harvath has nothing left. Then after a failed assassination attempt Harvath learns of a 100 million dollar bounty on his head. His only chance of survival is to find who placed the bounty and end their life before an assassin's bullet catches up with him.Thor has written a tense thriller that is impossible to put down and leaves you begging for the next book.
    more
  • Bob
    January 1, 1970
    I felt the ending was rushed.
  • Karie
    January 1, 1970
    We were looking so forward to this book after the high-action ending of the last book. There was a lot of backstory telling and not much action here. It was fine and mostly a setup for future books but not what we expected.
  • Deb Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    Just a Brad Thor fan, and always like the main character--Scott Harvath
  • James Winchell
    January 1, 1970
    Another hit it out of the park. Brad Thor keeps providing he is at the top of his game. Such an amazing tale full of suspense, drama and a simple love story. Scot Havarth is still someone you do not want to mess with. Liked how Brad showed this side of Scot and how he dealt with some of his ghost. I also enjoyed how Brad gives that quick back brief on some of the characters he uses to keep new read and returning readers up on his characters and how they fit into the storyline. Not a dull moment Another hit it out of the park. Brad Thor keeps providing he is at the top of his game. Such an amazing tale full of suspense, drama and a simple love story. Scot Havarth is still someone you do not want to mess with. Liked how Brad showed this side of Scot and how he dealt with some of his ghost. I also enjoyed how Brad gives that quick back brief on some of the characters he uses to keep new read and returning readers up on his characters and how they fit into the storyline. Not a dull moment in the story. It’s a must read for everyone.
    more
  • Jim Cerone The Perfect Host DJ MC
    January 1, 1970
    A Thriller?I’ve read all 19 books in the series, so I felt confident purchasing this one. Chapter 11 made me stop and post this review, something I would normally never do without finishing the book. The writing here is slow, dry and boring; lots of exposition, more like historical non-fiction than a rollicking action thriller.
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    #6 The First Commandment - ★★★★★#7 The Last Patriot - ★★★★★#8 The Apostle - ★★★★★#9 Foreign Influence - ★★★★★#10 The Athena Project - ★★★★★#11 Full Black - ★★★★★#12 Black List - ★★★★☆#12.5 Free Fall - ★★★☆☆#13 Hidden Order - ★★★★☆#14 Act of War - ★★★☆☆#15 Code of Conduct - ★★★★☆#16 Foreign Agent - ★★★☆☆#17 Use of Force - ★★★★☆#18 Spymaster - ★★★☆☆#19 Backlash - ★★☆☆☆ #6 The First Commandment - ★★★★★#7 The Last Patriot - ★★★★★#8 The Apostle - ★★★★★#9 Foreign Influence - ★★★★★#10 The Athena Project - ★★★★★#11 Full Black - ★★★★★#12 Black List - ★★★★☆#12.5 Free Fall - ★★★☆☆#13 Hidden Order - ★★★★☆#14 Act of War - ★★★☆☆#15 Code of Conduct - ★★★★☆#16 Foreign Agent - ★★★☆☆#17 Use of Force - ★★★★☆#18 Spymaster - ★★★☆☆#19 Backlash - ★★☆☆☆
    more
  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.I was excited to read this latest book in the Scott Harvard series, but this one for me was just okay. The earliest books in the series were definitely my favorites, but I still really liked them as they turned more toward timely (prescient, really) commentaries on what was happening in the world with China, the Federal Reserve, surveillance, etc.). I was disappointed with this one. It took a long time for I received this ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.I was excited to read this latest book in the Scott Harvard series, but this one for me was just okay. The earliest books in the series were definitely my favorites, but I still really liked them as they turned more toward timely (prescient, really) commentaries on what was happening in the world with China, the Federal Reserve, surveillance, etc.). I was disappointed with this one. It took a long time for much to happen, and it closed out quickly.
    more
  • Ray Palen
    January 1, 1970
    Scott Harvath, the hero of Brad Thor's terrific Espionage/Political Thriller series, has had a really tough go of things recently. He lost his wife, his mentor --- Reed Carlton of the Carlton Group that employed him, and a trusted colleague, Carl Pedersen. He has elected to drop off the grid and drink himself into oblivion in Key West, FL. He is asked to leave his regular Resort after an altercation and drives to the far end of the island, checking into a low-brow hotel for 2 weeks. It is when v Scott Harvath, the hero of Brad Thor's terrific Espionage/Political Thriller series, has had a really tough go of things recently. He lost his wife, his mentor --- Reed Carlton of the Carlton Group that employed him, and a trusted colleague, Carl Pedersen. He has elected to drop off the grid and drink himself into oblivion in Key West, FL. He is asked to leave his regular Resort after an altercation and drives to the far end of the island, checking into a low-brow hotel for 2 weeks. It is when visiting the seedy local bar that the action of NEAR DARK takes off.Just prior to the action in Key West, we have a Prologue that shows us a conversation between Andre Weber, a Westerner, and Lieu Van Trang, an elderly Vietnamese gentleman. Two things that they have in common is that they are each very wealthy and very powerful. Their discussion quickly moves to the amount of money they need to hire the best assassins in the world to take out someone permanently. That person is near and dear to us --- Scott Harvath. Back to Key West --- as Harvath is fighting two bikers outside the seedy bar he had been drinking bourbon in, a stealthy gunman takes aim at him. A shot is fired, but it is not Harvath that goes down, it is the shooter who attempted to end his life.Harvath was rescued by a small team that he had become acquainted with during his top-secret government work and he quickly realized that they had saved his life. He is whisked away to Washington D.C. for a meeting with an old friend. Nicholas, the diminutive dwarf, and his one-time foe has stepped up in the absence of Reed Carlton. Nicholas is an expert at many things, one of which is hacking and scanning the dark web. It is here where he finds chatter about a hit put out on Scott Harvath. Now, they need to put their heads together to figure out who it is this time that wants Harvath dead to the point where money is no object and all the best assassins in the world are invited to claim the bounty on Harvath. One of these hit-men is a former Irish citizen now living in France under an assumed name. Michael McElhone was now Paul Aubertin and he was one of the best in the business at what he does. He has a special love for the French national landmark, Mont-Saint-Michel, which not only will play a role in this story but also is keenly depicted on the cover of NEAR DARK.Against the wishes of his superiors and peers, Harvath decides to throw himself back into the most recent places he had stirred up trouble in to see if he can pick up the scent of who it is that was paying to have him killed. Everyone at The Carlton Group wants Carl Pedersen's killer dead, but they were not confident that Scott Harvath was currently going to be able to do this. Another character that we are introduced to is the Norwegian version of Scott Harvath, a tall and striking female operative named Sølvi Kolstad. She has had her own version of recent tragedy that included personal loss and drug addiction and finds an almost instant kinship with Harvath. Also, it didn't hurt that they were both friends with Carl Pedersen.Having an ally was a good thing at this point, but Harvath still had no 'intel' into how, when, or where the attempt on his life would come. In true Brad Thor style, NEAR DARK continues to globe-trot across the planet as Harvath and Kolstad fight, torture, and go clue-tracing until they get the jump on the assassin. They are made aware of the killer Paul Aubertin and know that he typically works from his base in France. It is here where the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' Mont-Saint-Michel will come into play as the final, breathtaking showdown between this trio will take place like something out of a James Bond novel/film.NEAR DARK is everything you would expect from a Brad Thor novel. Thor, a staunch conservative who has shown his disillusion for the current political landscape through his recent novels, gets an opportunity to step away from the political trappings and the result is a flat-out great chase novel. Thor knows his stuff, as evidenced by his work in many secret government think-tanks throughout his career, and his depictions of 'spook life' and knowledge of great international locales. He dedicates the novel to 'all those we lost and to all those who bravely served so that the rest might live.' What I am looking forward to most is the next Scott Harvath novel which will hopefully be set amidst our current global pandemic. If there is anyone who can get to the bottom of a solution to this mess, it's Scott Harvath!Reviewed by Ray Palen for Book Reporter
    more
  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    I actually took a couple of days after finishing this book to figure out how I wanted to rate it, or I guess it would be more honest, to say WHY I rated it the way I did. First of all, let me say that Scot Harvath is one of my very FAVORITE characters - in this genre or honestly, in any genre. I get very excited when June and July come around and my feelings go back and forth between wanting to read the latest installment as quickly as possible, knowing that once I finish I have to wait another I actually took a couple of days after finishing this book to figure out how I wanted to rate it, or I guess it would be more honest, to say WHY I rated it the way I did. First of all, let me say that Scot Harvath is one of my very FAVORITE characters - in this genre or honestly, in any genre. I get very excited when June and July come around and my feelings go back and forth between wanting to read the latest installment as quickly as possible, knowing that once I finish I have to wait another year for another fix, and wanting to take my time. The taking time option never wins..... From a person that reads at least one book a day - I can give Brad Thor no higher praise.So, about this book. At 20 books in, I think its safe to say that I am invested. Heavily invested. The last two books have been so excruciatingly well written that I have been blown away. It's hard to say if they have been better written, or the subject matter hit me hard, or maybe, its a combination of all of that rolled into the perfect book(s). It is possible then, after having been so moved that my expectations may have been higher than normal. I truly do not know. Because, as much as I hate to say it, I felt let down with this book. Okay, reasons. First of all, Scot has had a crap load of things thrown at him recently and I totally get his wanting to go escape somewhere and drown away his sorrows. Unfortunately, when you have so many enemies, and when you have just killed the Russian presidents son...AND taunted him about it, you really should be expecting some type of retaliation. But, Scot being Scot, once he is aware of the situation facing him, he jumps right in and instead of following the advice of his friends, he takes off and comes up with a pretty crazy plan. My problem from here is that it becomes a tell you, not show you book and that was something I was not expecting from Thor. Things are just too easy. They just fall into place (and honestly, how often does that occur for our fearless hero?) Every time he broke into a place, I kept expecting something disastrous, but...nope, it all works out. Even the initial beginning of this with the 2 hired gangsters who were supposed to get him outside and set him up - why did the assassin hesitate when he had him dead to rights? This wasn't someone who knew him and wanted to say something to him, this was a hired assassin who was about to be paid 100 million dollars for the kill, yet somehow he took enough time with the gun pointed at Scot's head for Scot to see him, to reflect on the situation and for the other guys to take him out. Hmmmm, that right there made me pause. And the way he meets Solvi and they become best pals - boy that sure is convenient. The whole book felt like that to me. Just not as realistic as I have come to expect.And, there are supposedly many many assassins' gunning for Scot, yet he is never found? He's running around country after country and that appears to be nothing to worry about. I get that he's trying to fly under the radar, and he is using military bases etc. But, in previous novels, people are found regardless of the efforts they put into hiding. And, talking about partners. Scot just supposedly lost the love of his life. His wife was shot right in front of him. It hasn't been that long and yet he is falling for another woman. A woman that unfortunately fits exactly into the category that he has been known to be attracted to - hence his handle of "Norseman". I sure do not mean to imply that people cannot find love after losing a loved one, this just seems like its REALLY soon. I mean, she is the exact opposite of Lara. So much so that I actually felt upset on Lara's behalf. And lastly, the entire last part of the book is a wrap up. We are told what happens with all of the loose strings. WHAT? These are probably the most important details of the book and yet we do not get to be a part of them. We are just given the info as a kind of "and they lived happily ever after" type ending. Completely not what we are used to from Thor and I have no idea why he chose to do this. This more than anything bothered me. It just made the entire book seem completely superficial and just wrapped everything up with a big red bow.So, does this mean it wasn't a good book? Absolutely not. Will I continue with the series? Of course. Unfortunately, when you have such a great author, people just expect him to always pop out great books, and for the most part - he does that. Who knows, maybe I was in a weird mood, maybe it was just me?? Who knows. But, I WILL be looking forward to the next installment next year to see if we get back the man we have come to respect and enjoy....and hopefully he takes us along with him for the ENTIRE adventure.
    more
  • Steven Dawson
    January 1, 1970
    While I certainly enjoyed the most recent installment in the Scot Harvath series, I couldn't give it a 5star review as I felt that 'Near Dark' was a bit lacking in a few crucial areas where Thor typically shines. As a series-long fan of the Harvath books, I'd have to rate this one in the middle of the pack for a couple different reasons. The first being that I felt this one missed the mark on the important high-speed/action sequences that we've seen and come to love in the past, which is somethi While I certainly enjoyed the most recent installment in the Scot Harvath series, I couldn't give it a 5star review as I felt that 'Near Dark' was a bit lacking in a few crucial areas where Thor typically shines. As a series-long fan of the Harvath books, I'd have to rate this one in the middle of the pack for a couple different reasons. The first being that I felt this one missed the mark on the important high-speed/action sequences that we've seen and come to love in the past, which is something that all great series in this genre offer to their readers. With the exception of a decent fight (fist fight) scene early in the book, and another towards the end of the book, there really weren't any significant gun battles involving the main character, Scot, where we got to see his superb skills as a tier-one operator come to life as we do in past books. In fact, the most intense gun-fight in this book came from the recollection of the supporting Protag, the Norwegian-Ninja that Harvath teams up with. And while there were times where the duo kits up with the appropriate and high-speed hardware, it was really never put into use, except very briefly during one encounter that lasted a whopping 2 paragraphs. Call me shallow, but after Harvath's escape from overwhelming Russian Spetsnaz forces during the last book, I was at least hoping for some Run-and-Gun in 'Near Dark'. The other reason I had to dock a star for this book was because of the Length, or lack thereof, in that I felt that the author left a good number of things lacking, and seemed to blow over certain important events over the span of 4-5 chapters at the very end. One thing that I love more than anything from some of the top authors in this genre, most recently Jack Carr's "James Reece" series, is that the books are incredibly in-depth, and take some time to finish. Too often I've noticed guys like Thor putting out books that could've, and probably should've, been another 100 pages, at least. I tore this book in literally 3 sittings, over the span of 2 days. And when you've anxiously awaited a book for an entire year, only to wolf it down, kind of left me feeling bummed, and wanting more. I don't know if it's the pressure from publishers to keep putting out books every year, or what; but I was really disappointed in how quickly Thor wrapped up the plot in 'Near Dark'. With all of that being said though, I do still want to reiterate that this is another good installment in an otherwise genre-topping series, and I would certainly recommend it to any fans of the military/espionage thriller genre.
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    A Neo-Noir Thriller?Scott Harvath is at his nadir in the opening pages of “Near Dark” and he hangs out there, drowning in guilt and self-loathing as he tries to drink himself into oblivion. Unfortunately this blue funk continues for twenty two chapters, mostly recounting events from “Backlash” the previous book. For a while I wondered why author Thor would switch genres from thriller to noir this far into the Harvath series. Thankfully our protagonist pulls himself together and sets about findin A Neo-Noir Thriller?Scott Harvath is at his nadir in the opening pages of “Near Dark” and he hangs out there, drowning in guilt and self-loathing as he tries to drink himself into oblivion. Unfortunately this blue funk continues for twenty two chapters, mostly recounting events from “Backlash” the previous book. For a while I wondered why author Thor would switch genres from thriller to noir this far into the Harvath series. Thankfully our protagonist pulls himself together and sets about finding out who put a hundred million dollar bounty on his head. And why.Once the action finally begins I settle in for the kind of fast-paced action and espionage that keeps me reading. However the action is sluggish, as if it too, feels the effects of Harvath’s numerous recent hangovers. The technical aspects in this narrative are intriguing and the sometimes “fly by the seat of your pants” tactical operations are actually carefully plotted and researched for plausibility. In this episode Harvath finds himself in the unenviable position of being both “the hunted” and “the hunter”.Much of the story is set in Norway where Scott is joined by Solvi Kolstad from Norwegian intelligence. An unusual affinity between them is quickly established and they set out to identify and find his would-be assassin. Solvi shines some much needed light into the dark corners of this almost noir novel. Together they begin a complex hunt for the assassin before he finds them. The dark turn of recent events in Harvath’s life is reflected in the book title “Near Dark”. If you’re already a fan of the series be prepared for some surprises, one of which is the abrupt ending. It feels unnecessarily rushed and incomplete, although the segue into #2o is as smooth as a good single malt scotch whisky.Now I have an entire year to anticipate the next chapter in Scott Harvath’s escapades. Maybe I’ll reread the whole series. So many books and so little time (sigh). Four stars.
    more
  • Mindo'ermatter
    January 1, 1970
    A Slow, Dull Thriller---Too Clichéd, Stereotypical!For Scot Harvath fans, this novel is an all too familiar tale with lots of procedural and background details many appreciate. However, the book is only an "okay" read for anyone else looking for a more interesting and engaging storyline. The author's once original and thrilling plots now seem to have become tired, worn out retellings of stale espionage encounters. This forgettable read serves well as a low-excitement distraction. Still, for dedi A Slow, Dull Thriller---Too Clichéd, Stereotypical!For Scot Harvath fans, this novel is an all too familiar tale with lots of procedural and background details many appreciate. However, the book is only an "okay" read for anyone else looking for a more interesting and engaging storyline. The author's once original and thrilling plots now seem to have become tired, worn out retellings of stale espionage encounters. This forgettable read serves well as a low-excitement distraction. Still, for dedicated Scot Harvath followers, this installment (hopefully the last) will likely only complete their collection. I'm purposefully not sharing any details of the plot or storyline because it would reveal too much, destroying any potential reading enjoyment. However, I was annoyed with all the excruciating details for the first 90% of the book to then have everything ended so quickly with so few details or explanations in the short and abrupt ending. Ugh!The story's travelogue details and background were interesting to some degree but slowed the narrative. It felt the author's heart wasn't in this book. His too predictable storytelling plods along with its formulaic ritual of repetition, cobbled together into a forced and contrived adventure. Nothing realy new here to inspire or entertain. Zzzzzz!This story had little originality with cutout characters who lacked interest or development. Wished the author had a better reason for writing this book, other than to possibly demonstrate and announce Scot Harvath's overdue retirement. Although Audible's narration supplement helped move the story along, a faster reading speed is recommended. Perhaps the author will find a newer, more refreshing characters and plotline contexts for his next series, one more contemporary with and less dated themes.
    more
Write a review