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10 Best Brad Thor Books For Thriller & Espionage Fans

10 Best Brad Thor Books For Thriller & Espionage Fans

Are you looking for a new thriller and crime author to read? We’ve compiled a list of the best Brad Thor books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

With almost 30 novels under his belt, picking from a list of the best Brad Thor books can be a challenge. The American thriller novelist has sold millions of copies of his books worldwide and many of them are New York Times bestsellers.

The author served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit, which is an arm of Homeland Security’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection. This unique experience has allowed him to craft realistic spy and thriller novels. 

Thor’s work is renowned for its authenticity, spine-tingling action sequences, and fast-paced adventure. He’s best known for his Scot Harvath novels. 

In Thor’s own words: “…when you pick up a Scot Harvath thriller, you’re going to get my absolute best, I’m going to take you on a great ride, I’m going to show you stuff you haven’t seen before, and together we’re going to have an incredible adventure.” 

You might also be interested in our guide on the best spy novels.

Brad Thor’s Best Books

1. The Lions Of Lucerne

The Lions Of Lucerne is the first in the Scot Harvath story.

Although The Lions of Lucerne was Thor’s first Scot Harvath novel, it remains one of his best. 

It takes place after the President is kidnapped while vacationing in Switzerland, leaving 30 Secret Service agents dead. A terrorist organization known as the Fatah is the main suspect, but Harvath believes it’s a red herring.

The riveting story brings readers on a thrill-a-minute ride as Harvath engages with professional killers through the mountains of Switzerland amid extreme temperatures and surprising plot twists and turns.

As the first of the series, The Lions of Lucerne is the best place for new Thor fans to start off.

On vacation, people were so willing to give strangers personal information that they never would at home: names, addresses, phone numbers . . . it was a phenomenon unique to traveling.

Brad Thor
The Lions of Lucerne (1) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 624 Pages - 12/28/2010 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

2. Backlash

Backlash shows a more human side to Harvath.

Backlash is another fan favorite. In this novel, Harvath must face a deeply personal tragedy. He also winds up stranded in enemy territory, where he must struggle to survive against overwhelming odds.

This book offers more insight into Harvath, humanizing the character in the eyes of readers. It’s a fantastic read for those who like action novels that still allow for character development.

The joke in our industry is that guys like Harvath don’t get PTSD, they give it.”

Brad Thor
Sale
Backlash: A Thriller (18) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 03/01/2022 (Publication Date) - Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

3. Use Of Force

Harvath teams up with the CIA in Use of Force.

Use of Force finds Harvath joining forces with the CIA after the death of a key terrorist suspect has the agency shaking its heads and fearing the worst. While Harvath is working on his assignment abroad, back in the States, the CIA is also dealing with a more internal threat.

There’s never a dull moment in Use of Force. The multiple plots will keep readers on their toes until the very last page.   

Without someone to hunt the wolves, the sheep would never be safe. The wolves were multiplying too quickly. The sheepdogs were being overrun.”

― Brad Thor
Use of force
  • Hardcover Book
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • Italian (Publication Language)
  • 07/03/2018 (Publication Date) - Rizzoli (Publisher)

4. Spymaster

Spymaster sees Harvath intervene when several diplomats are assassinated.

International espionage is on the agenda with Spymaster. After a covert group has been taking out diplomats across Europe, Harvath needs to act fast to investigate and prevent an all-out war from starting. 

Filled with action-packed scenes and real-world political intrigue, Spymaster is another example of Thor’s impressive ability to keep fans unable to put the book down. It’s ideal for readers who enjoy stories with dastardly and competent opponents for the protagonists. 

There were just three categories of human beings—sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. To those three categories, Harvath had added another—wolf hunters. That was what the world needed more of.”

Brad Thor
Sale
Spymaster: A Thriller (17) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 07/03/2018 (Publication Date) - Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

5. The State Of The Union

Harvath is working to prevent nuclear war in State Of The Union.

State of The Union is an exciting story about Harvath working to avert a catastrophic threat to the United States. This counterterrorism novel finds the US threatened with a nuclear disaster from Russia, and the President thinks Harvath is the only hope. 

Each chapter counts down until the President is due to give what’s called the “State of The Union” speech. Readers wait on bated breath to see if he will use his own speech or the one sent to him by the Russians to signal defeat.

It’s a classic race against time as Harvath races to save the day—and the country. Thor’s writing is masterful, as he plots out twists and turns that will take even the sharpest readers by surprise.

Wherever books are burned, ultimately, people are also burned.”

― Brad Thor
State of the Union (Scot Harvath, Book 3) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 592 Pages - 02/22/2011 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

6. Blowback

Blowback sees Harvath’s career fall asleep after an enemy releases suspicious footage.

Blowback shows a more vulnerable side of Harvath. His career comes to a screeching halt when a video of him attacking a fruit vendor from Iraq is leaked by a foe. 

However, when an ancient weapon originally created to take down the Roman Empire is discovered, and a threat is made against the US, the President has no choice but to turn to Harvath.  

The weapon’s historical element makes Blowback stand out among Thor’s other works. 

Often the mere suggestion of impropriety is enough to ruin someone.

Brad Thor
Blowback: A Thriller (4) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 688 Pages - 02/22/2011 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

7. Hidden Order

Harvath faces a secret organization known as the Hidden Order in this book.

Hidden Order finds Harvath immersed in a complex conspiracy that threatens not only the United States but also the stability of the global financial system. It’s a high-stakes mission for Harvath after a string of mysterious deaths is connected to a secret organization known as the “Hidden Order.” This secretive group wields immense power and influence behind the scenes, manipulating global events to serve their own agenda. 

Will Harvath be up to the challenge of facing an organization so large, hidden, and powerful that even top-level political figures know nothing about it?

There’s a dual plot to keep readers hooked and plenty of twists and turns. It’s fast-paced and easy to read, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling. 

The funny thing about believing you can do no wrong is that you quickly begin doing nothing but wrong.

― Brad Thor
Hidden Order: A Thriller (12) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 05/20/2014 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

8. Black List

Someone is out to destroy Harvath in Black List.

Black List sees Harvath find his name on a secret government list, marking him for assassins. He has to keep himself alive long enough to discover who put him on it and why.

In the meantime, the US is threatened with a terrorist attack, and the protagonist finds himself hoping he’s still alive to deter it. 

Black List is a thrilling read that is extremely relevant today. Readers will be intrigued by how it proposes the risks of our overreliance on technology. 

Human beings are the most successful of animals because of their capability to learn, and an abused animal learns very quickly to defend itself. It also learns very quickly to trust very few people – if any.

― Brad Thor

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9. Takedown

Takedown sees a terrorist attack disrupt the 4th of July festivities.

Takedown begins with a terrorist attack thwarting the 4th of July celebrations in Manhattan. After all the tunnels and bridges are destroyed, the city is in panic. 

Harvath quickly figures out the attack isn’t over and searches the city for the next threat before it’s too late. 

As with other Thor books, there is non-stop action in Takedown. Although it’s a bit rough around the edges as it’s one of the older Harvath books, it’s a gripping and worthwhile read for fans hoping to see an earlier version of the character. 

The problem with being in the wrong place at the wrong time is that you never know it until it’s too late.”

Brad Thor
Sale
Takedown: A Thriller (5) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 01/19/2021 (Publication Date) - Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

10. The Apostle

The Apostle sees Harvath questioning his line of work.

In The Apostle, Harvath finds himself out of work due to administration changes in the government. It soon becomes clear he’s too valuable to lose as he’s quickly called into action when an American doctor is kidnapped abroad, and the President receives a ransom request. 

To meet the request of the kidnappers, Harvath is tasked with freeing a terrorist from prison. However, when he arrives, he realizes there’s more to the mission than he initially thought and questions his conscience and commitment to the task.

None of the sheep ever wanted a sheepdog around until one of them spotted a wolf. By then, it was often too late.

― Brad Thor
Sale
The Apostle: A Thriller (8) (The Scot Harvath Series)
  • Thor, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 03/02/2021 (Publication Date) - Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our guide on the best crime thriller authors.



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10 Best Brad Thor Books For Thriller & Espionage Fans

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