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Use of Force (Scot Harvath Series #16)

Use of Force (Scot Harvath Series #16)

4.3 25
by Brad Thor

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“With his latest pulse-pounding adventure, Brad Thor puts the rest of the genre on notice—Use of Force is the thriller to beat in 2017.”—The Real Book Spy

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor.

As a storm rages across the Mediterranean Sea, a terrifying distress call is made to the Italian Coast Guard.


“With his latest pulse-pounding adventure, Brad Thor puts the rest of the genre on notice—Use of Force is the thriller to beat in 2017.”—The Real Book Spy

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor.

As a storm rages across the Mediterranean Sea, a terrifying distress call is made to the Italian Coast Guard. Days later, a body washes ashore.

Identified as a high value terrorism suspect (who had disappeared three years prior), his name sends panic through the Central Intelligence Agency.

Where was he headed? What was he planning? And could he be connected to the “spectacular attack” they have been fearing all summer?

In a race against time, the CIA taps an unorthodox source to get answers: Navy SEAL turned covert counterterrorism operative, Scot Harvath.

Hired on a black contract, Harvath will provide the deniability the United States needs, while he breaks every rule along the way.

Packed with pulse-pounding action, fascinating characters, and electrifying intrigue, Brad Thor does it again and proves why he is known around the world as the “Master of Thrillers.”

Editorial Reviews

Glenn Beck
"His best book yet. Powerful and reads like the news of what is going on today."
Andrew Mayne
"Brad Thor writes like a high-octane mix of Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum."
The Providence Journal
“Pure thriller gold...well conceived, perfectly timed...elegantly paced, harking back to the best of masters like Alistair MacLean and David Morrell.”
Bergen Record
"The best thriller writer ever."
The Washington Times
"No one writes a better thriller than Brad Thor—and USE OF FORCE...will be viewed by many as his very best."
"When you pick up a novel by Brad Thor, you should prepare to become fully immersed in the machinations and inner workings of modern-day counterterrorism operations . . . . I sleep better at night knowing that peole like Thor and Harvath are out there doing what the rest of us are unable to do to keep our world safe."
"Adrenaline junkies, this one's for you . . . Filled with action, patriotism, and plot twists, this adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last."

Product Details

Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date:
Scot Harvath Series , #16
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Use of Force




    Scot Harvath wasn’t supposed to be here. The CIA was forbidden to conduct operations inside the United States—especially the kind he was about to undertake. Desperate times, though, called for desperate measures.

    The seven-day Burning Man event was an extreme, weeklong summer solstice festival held on a flat, prehistoric lakebed three hours outside Reno, Nevada. Outrageous costumes were encouraged—as was “tasteful” nudity. Costumes ran the gamut from Mad Max to Carnival in Rio.

    As fit as he was, he could have gotten away without wearing much of anything. That wasn’t his style, though. It also wouldn’t have made sense for his assignment.

    Instead, the five-foot-ten-inch Harvath, with his sandy brown hair and his glacierlike blue eyes, wore a Continental Army coat and a full face of Cherokee war paint, obscuring his handsome features.

    As the wind kicked up again, he pulled a pair of steampunk goggles over his eyes and wrapped a keffiyeh around his face. Clouds of the fine alkaline dust that covered the playa were swirling everywhere. Visibility was dropping.

    “Fifty meters,” a disembodied voice said over the device pushed deep into his left ear. He kept walking, scanning from left to right.

    Burning Man took place in a temporary “metropolis” built in the Black Rock Desert, which was called Black Rock City. With more than seventy thousand attendees, BRC was twice as dense as the City of London.

    Seen from above, the festival was laid out in the shape of a giant letter C, or two-thirds of a circle. It looked like a blueprint for the Death Star with a good chunk blown away.

    It was a mile and a half across, and a quarter mile out from the center of the C was the “Man”—a giant effigy that would be set on fire Saturday night.

    There were no accommodations in Black Rock City, only what you hauled in (and hauled back out) yourself. “Burners,” as attendees were known, spent months in advance planning elaborately themed camps and villages. Only the ultrarich showed up on Day One, usually via helicopter, to luxury, turnkey camps that had already been constructed for them.

    Almost as controversial as the camps of the ultrarich was something called Kidsville. It was one of the largest camps at Burning Man and was for families with children—an interesting choice at such an adult festival. Nevertheless, this year, there were about a thousand kids in attendance.

    An army of volunteers, augmented by private security, had screened each vehicle as it entered the festival. Occasionally, the volunteers were assisted by undercover law enforcement.

    The massive flow of traffic, in addition to the laid-back atmosphere of the event, made it impossible to do anything thorough. It was more security “theater” than anything else.

    Local and state law enforcement patrolled the festival, as did Park Rangers from the Bureau of Land Management. But as long as you weren’t openly doing drugs or providing alcohol to minors, it wasn’t difficult to stay off their radar. They had their hands more than full. It was no wonder Burning Man had caught the attention of terrorists.

    The voice spoke again in Harvath’s ear. “You should be able to see it now.”

    He stopped walking, raised a bottle of water to his mouth, and used the opportunity to look around.

    Banners and tent flaps blew in the wind. There was a makeshift bar called 7 Deadly Gins, something called Camp Woo Woo, another place called No Bikini Atoll, and an enclave named Toxic Disco Clam. Just beyond was the blue RV.

    “I see it now,” said Harvath, tossing the water bottle.

    “Hey!” a woman behind him complained, but he ignored her and kept moving. He had come too far to let Hamza Rahim escape.

    Through the dust, the evening air was redolent with the smoke from bonfires and burn barrels. Music thumped from every direction. Hidden out of sight, diesel generators rumbled their low growls, powering turntables, sound systems, and massive light shows. Dancers on the playa spun flaming orbs on long chains. Rolling art exhibits, brightly lit from end to end, spat fire into the night sky.

    He did a slow loop around the camp that contained the blue RV. Everyone seemed to be congregated in a large tent, content to party and wait out the dust storm happening outside.

    After a group of bicycles covered in synchronized LED lights passed, Harvath approached the RV.

    It was dark inside. He tried to peer through several windows, but the blinds were drawn. A sunshade covered the windshield.

    Pressing his ear against the door, he listened. Nothing. If there was anyone inside, they were being very quiet.

    He tried to open the door, but it was locked.

    Removing a set of picks, he looked over his shoulder to make sure no one was watching. No one was. Within seconds he had the door unlocked, had affixed the suppressor to his Sig Sauer pistol, and had slipped inside.

    Even through his keffiyeh, the RV smelled terrible—like stale cigarettes and a toilet that didn’t flush well. After he peeled off his goggles, it took a second for his eyes to adjust.

    Plates of half-eaten food sat on the table. Dishes were stacked in the sink. A white plastic trash bag, overflowing with garbage, was tied to one of the drawer handles. The upholstery was torn, the carpeting was stained, and there was playa dust covering everything. Hamza Rahim lived like an animal.

    Noticing something on the floor, Harvath bent over and picked it up. Pieces of electrical wire. His heart rate went up.

    As far as anyone at the CIA knew, Rahim had been sent to Burning Man for preattack surveillance. His job was to gather intelligence and feed it back up the chain. Harvath’s assignment was to snatch Rahim and break his network by any means necessary. The wires, though, suggested the CIA’s intelligence might have been dangerously off target. Raising his pistol, Harvath crept toward the rear of the vehicle.

    The first thing he checked was a small closet. It was filled with junk. Across from it was a set of bunk beds—both of which had been slept in. Bad sign. Rahim was supposed to be alone.

    Beyond the bunk beds was the master area. That bed had also been slept in.

    There was only one place left to search: the bathroom.

    The door to it was shut. Taking up a position to the side, Harvath slowly tried the knob. Locked.

    He listened for any sound, but all he could hear was the thump of the dance music pulsing outside.

    Stepping in front of the door, he raised his boot and kicked straight through the knob, shattering the lockset and leaving a hole where it used to be.

    As the hinges were on the outside, the door was meant to swing away from the bathroom into the RV.

    Harvath took one hand off his pistol and reached for the door. That was when it exploded.

  • Meet the Author

    Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Foreign Agent, Code of Conduct, Act of War, Hidden Order, Black List, Full Black (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of 2011), The Athena Project, Foreign Influence (one of Suspense Magazine’s best political thrillers of 2010), The Apostle, The Last Patriot (nominated best thriller of the year by the International Thriller Writers Association), The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback (recognized as one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” by NPR), State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne. Visit his website at BradThor.com.

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    Use of Force 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Again another fantastic book. I liked that there were two situations going on at the same time. Once I start these books I can't stop. Thank you Brad Thor.
    Anonymous 4 months ago
    Hard to put down.
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Please don't stop writing. Love all your characters
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    This character has more depth than most others in the genre. Cant get enough.
    Anonymous 21 days ago
    Good read
    Anonymous 26 days ago
    Heart palpitations galore! Great read! Brad Thor' s best book yet. Good as a stand alone read. Can't wait for the next one!
    Anonymous 26 days ago
    I very much enjoyed this book. Scot Harvath and his team, do not dissappoint.
    Anonymous 28 days ago
    Cant put it down, felt like i was there. Now have to wait another year to read my next adventure.
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Another great read for Thor!
    Anonymous 3 hours ago
    Can't wait for the next book!!!
    Anonymous 18 hours ago
    Another great page turner from one of my favorite authors. Highly recommend
    Anonymous 2 days ago
    I truly enjoy the series.
    Anonymous 2 days ago
    It was fine..just not for me as I prefer books that are more an escape from reality.
    Anonymous 3 days ago
    Anonymous 6 days ago
    Up to date and on point.
    Anonymous 20 days ago
    Anonymous 26 days ago
    I put the release date on my phone and then scooped it up! Love the main character and each book gives me hope that we are still in the game.
    Scov 3 months ago
    Brad Thor's "Use of Force" is absolutely outstanding!! Each of his books is better than the previous, and it doesn't get any better than this read!! A MUST read, you won't be able to put it down.
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Hard to stop and go to sleep. Looking forward to the next one?
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    I'm a real fan i've read all the thrillers Scott is a for real hero
    Larryd_Fuller 3 months ago
    Brad Thor does it again! With characters developed over the span of 16 years, the reader is taken on a high octane yet human ride through the world of super operative, Scot Harvath. As always, Thor provides a, "ripped from the headlines," feel that will keep the reader up long into the night.
    GRACIE9492 4 months ago
    EXCELLENT! Could be taken right out of today's REAL news...brilliantly written. Brad did it again!
    Banz 4 months ago
    Profect Love this book, and Take a $5 coupons for Barnes from: 789promo.com
    ews 3 months ago
    SomeScum 3 months ago
    Right wing turd