As I've mentioned in other book reviews, I am so not a fan of history in any size, shape or form. Museums? You've got my attention for half an hour, max. Books? Fuhgettiboutit! So when I say that Hidden Order not only taught me a few things about history but made it interesting in the process, you can be sure that's a compliment to the author's considerable talents.
This book marks, if I'm not mistaken, the 12th in the series featuring Scot Harvath, a covert counter-terrorism operative and former Navy SEAL. The private firm he now works for has been called in to investigate the sudden disappearance of five candidates under consideration to head the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. When the candidates start to turn up dead, the situation takes a more urgent turn in an effort to prevent all from being slaughtered in horrific fashion. Clearly, someone is sending a message, and solving the case means finding out who's doing it and why.
The chase leads Harvath to match wits with CIA officers and Boston detectives, one of whom proves to be a "match" for Harvath in more ways than one. The action moves along quickly and, for the most part, believably - with only a few instances of super-human efforts - and my suspicion of the whodunit didn't come until fairly close to the end. For the record, yes, I was right, but as the TV commercials say, wait, there's more.
I was also happy that the "rants" the author is fond of making (and which, in his last couple of novels, were a bit over the top), were kept to a mild roar. It's obvious he wants the public to be aware of the absolute power of the Federal Reserve - which, as he points out, is neither federal nor has any reserves yet has almost total and unchallenged control of U.S. monetary policy. But this time the facts, figures and warnings are worked into the plot on a more subtle basis - I didn't feel as if I were being hit over the head with a two-by-four.
Hidden Order: A Thriller by Brad Thor (Stria/Emily Bestler Books, July 2013); 374 pp.