Review

The Last Patriot

by Brad Thor

Brad
Thor's seventh political thriller is a high-voltage page-turner
depicting the modern struggle between the U.S. and the fanatical
faction of Islam that seeks their destruction. The foundation for
this conflict may be disrupted forever with the rumor of a missing
revelation of Mohammed that was removed from the Koran by some
militant Islamic fanatics.

Interestingly, the text in question may have been uncovered by
Thomas Jefferson back in 1789. As President, Jefferson was the
first leader in U.S. history to wage war on the nation of Islam.
His potential uncovering of Mohammed's missing revelation would not
only thwart the militant Islamic faction he was fighting but
possibly discredit their entire belief system with the proof that
Mohammed never instructed Koran readers to wage war on all
non-Islamic people. Because certain Islamic factions would kill to
keep this information from ever seeing light, Jefferson was
supposed to have hidden clues to the location of this text in a
rare first edition of Cervantes's DON QUIXOTE. Someone who obtained
it might be able to decode the secrets Jefferson left within and
uncover the proof of Mohammed's last revelation. Islam's history of
abrogation and blind faith in the Koran may now be jeopardy!

None of this is known to the hero of Brad Thor's novels, Scot
Harvath. At the beginning of THE LAST PATRIOT, Harvath and his
girlfriend Tracy are vacationing in Paris, France, when they
witness a car bombing outside a café. Harvath is immediately
thrust back into the life he thought he had left behind forever ---
that of Special Operative for the President of the United States
and defender of Homeland Security worldwide. The intended victim of
the car bomb, saved by Harvath, is a college professor and scholar
who is actually on a secret mission on behalf of U.S. President
Rutledge. It involves the professor, Anthony Nichols, obtaining a
first edition of DON QUIXOTE that was once owned by
Jefferson.

Simultaneous to this action is an event on U.S. soil, in which a
man named Andrew Salam is apprehended in a murder case in
Washington, D.C. and taken in by the CIA for suspicion of
terrorism. Salam, while being questioned by Aydin Ozbek, claims he
was operating under direction of the FBI and had been specially
recruited for a covert operation to track down members of certain
Islamic organizations that threaten U.S. security. Ozbek and the
CIA learn that Salam was duped and was never actually operating
with the FBI. He was taken on by a former American operative,
Matthew Dodd, who has since converted to Muslim and is working as a
high-level assassin for some Islamic fanatics.

Dodd is also in pursuit of the same book that Nichols --- and now
Harvath --- is after. The only difference is that Dodd has been
commissioned by Islam to kill anyone who comes close to obtaining
it. The text that replaced Mohammed's final revelation contains the
most violent passages in the Koran. Allegedly, included in the
original version were peaceful passages directly counter to what
militant Muslims and Dodd believe to be true.

The pace moves fast and furious as all of the sub-plots converge in
the race to find this ancient text. As stated by Nichols:
“The mere suggestion that the Koran is incomplete runs
absolutely counter to what every Muslim is taught. To accept the
premise that the Koran is incomplete would mean accepting that it
is not perfect.” This information provides the motivation of
all the central characters and allows the reader to hang on every
hair-raising turn that occurs along the way.

Brad Thor and his Scot Harvath novels have evolved considerably
since his first, THE LIONS OF LUCERNE. He has ventured into more
historical thriller fiction while consistently tapping into his
prior life as a travel writer, clearly seen in the detailed
descriptions of exotic locales throughout the world. In the
Author's Note of THE LAST PATRIOT, Thor states that the history
contained within was based in both fact and fiction. The final
revelation of Mohammed is his own creation, but the rumor of
Mohammed's assassination and the discussion of Jefferson's war with
Islam are all fact-based. This combination makes for a highly
entertaining read and secures Thor's place with contemporaries like
Dan Brown, James Rollins and Steve Berry.

I had the opportunity to speak with the author at a recent book
signing and asked him who in the novel represented “the last
patriot.” He replied, “That's for the reader to
decide.” Readers, go to it!

Reviewed by Ray Palen on January 7, 2011

The Last Patriot
by Brad Thor

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 141654383X
  • ISBN-13: 9781416543831