From number one New York Times best-selling author Brad Thor comes his most explosive thriller yet. Packed with action, intrigue, and sublime plotting, Black List is the ultimate tale of deception in a world where "even in death" secrets can no longer be kept.
Somewhere, deep inside the United States government, is a deadly list. Members of Congress never get to see it and only the president has the final say over it. Once your name is on the list, it doesn't come off - until you're dead.
Someone has just added counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath's name to the list.
Somehow, Harvath must evade the teams dispatched to kill him long enough to untangle who has framed him for treason and why they want him out of the way.
Somewhere, someone, somehow can put all the pieces together. The only question is: Will Harvath get to that person before the United States comes under the most withering domestic terrorist attack ever conceived?
©2012 Brad Thor (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"[Brad Thor] is arguably the best thriller writer of our time." (Suspense Magazine)
"Anyone who thinks the only thing to fear is fear itself should meet Brad Thor." (Newsweek)
"Thor has mastered thriller storytelling with fast pacing and plots that are relevant to American readers." (The Miami Herald)
I love thrillers where the main character kicks butt... and Scot Harvath does a lot of that in this book!
It picks up right where 'Full Black' left off - smack dab in the action with Scot Harvath. For this reason I highly recommend you listen to 'Full Black' first to set this one up.
This volume centers around a conspiracy that - though some of its elements may sound farfetched - rings with a lot of truth and may just give you chills at how close to reality it could actually be. As usual, Armand Schultz brings the characters to life and keeps the book interesting even through some of the longer infodumps. This book also fleshes out some of the backstories for some of the characters too.
While I still have to give Flynn the nod for writing truly epic thrillers that bring everything together just right, Brad Thor gives him a run for his money. If you like Flynn, you will probably like this, too. Definitely recommended.
Everyone in the world seems to be gunning for Scott Harvath, Brad Thor's superhero character of all time. After his girlfriend is shot and killed, he goes to ground to try to figure out what's going on and who added his name to the "black list", a list of people to be executed by the US Government. He finds himself cut off from everyone with back-stabbers everywhere. If he makes a phone call, uses the Internet or sends an e-mail, shortly afterward there is a hit team there to take him out. He finds it almost impossible to stay hidden and "off the grid" since anything he does, says or sends is immediately visible to data aggregators at an NSA contractor gone rogue. His only allies are his long-time friend "the dwarf" and a couple others. And, he's apparently got the US government, law enforcement and military against him. How will he ever overcome this huge problem? A good edge of your seat listen. Recommend!
This is different from some of Thor's work, primarily related to the message on which he chooses to focus (privacy in America vs. foreign terrorism for most of his works). That's not a spoiler - there’s a quote from one Senator Church at the beginning that sums up that part of the theme.
Thor includes plenty of his trademark action to keep the story moving along while providing fascinating information about the concept of “privacy” in America. The action sequences are spectacular (and, warning: addictive!) and the narration complements the story perfectly.
Brad Thor is a master of faction (real fiction) and this book will make you quake in your boots because it is actually true but in a fictional setting. I think I am going to start a tin foil hat company, those might actually go into style when these programs are turned on the American people.
Considering that I have a reading disorder, the Audible compamy has quenched a great day of time with Audible as my greatest personal fre
What a masterpiece of truth woven into a fictionary plot of suspense and cunning. Thor is in the ranks of the great fictional thriller writers of this genre. I will follow him even after the disaster i felt in the Athena Project.
He is creative and so well researched; be ready to have google in one hand, and the book in the other. It is just a matter of connecting the dots while sitting on a rollercoaster of suspense.
I will always buy Brad Thor's books, but it wasn't clear to me until his tail-end interview with Armand Schultz, how high Brad is on Armand. A small part of my complaint is just the interview itself, which once again disappointed me re when I thought the book was going to end later. When will Brad learn?
But the real issue is why Brad favors Amand Schultz over George Guidall,especially since in the past Brad has signed up George Guidall to narrate almost as many books.To this listener, at least, that there is no comparison. Armand is OK, but that is about it. His portrayal of Scot Horvath's voice is dramatically weaker than portrayed by George Guidall. Armand makes Scot sound like a young recruit just out of his teen age years.
With George Guidall, Scott's voice is clearly that of a tough, strong, seasoned operative. And in general, in terms of switching between men's and women's voices, and really any voices, George Guidall is quite simply, incredible.
If it is a matter of cost, Brad, you should pony up the extra amount and so delight your listeners. If it is George's availability, that is understandable, but you should work at this issue - hard.
Enjoy this series by Brad, I was looking forward to the next book after Full Black. Armand did a great job with the narration as always, kept the pace up, voice inflections for different characters were good. While I gave the story a 4 star rating, there was still something missing from this book versus the others I've read or listened to. I guess if I had to put my finger on it I'd say it was not as believable as the others in the series. While a black list is believable, I don't think the government in all it's glory can be circumvented as protrayed in this version. Yes I know it is fiction, but up until this book most were fairly relevant to the times and believable. This one not so much to me.
In the top 10%. I have read over 2,000 going back to cassettes and this fairs very well.
Interested, but not on the edge of my seat. None do that to me, but some are good enough to draw me back immediately after I deal with an interruption. This book had that quality.
I can't say that I had a favorite "scene".
No, because it is too long. However, I listened to it mostly while spending an entire day, trimmimg trees and mowing grass. Saturday and Sunday, with some interruptions was all that was needed to listen to the entire book.
I have listened to a few Brad Thor books. He is consistently good.
perth to broome ..long distance roadtrain driver
enjoyable because the situation of power being abused often occurs in more ways than one....
the moment that moved me was when book explained that innocent people can be seen as guilty ,,,even when they not. and some time the limited options to clear their name when the reasons are fabricated can be hell and life changing.
Another great Brad Thor book with every you need and more to keep you listening, even in the driveway. It was great to see "the Troll" become more real, more human. I love to hear the interview at the end for a peak inside both the author and reader's ideas and inspiration behind the theme.
Only criticism is a minor one. As a long time Brad Thor fan, I sometimes got frustrated when the story paused to describe, in detail, characters from past stories.
"Mediocre thriller with a low reading age"
The *first* chapter is taut and exciting. A woman is fleeing shadowy pursuers through a busy shopping mall. She's only too aware of her diminished options in our ultra-surveilled pan-opticon state. She carries out some desperate and unseen remedy in a lingerie store - the last bastion of privacy in a dystopian world! Awesome! What's going to happen next?
Well - first of all the reading-age drops. Brad Thor rests on his Chapter 1 laurels and starts grinding out dull, over-explained prose. If you were reading it your eyes would skate across whole sections of this plonking explicatory text; you would fast-forward to where something happens.
However with an audiobook you have to listen to every word. It doesn't help that the vocal talent is merely adequate - of which more later.
There's also little in the way of effective scene-setting. Locations across the globe are bland and barely established - there's no immersion and no evocative description.
There's nothing in the way of emotional landscape. The hero is a bland, super-accomplished, emotionless cypher. He moves from one poorly described location to another while the text informs us of his laundry-list of accomplishments and credentials. Scott Harvath never shows a flicker of life, introspection or human vulnerability. Why would we care what happens to him?
The hacker character (on the other hand) is likeable and memorable. I was rooting for that little guy - he was the only character with a discernable pulse. But even his scenes - set against the same wasteland of poorly established locations as the rest of the book - couldn't save this tedious thriller-by-numbers.
Disclaimer: I could only get through about a dozen chapters.
On the vocal talent:
Armand Schultz gives a flat read with little vocal variety.
It was adequate (hence the three stars) but it was monotone and added nothing to the admittedly dull material. Schultz compares poorly to audiobook stars like Degas, Longworth, Pacey or Armstrong.
Professional audiobook readers should have a rich vocal palette. The best ones have the ability to move between different vocal instruments - moving seamlessly between accents and phoneme-sets.
Schultz either doesn't have or doesn't exhibit these skills. The most I can say is that he reads the text clearly without hesitation or breath-issues. That's not really good enough.
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