Title: The Forgotten Soldier
Author: Brad Taylor
Publication Date: 29 December 2015
For years, the extralegal counterterrorist unit known as the Taskforce has worked in the shadows, anticipating and preventing attacks around the globe. Created to deal with a terrorist threat that shuns the civilized rule of law, it abandoned the same, operating outside of the US Constitution. Though wildly successful, it was rooted in a fear that the cure could be worse than the disease.
And now that fear has come home.
A Special Forces soldier is killed on an operation in Afghanistan, and complicit in the attack is a government official of an allied nation. While the US administration wants to forget the casualty, one Taskforce member will not. When he sets out to avenge his brother’s death, his actions threaten to not only expose the Taskforce’s activities, but also destroy a web of alliances against a greater evil. Pike Logan understands the desire, but also the danger. Brought in to eliminate the risk, he’s now forced to choose between his friend and the administration he’s sworn to protect, while unbeknownst to either of them, the soldier’s death is only the beginning….
My first thought after finishing this book was that Brad Taylor has done it again. Just like his previous eight novels, Brad Taylor has written a great thriller in The Forgotten Soldier. It really is true when they say that you know what you are going to get from a Brad Taylor novel, because all his books are as good as last. Taylor has continued that trend because The Forgotten Soldier is another action-packed read with an interesting plot. While the general plot itself is nothing new, Taylor is somehow able to keep it fresh and exciting the whole way through.
The Forgotten Soldier is the ninth installment in Taylor’s Pike Logan series of spy/military thrillers. In this book, Pike and his group are tasked with bringing home a fellow Taskforce operator who has gone rogue in an attempt to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of a terrorist group in Afghanistan. It is as fast-paced and easily to read as all of Taylor’s other novels and contains heaps of action from Pike and his team.
I feel that Brad Taylor has two real key strengths over other authors in the same genre. The first of these is his ability to balance realism and readability. In The Forgotten Soldier, Taylor shows that he is a master at finding his balance, as his books are always realistic without being overly technical and therefore a slog to read through while also not relying too heavily on action at the expense of a good plot. Taylor’s novels always feel like they could possibly happen, which is what I look for in a good novel, and that is definitely true of The Forgotten Soldier. I read somewhere that Taylor describes his own work as realistic but not accurate, and while this balance is probably not what he was talking about I feel that the description fits what I am trying to explain perfectly.
The second of Taylor’s strengths is his characters. In a genre where characters often take a back seat to plots and action, Taylor’s ability to create a wide range of interesting characters really stands out. While a lot of authors seem to have the problem that their secondary characters are just there to advance the plot, Taylor is able to create characters that feel realistic. With The Forgotten Soldier, Taylor introduced new characters that I would like to see again and I don’t feel that many other authors are able to do that as effectively as Brad Taylor.
I was a little surprised when I read the book that the characters of Aaron and Shoshanna didn’t feature in it, considering that they were heavily featured in the previous novel The Insider Threat which ended in such a way that I was sure that they would be back for this book. However that is probably the only thing that I didn’t enjoy about the book because the rest of it was great. Hopefully Aaron and Shoshanna will be back, along with Carly and Veep and the rest of Pike’s team, in Taylor’s next novel Ghosts of War which is expected to be published in June. Also, just as a sidebar, how Taylor manages to release such high quality novels twice as often as most other authors is beyond me.
Worth a read? If you are a fan of the spy or military thriller genre, then you probably have already read this book. If you haven’t, then you are missing out because Brad Taylor is the gold standard and The Forgotten Soldier is a quick, fast-paced, action-packed and thrilling read. If you’re a fan of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor or similar authors, then you will enjoy Brad Taylor and The Forgotten Soldier.