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The First Commandment
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Product Description

A master assassin. A vendetta years in the making. And a counterterrorism operative who will risk everything - even treason - to keep the people he loves alive. Brad Thor, the New York Times bestselling author of Takedown, delivers an explosive international thriller featuring Navy SEAL turned Homeland Security operative Scot Harvath, who somewhere, somehow, has left the wrong person alive. "Thou shalt not negotiate with terrorists. . . " Six months ago: In the dead of the night, five of the most dangerous detainees in the war on terror are pulled from their isolation cells in Guantanamo Bay, held at gunpoint, and told to strip off their orange jumpsuits. Issued a civilian clothes and driven to the base airfield, they are loaded aboard a Boeing 727 and set free. Present day: Covert counterterrorism agent Scot Harvath awakens to discover that his world has changed violently and forever. A sadistic assassin with a personal vendetta in wreaking havoc of biblical proportions. Unleashing nightmarish horrors on those closest to Harvath, the attacker thrusts everything Harvath holds dear including his life into absolute peril. Ordered by the president to stay out of the investigation, Harvath is forced to mount his own operation to uncover the conspiracy and to exact revenge. When he discovers a connection between the attacks and a group of prisoners secretly released from Guantanamo, Harvath must ask himself previously unthinkable questions about the organizations and the nation he has spent his life serving. A renegade from his own government, Harvath will place his life on the line as his search for the truth draws him into a showdown with one of the most dangerous men on the face of the earth. Brad Thor roars through this nonstop adventure full of international intrigue, twisted betrayals, and ultimate revenge.

Customer Reviews:

  • Brad Thor kicks butt!
    Brad Thor's thriller The First Commandment is everything critics have been saying. Terrifying because of its real-world implications, this book's short, concise chapters keep the reader wanting more. Highly recommended....more info
  • More thumbs than I have way UP!
    Couldn't put the book down and it kept me awake at night. Brad Thor weaves reality and fiction to create a great story line. Too bad that we don't have a real Scot Harvath to make sure that the American way doesn't die....more info
  • A Thriller with Biblical Assaults
    Fete of Death
    "First Commandment" is a well-crafted political thriller rife with action and plot twists. Its nano-chapters and -paragraphs help kick the story along in high gear.

    Not only must Scot Harvath fight the bad guys, namely the terrorists, in this one, he must also duel with the president of the United States, who wants him out of the picture, dead or alive, for reasons of his own. In short, everyone's got it in for Harvath. He must use all his wits to hunt down the villain who is terrorizing his family, and at the same time survive while the president assembles a team of SEALS to do away with him.

    Brad Thor has done his homework with a lot of research for his book and it sounds like he has good sources as well.

    A la Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, Harvath tortures and maims his way through the novel to a final bloody mano a mano with the terrorist on Lake Geneva....more info
  • Baldacci and Flynn are better
    I bought this book based on an NY Times Book Review. It sounded interesting and in the same genre as the Vince Flynn and David Baldacci books I've read. The book starts out well and builds a credible story, but doesn't hold the interest as well all the way through.

    Thor's protagonist is a likable guy that anyone would want to root for on the post 9-11 era but his character is not as well developed as some of Flynn's, Baldacci's or Nelson DeMille's characters. You may feel for the people in the story who have been struck by various tragedies of the (Harvath's girlfriend and friends particularly) but Thor does not develop them or their backgrounds well enough for the story line to be credible.

    This was mediocre beach reading but I was expecting more. I may give Thor another try again, not with my $ but with my library card instead....more info
  • Very happy with the book...
    This was a very enjoyable read. The action isn't quite as intense as I would've liked to have been, but I still found the story very entertaining......more info
  • Generic characters, kind of boring, no surprises.
    Characters -- so one-dimensional you cannot visualize what they look/act/sound like, not able to feel any emotional connection with them or care about what happens to them.

    Plot -- absurdity after absurdity, with most of the focus on running from country to country rather than fleshing out details that would add believability.

    Dialog -- no humor, no wit, reserves the dumbest lines for the President and his advisors.

    Summary -- after 50 pages, I seriously thought about quitting, especially if you've read any other of his books about Scot Harvath (same concepts rehashed in a new plot). But I slogged through it cuz I was too lazy to go to the library and find something better....more info
  • Interesting premis
    This is my second Brad Thor novel, and I found it to be better than TAKEDOWN. Since other reviewers have discussed other elements of the plot and characters, I will attempt to add new thoughts.

    The terrorists threat in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT is a new one, apparently based on a real terrorist event. Thor presents a threat that would shake, and enrage, Americans should it be carried out here. Thor demonstrates that terrorists have no scruples, do not grasp--nor want to grasp--the concept of "moral equivalency."

    Some reviewers have said that the president would never violate the first commandment, giving in to a terrorist threat. In the real world, it will depend upon who is president. Apply Thor's threat to each current presidential candidate and decide for yourself what you think each would do.

    The story is paced well, enjoyable, and hard to put down. I am looking forward to Thor's next novel.
    ...more info
  • Harvath rides again, and again....(not a bad thing)
    The Troll emerges again and provides a good foil for Harvath. I enjoyed his presence. I also enjoyed Harvath's tendency to go rogue after.. uh.. um... the president's betrayal. As with all of Thor's books, the development of the characters is a little low, but dang there's a lot of really great action. I like his books as a really good quick hit, not too long, not too complex, but really fun. I recommend putting Thor's books in between much more serious and complex books. It makes a really great way to break up heavy reading with something fun. ...more info
  • "The First Commandment" by Brad Thor
    Rating: 3 Water Towers

    The action picks up in "The First Commandment" where it left off in "Takedown".

    Scot Harvath is in the hospital taking care of Tracy when his boss Gary Lawlor visits with some news on the attack on Tracy. Some of the blood smeared on Scot's door was lambs blood and it contained a radioactive substance. Scot wants to hunt down the person responsible but Gary says he can't and after a visit to the White House.....President Rutledge says the same thing.

    Scot is not to get involved. Period.

    Six months before the attack on Tracy five prisoners were released from Guantanamo. These five were known terrorists and were guaranteed freedom by the U.S.A. even though "The First Commandment" of terrorism is to never deal with a terrorist. The U.S. did, and it is backfiring big time.

    One of the released prisoners is on a quest to kill relatives and friends of Scot's. After making Scot suffer all these losses.......he will kill Scot. Good luck with that....

    Luckily, Scot does not listen to the President (not a good thing to do by the way) and starts hunting down those who he knows were released (and he suspects of being the killer). He was given the list of four prisoners that were released by the Troll....notice I said four. The Troll kept one person off the list for reasons you will find out when you read the book.

    As the attacks against Scot's friends and family continue, Scot tracks down the prisoners and does away with them one by one. This puts President Rutledge in an awkward position since he promised safe passage for the prisoners to keep a terrorist attack of unimaginable horror from happening--ooops, way to go Scot. (But then never deal with a terrorist.)

    President Rutledge decides that Scot needs to be stopped...dead or alive.
    Scot is branded a traitor, and is being chased by his old friend Rick Morrell and his band of Special Ops soldiers. The action intensifies as Scot races to find the killer before he commits the final act of revenge on Scot's ex-girlfriend Meg Cassidy.

    Although I enjoyed "The First Commandment" it is not, in my opinion, up to par for Brad Thor. The reason for letting the prisoners go is weak and trusting a known felon (the Troll) is surprising for Scot Harvath. There are other issues that were bothersome for me, but, maybe I'm being an overly critical engineer.

    This much I can say: When the action begins in earnest, Brad Thor shines, leaving the reader ready for the next book in the series "The Last Patriot".
    ...more info
  • Great thriller
    I was hooked from the first page. This was more along the lines of a Vince Flynn fiction. I had to finish this book in one night for I couldn't put it down. Scot Harvath must find the paid terrorist who is targeting his loved ones. Became very upset with President Rutledge who would make deals with terrorists. Glad Scot is a maverick and is on the right side. Highly recommend this book, but the reader won't get any sleep until the book is finished....more info
  • Great Thriller!
    As usual, Brad Thor novels make for a great read. In this case, I got his personal autograph with a personal note from him for my copy of The First Commandment when I met him at a recent writer's conference. Mr. Thor was very gracious and accommodating and was excited a fan stopped by to visit him unexpectedly. I recommend all avid thriller readers to check out Brad Thor's website and then read all of his novels in succession. Brad Thor's star character Scot Harvath makes Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt seem like a boy scout!...more info
  • Always keeps moving
    Count on brad thor to keep you awake. A very good read, but not the best from this author....more info
  • Better and Better
    Thor gets better with every book. Keep them coming..............I'm waiting for the ultimate thriller when Harvath teams up with Mitch Rapp and the world is saved for all eternity!!!!!...more info
  • Are you kidding?
    I read a lot of political thrillers... good ones and not so good ones... this one I could not finish. The story was predictable, the characters caricatures of ultra-right wing rednecks and really, do I need to know that the characters ate before something happens in the story? Page 101: "once he gulped down his breakfast". Page 79 "he even allowed himself an after-dinner drink.". Page 115, "the resort's chef made a late lunch and the men made small talk as they ate". This weird interest in using meals as either filler or segways between scenes goes on and on. Did the publishers put a stipulation in his contract as to the number of pages he needed to fill? The politics of this author are predictable, ridiculously one dimensional and outright pandering to a certain segment of the population. There is nothing complex about this book. It doesn't make you think, it doesn't make you feel and it doesn't even make you care for the characters. I was fervently hoping something bad would happen to the main character as I would have shot him myself if I could have. ...more info
  • Brad Thor Scores Again
    Brad Thor's First Commandment is yet another strong performance from an extremely talented writer. He captures your interest from the very first pages and then winds you through an intricate and believable plot. What I found most intriguing about this story was the linkage between our hero, Scot, who has been ostricized by the government he has sworn to uphold and defend and the contract training team in Colorado, who seems to be more patriotic, more capable and less bureaucratic than the government. Thus, they become Scot's facilitators while he is in 'exile'. This is a five star, first class product from a world class author....more info
  • Brad Thor raises the adrenalin with this terrific thriller.
    President Jack Rutledge authorizes a deal with terrorists. Although the American government leaders always insist they will never negotiate with terrorists even for the release of hostages, he secretly releases five hardcore known terrorists locked away at Guantomino as part of a deal to protect at risk children. In fairness his advisors told them they can keep this quintet under control with monitoring of the isotope they put in the blood of these killers.

    The President's advisors missed another slammed dunk when they lose sight of the fearsome five. Just under six months later, an assassin shoots Homeland Security agent Scot Harvath's girlfriend Tracy Hastings (see TAKEDOWN), leaving her comatose and he furious as isotopic blood is found at the crime scene. Soon afterward, his mother is attacked by locusts and some friends of Harvath murdered. He knows someone is coming for him, through his loved ones. Harvath begins to make inquiries, but is told to stay out of it. Even before these incidents he knew the leadership saw him as an expendable renegade so he ignores the order to take no action against the person methodically destroying his loved ones.

    TAKEDOWN is an exciting action-packed frightening thriller; THE FIRST COMMANDMENT is as exhilarating and action-packed, but even more frightening as the plausibility of the plot will not be questioned. Harvath is at his anguished best in this often violent tale as he is ordered to do nothing although his counter terrorist instincts are screaming to go on the offense. The return of several characters from previous books enhances the feel of the long term concept of the war against terrorism as Brad Thor raises the adrenalin with this terrific thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    ...more info
  • Gamecock Review - 1st Commandment
    Fast-paced, action-packed story...typical Brad Thor attention to current events and potential consequences of actions taken by both US and foreigh leaders...more info
  • The Only Stop on the Brad Thor Road Worth Making
    Books that I read and review here are almost exclusively either nonfiction or from the Christian fiction genre. Not this time.

    Author Brad Thor delivers a political thriller in The First Commandment, which by the way is Thou Shalt Not Negotiate With Terrorists. Yeah, that first commandment, the first commandment of the war on terror. I unfortunately jumped into a series of some seven books, and I jumped in at book six. Too often, when authors are writing a series of books, they make one of two errors: (1) they either spend too much time reminding you of things that happened in past volumes of the series, or (2) they leave you totally in the black about key events that you don't know if you haven't read the entire series. Happily, Brad Thor commits neither of these crimes of fiction writing. He wastes no time rehashing the past unless it is critical to the current story line, and even then gives you just enough information to give you a general understanding. Very well done. It makes the book a very simple read, and makes me very confident that I can step back and read the rest of the series without feeling that the future story line has already been spoiled for me.

    In addition, his background with the Department of Homeland Security makes him a believable storyteller with a credible story line.

    With the President of the United States blackmailed into releasing five very dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath has his work cut out for him as one of the released terrorists begins targeting his family and loved ones. Harvath is helpless as vicious attacks are carried out against his girlfriend, mother, coworkers, and old friends. But Harvath isn't one to sit back and wait for someone else to take action. Despite being ordered by the President to stay out of the investigation, Harvath takes matters into his own hands on a personal seek-and-destroy mission.

    Thor delivers a tale that could be cut right from today's headlines (yes, I know that cliche is terribly overused, but when it's true, what am I gonna do?). You'll be shocked at the treatment Harvath receives from the President of the United States, a man who owes his very life to Harvath. You'll be shocked at exactly why the President broke the first commandment of the war on terror and agreed to release five of the world's most deadly terrorists, and why he's willing to cover it up at almost any cost.

    There is some minor use of unsavory language in this tale, which I feel the author could easily have left out of the story without lessening the quality of the tale. Fortunately, the unsavory language is limited, and there's no other objectionable content.

    I can confidently recommend Brad Thor's The First Commandment, and will soon continue reading the rest of the series myself. However, based on even a limited amount of unsavory language, I would only recommend this book to adult readers. That being said, for me it was a very enjoyable read.

    Jeff Cole is an author, blogger, and podcaster. info
  • mildly insulting
    I thoroughly enjoyed first 50 pages of the book assuming it was a parody. The rest I found mildly insulting to any thoughtful and informed person. Particularly painful is the abuse of a term "patriot" by the author, a "fanatic" would be much more appropriate....more info
  • Hold on tight.
    Here we go! Scot Harvath is back in the lead as The First Commandment picks up right were Takedown: A Thriller left off. A failed attempt to take the life of Scot's girlfriend (Tracy) begins a series of attacks against those close to the ex Navy SEAL. Revenge appears to be the motif, but revenge for what? Revenge from who? And why? I could tell you, but then I'd be ruining one of the best reading experiences you'll find. Brad Thor is quietly becoming a master of his craft and The First Commandment is his best yet. Don't deny yourself the smooth, action packed, thrill ride that will have you holding on as you twist and turn through a superbly written novel...and once the ride is over Brad Thor will clog your to read pile for a few weeks. If you have read Thor's previous books, then I would highly recommend Ashes Divide by Clarence Cage: Ashes Divide another incredible thrill ride by an author that is unmatched....more info
  • The Last Patriot by Brad Thor
    The first sentence of this book reminded me of Angels & Demons. I haven't finished it yet, but so far I like it....more info
  • Good reading
    There are only a few writers such as Brad Thor, and Tom Clancy who can hold you spellbound. Thor is one of them. Great book!...more info
  • Excellent!!
    Brad Thor treated my advanced Tom Clancy withdrawal. It was hard to put this book down. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Barely one-dimensional
    After reading many of the other reviews I have to believe I got a DIFFERENT First Commandment than everybody else. Mine was comprised of about a hundred three-page chapters which neither developed characters nor presented an even vaguely credible story line. There is so little depth as to make the book barely one-dimensional. Sort of like a comic book without the pleasure of pictures. Very disappointing. ...more info
  • A contrarian view.
    Thor's "First Commandment" is strictly an average read. The premise stretches credulity to the breaking point and the story line snaps it (credulity) in two. The so called first commandment of dealing with terrorists is to never negotiate with them. Obviously this is not an inviolate rule as the context of every terrorist encounter has to be carefully considered before a decision is reached.

    But suffice it to say, if one is not ordinarily inclined to negotiate with terrorists threatening our children is not likely to induce us to change this policy. I did not find the reason for releasing 5 savage terrorists from Club Gitmo at all credible. The terrorists simply threatened to target our school buses some time in the future if they were not released. Yeah, we're going to fold when so threatened thereby encouraging all future terrorists to target our children. Lame.

    Secondly, our protagonist, Scot Harvath and the sundry villains are simply not particularly believable. The Troll, who I take has been in other of his novels, turns out to be an all warm and fuzzy sort of guy. Give me a break. I found myself sorely disappointed about 1/3 of the way through the book and that sense of disappointment only deepened as the novel wore on.

    Another aggravating habit of Thor's is to break up the story into tiny chapters thereby simulating a longer novel. This is an entirely bogus way to create the illusion of length.

    Scot Harvath's love interest, Tracy, was attacked early in the book for which Harvath feels responsible. She is basically pronounced brain dead by the doctors and her parents pull the plug only to have her miraculously recover (Terry Schiavo anyone?) once Harvath returns from saving the president's life.

    I've not read any other of Thor's novels and am unlikely to do so. If you enjoy books of this genre, go read any of Vince Flynn's early Mitch Rapp novels. They blow the drawers off this novel....more info
  • Wow... simply wow!
    This was my first book by Brad Thor and I am very happy that I "found" him! I love books that are fast paced and action packed and this one had it. This book had me from the opening quote! This is a very well written political, miliary, real-world thriller by a very talented author. Brad's other books have just jumped on my "to read" list. Extremely highly recommended!!!!...more info
  • the best of the bunch!
    i've read all of brad thor's books, and the first commandment is the best of the lot, so far! i've read a few flynn thrillers, and although i find them entertaining and such, i prefer thor's books.
    i like his writing, plus i find "scot harvath" a more interesting characater than "mitch rapp" but that's just my opinion,
    that being said, i highly recommend this book if you like action with a political slant.

    ...more info