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State of the Union
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Product Description

"From the national bestselling author of The Lions of Lucerne and Path of the Assassin comes another electrifying international thriller featuring all-American hero Scot Harvath, as he plunges into the frigid heart of the Russian tundra to save the fragile state of the union. On a cold January morning, the United States awakes to discover that an old enemy, one long believed dead and buried, has crawled out of its grave to lay siege to the world's only superpower. With the stunning discovery that enhanced Soviet-made suitcase nukes have been secreted in America's major cities, President Jack Rutledge gathers his National Security Council to weigh the feasibility of a first strike against the Russian Federation. There's only one problem. For over two decades, the Russians have been funneling international aid money into a top secret air defense system, which has just been brought on-line and which will render any conventional attack upon their country utterly ineffective. After exhausting all of his other options, and with Soviet sleeper agents preparing to detonate their deadly payloads across the United States, the president turns to the nation's final hope, ex-Navy SEAL and Secret Service Agent Scot Harvath. Assigned to a covert section of the Department of Homeland Security and charged with defending the nation against all foreign aggressors by any means necessary, Harvath finds himself hand-picked by the president to unravel a brilliantly orchestrated, fiendishly timed conspiracy that has already shattered the fragile peace between the world's nations and which, if successful, will leave the United States in smoldering ruins. With family friend and former Deputy FBI Director Gary Lawlor nowhere to be found and suspected of betraying his country, Harvath embarks on an adventure that will test the bonds of loyalty and reveal a nation's deepest secrets. As high-voltage and timely as they come, State of the Union is a frighteningly real, headline-ripping tale of espionage and intrigue that will keep readers guessing until the last tantalizing piece of the puzzle locks into place. With exotic international locales, hair-raising suspense, and scenes of pulse-pounding action, Brad Thor has once again reaffirmed his position as the thriller writer readers and critics alike have hailed as Clancy, Cussler, and Ludlum all rolled into one."

Customer Reviews:

  • The Cold War lives...
    Again!Of the three Thor thrillers I've read this one kinda let me down, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I like "Lions" and "Path" just a little bit better.I'm still a Brad Thor fan though and I'm looking forward to his next book....more info
  • Be Thankful It Is Fiction...
    Brad Thor has written another compelling novel which will make you thankful that it is a work of fiction. During the Cold War the Soviets created numerous sleeper agents in the United States and provided them with suitcase nuclear bombs. Guarding against that possibility the United States created a similar cadre of agents. With the breakup of the SU, it was reasonably assumed that they would never be called on. That assumption held until the president is presented with a picture of such a bomb secreted in the Mall of America and directions on how to find it. The message is that this is just one of twenty such bombs and unless the president essentially removes the US from the world stage in his State of the Union address which is to occur in eight days, they will be detonated.

    Reacting to the threat, the US moves to deploy it's agents, only to discover that all but two have been killed, one has been brutally interrogated and the other is being used to bait a trap.

    Scott Horvath is once again called on by the president to save the day and in doing so, Mr. Thor has woven an ingenious plot, filled with interesting and dastardly characters which will keep you turning the pages and reluctant to put it down....more info

  • State of the Union: by Brad Thor
    This author was recommended to me by Amazon, and I'm glad to say that I was pleased that I followed the recommendation....more info
  • 3.5 Stars For Brad Thor's Third
    State of the Union is Brad Thor's third book in his Scot Harvath (ex-Navy SEAL, ex-Secret Service) series.

    This book deals with a resurgent Russia lead by old communist die-hards. The plot is interesting and fresh, with Russia's comeback both logical and comprehensible. Also, I enjoy how the end of the third book gets you ready for the fourth book (at least I assume that it does as I have not read Blowback: the fourth book in the series)

    I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who has interest in this series or these types of political/military thrillers.

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  • Master of the politically relevant thriller
    Brad Thor has fast become one of my favorite writers. Can all 7 of his books on terrorisim truly be that different? Yes they can! Every book is a suspensful page turner. Every book offers a different, politically relevant veiw and outcome. Brad Thor is truly a master story teller....more info
  • Fantasic Thriller!
    Brad Thor's character, Scot Harvath, is a great hero. The book is a great, fast-paced read. I enjoy that Brad Thor does a lot of research on his books. It is a great thriller!...more info
  • A spy novel that you'll read in 2 days!
    Brad Thor's depiction of a Ex-Special Forces/Ex-Secret Service/CIA Agent is hard to put down. Enough realism to capture your mind and make you lose track of time.......more info
  • Quick and Grippi ng
    This is a quick read that keeps you glued to the next page. Thor is becoming the poor man's Tom Clancy!...more info
  • State of the union leaves you in a state of suspense!
    In the beginning of the book the kidnapping of former head of the FBI Gary Lawler, Scott Harvath's best friend, and mentor occurs in Eastern Germany, and a web of sleeper cells is awoken in the U.S. to place suitcase atomic bombs in every major city in the U.S. The President, and the Country is held hostage, and Scott Harvath is sent to Germany to find Lawler, and his connection to the horrific plot against our nation.
    Scot connects with an old friend from GSG9 Germany's FBI, and the story takes one action filled turn, after another! The plot, action, and story never slows down, adding up to his best book yet!
    If his stories continue improving like this, there is no end in site to what he'll be able to accomplish. America's Matt Reilly!...more info
  • Great Read
    If you like suspence and spies Brad Thor mixes both very well. One of my favorite authors and characters....more info
  • The development of a Novelist...
    After reading PATH OF THE ASSASSIN, and being thoroughly entertained, STATE OF THE UNION was a natural choice as it picks up the storyline of ASSASSIN. Once again, I must quickly admonish, this is a work of fiction, one where the "secret agents" are not real and actually to live to fight another day regardless the overwhelming odds of death they face. It's a bit like all the James Bond movies...Bond always wins. With that established...

    The book opens with U.S. President Rutledge requesting that our hero and uberagent, Scot Harvath, leave the Secret Service to fill a new position within the new, ultraclandestine Office of International Investigative Assistance. Net, net, this is the often bandied "black ops" organization that reports only to the President, and can use any means necessary to accomplish their tasks and missions. While Harvath is leery, Rutledge makes it easy by installing Harvath's friend and, as we learn, surrogate father, Gary Lawlor as the head of OIIA. In previous installments, Lawler was the Deputy Director of the FBI.

    Early on, Lawlor cannot be located or contacted, and there is great concern, on many fronts, about Lawlor's mysterious absence. Lawlor spent a great deal of time overseas in his early career, and there are mumblings that Lawlor could possibly be a double agent. Harvath, ever the vigilant friend, is incensed by these accusations, but is more concerned about finding Lawlor than defending him. However, as Harvath learns more about Lawlor's disappearance, and his past, it becomes a plausible possibility that the double agent theory has credence. Harvath still doesn't buy it, but a case is there to be made. This becomes further complicated by the sudden death of a number of intelligence operatives who reportedly had contact with Lawlor not long before their demise.

    During Harvath's search for Lawlor, he stumbles upon a sleeper plot developed by hard-line Soviet communists at the end of the Cold War. This plot calls for, in Thor's perfect "fit the current environment" themes, suitcase-based nuclear bombs to be placed in multiple cities, and detonated simultaneously. While this is a sobering thought for any reader given today's landscape, Harvath knows he must stop this diabolical scheme concurrent with his search Lawlor.

    Thor develops the storyline quite well and weaves in the expected "Harvath miracles," which for some readers, has been overdone. Again, this is fiction, and fiction can take many roads to an end. Regardless one's predisposition for reality, development of a hero, one who is fallible, yet reliable, is a central ingredient in most successful novelists today. Consider Patterson's Alex Cross, Clancy's Jack Ryan, Silva's Gabriel Allon, and we can't forget Parker's Spenser. All of these best-selling authors have developed a character that has certainly relied upon something that can only be described as "superskills" to get out of every possible dire situation, and live to fight again. It is expected. Thor's Scot Harvath is no exception; the only difference with Harvath is that he has an air of invincibility. Perhaps, after reading STATE OF THE UNION, this invincibility will be quelled somewhat, as Harvath finds himself in a variety of situations not befalling an uberagent.

    Regardless, this was a fun, fast-paced mystery novel, full of bad guys, beautiful ladies, and a couple of heroes. Just what this world needs right now...
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  • weaker by the chapter
    Thor's third thriller starts out with a bang and slowly loses much of its pazzazz as it goes along. By the ending chapters I thought this one was far too predictable. I'm still a fan and look forward to future works, but whereas I was breathless in the beginning of this one, I found myself yawning by the end and checking out the next release by other favorite authors. Sorry Brad!!...more info
  • Cold war conundrum
    Ex-Navy SEAL and Secret Service agent Scot Harvath is at the center of Brad Thor's creative plot in the espionage thriller "State of the Union".

    Long thought to be an ex-world power after losing the Cold War and denouncing Communism, Russia has actually been a sleeping giant playing possum. In a plan twenty years in the making formulated by diabolical Russian general Sergei Stavropol, the stature of the United States on the world stage in being threatened. President Jack Rutledge in a communique has learned that more than 20 suitcase nuclear bombs have been hidden in major cities throughout the country by Russian "sleeper" agents.
    To avert their detonation, the President while giving his state of the union address in eight days must resign the U.S. from just about every world organization, thereby creating national economic suicide. Retaliation would not be possible as Russia has also secretly instituted an impregnable air defense system that would thwart conventional warfare.

    Super agent Harvath is summoned by the President to thwart this ingenious Russian plot. Unfortunately Harvath's boss and father figure, deputy director of the FBI, Gary Lawlor is presently missing and implicated in the blackmail of the country.

    Thor in a riveting plot conjures up a scenario, which with present day technology being what it is, seems plausible and therefore frightening....more info

  • The best in the series so far.
    I've read the preceeding books in Brad Thor's Scot Harvath series. They usually read like they were meant to be easily adapted to silly Hollywood action films--except they are too patriotic to be made by Hollywood. And if I have to read about Scot Harvath's rugged good looks and muscular 5'10" frame, with sandy brown hair and piercing blue eyes one more time I'm going to barf. Enjoyable for a fun read, but not really too believable.

    State of The Union was much better. Scot even began to feel run down and tired, rather than superhuman like usual. I really liked the plot twists and turns and the insight into Russian culture and current events. It kept me hooked and guessing. Good stuff. The next one, Blowback, not so much. Kind of ridiculous and a little tedious. But I did enjoy State of the Union. I'm taking a break from the Scot Harvath books for a bit. At some point I'll go back to them because I've heard good things about Take Down, The First Commandment and The Last Patriot....more info
  • One of the worst-written books I have ever read
    First the good news: the book has an interesting plot, the author keeps things moving at a brisk pace, and the technical details are well researched.

    Now the bad news, and there's a lot of it. Brad Thor's writing style is incredibly clunky and awkward. His descriptions are clumsy, full of clich¨¦s, and loaded with superfluous references. I just picked up the book and opened to a random page to find an example. Here's one: "The message had come down loud and clear: Harvath and Alexandra were in a hurry and there was no time to waste." Really? Eight hours before the nation is incinerated in a nuclear inferno, and they're in a hurry? You don't say. An obvious reference, a punctuation error, and four clich¨¦s in ONE SENTENCE. Every page has at least one clunker like that. Techno-thrillers aren't known for brilliant prose, but even by the standards of the genre, this is just terrible writing.

    Thor goes into exhaustive detail about every single weapon and gadget his characters use, at great expense to the development of the story and the characters themselves. At times the book reads like a Special Forces equipment catalog. I like techno-thrillers, and I like tactical hardware, but please, give us a story. I can look technical specs up on Wikipedia.

    Finally, the dialog is completely implausible. People just don't talk like Brad Thor's characters. How did this guy become a best-selling author?

    It typically takes me 3-4 days to devour a book of this size and type. "State Of The Union" took me two weeks. I would get so frustrated and annoyed by the writing that I couldn't continue reading for more than a few minutes at a time. Having finished it, I'm not sure if I should be proud of my persistence, or angry with myself for wasting so much time on this awful book....more info
  • Didn't finish it
    I took this on vacation and was looking forward to reading it. But I could only get about 1/2 way through. It was a little slow, with standard plot lines, nothing new here.

    If I didn't have a couple of other books, I would probably have finished it, so who knows, maybe the 2nd half is better....more info
  • Good Thriller
    Brad Thor gave me exactly what I expected- a fast moving military and political thriller which was well written, mostly believable, and full of twists and turns. I read the entire story in one day (I was on vacation). I enjoyed every minute. The main character is unstoppable, hobnobs with the president, and has many miraculous escapes, but I am willing to tolerate that in a good thriller.

    Dan Brown wrote a positive review on the cover of my edition, as well he might. Thor is a better writer in many ways. His characters are more believable, the action is more exciting, and the outcome was not easily predictable until near the end. There were no lengthy expositions of falsified history either.

    Thor doesn't take pains to be politically correct, and I like that. This is a straightforward novel where the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, and there is no ambiguity. It isn't deep or difficult, just plain entertaining.
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