Title: Ghosts of War
Author: Brad Taylor
Publication Date: 28 June 2016
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley
World War is on the horizon in New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor’s tenth heart-pounding Pike Logan thriller.
The Taskforce has stopped countless terrorist threats across the globe, operating outside of US law to prevent the death of innocents. But now, along the fault lines of the old Iron Curtain, the danger is far greater than a single attack. With Russia expanding its influence from Syria to the Baltic States, the Taskforce is placed on stand-down because of the actions of one rogue operator.
Meanwhile, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill travel to Poland, hired to verify artifacts hidden for decades in a fabled Nazi gold train, only to find themselves caught amid growing tensions between East and West. A Russian incursion into Belarus under the facade of self-defense is trumped by a horrific attack against the United States, driving NATO to mobilize even as it tries to determine who is behind the strike.
On the brink of war, Pike and Jennifer discover that there is a separate agenda in play, one determined to force a showdown between NATO and Russia. With time running out, and America demanding vengeance, Pike and Jennifer race to unravel the mystery before a point of no return is reached. Unbeknownst to them, there is another attack on the way.
One that will guarantee World War III.
This book is a little bit different to what Brad Taylor usually writes. Most of Taylor’s novels feature Pike Logan and his team of operators chasing down and stopping a terrorist group before they manage to do any real damage, but Taylor bucked that trend in Ghosts of War. Instead Pike is not just stopping a terrorist attack, he’s trying to stop the United States from being manipulated into a war with Russia without the usual help of the government. And even though the book is different, it’s just as good as everything else Taylor has written.
Ghosts of War is Brad Taylor’s tenth novel featuring Taskforce operator Pike Logan. In the aftermath of the previous novel The Forgotten Soldier, the Taskforce has been shut down so that the secret program won’t be exposed. With no official work coming in, Pike and Jennifer take a job recovering a hidden relic from the Nazi era. But when the president’s plane is shot down while traveling to Russia, Pike is dragged in to stop America and Russia from starting a war.
Even though the plot has been taken up a level from Taylor’s previous nine books in the series, it still has that same style and feel that I enjoyed in all the rest of the books. Taylor is one of the best at mixing the technical side of spy and military operations with a good story that keeps it readable and interesting. There’s a lot of action, not as much tradecraft and even a good deal of humour that Taylor is able to weave in naturally. Ghosts of War really raises the stakes in terms of the plot, while still keeping all the elements that made the series great in the first place.
The story itself is very thrilling and follows a recent trend I’ve noticed in a couple of books lately where the bad guy is trying to manipulate the US into starting a war. The story was well written and moved on at a quick pace, although I felt there was also more focus given to character development than some of the other books. I was really glad to see Aaron and Shoshana back and the focus on the Nazi stuff at the start was a nice way to change up the series a little bit.
The only thing that really bugged me about this book was related to the characters. One of the most enjoyable things about all of Taylor’s previous books is the dynamic between Pike and his team mates. In what is usually a pretty serious genre, the relationship between the team helps to ease the tension at times and because Retro, Blood and Veep only have small roles, that element was missing for me. The dynamic between Pike, Jennifer, Shoshana and Aaron didn’t feel the same to me and the whole side story about Shoshana being a psychic turned me off a bit.
Brad Taylor has quickly become my favourite author in the spy/military thriller genre and Ghosts of War really shows why. Yet again Taylor has crafted an action-packed and thrilling read that just keeps me wanting more. And the fact that he’s able to churn out great stories twice as quick as most authors means I only have to wait six months or so to find out what happens next in Ring of Fire.
Worth a read? If you’re a fan of the spy thriller genre and authors such as Vince Flynn, Brad Thor and Alex Berenson then Brad Taylor and Ghosts of War should be right at the top of your reading list. Taylor is a master at mixing crazy action and great plots to create some of the most engaging spy novels out there.