The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.
The Insider Threat by Brad Taylor is a realistic thriller. As a retired Lt. Colonel and a veteran of the US Special Forces he writes from his experiences and insights, creating a great premise. Although this story is fiction it is also a chilling reminder regarding the serious threat of ISIS.
The plot has Pike Logan, the head of Taskforce, a covert terrorist unit, working with his team to thwart terrorist attacks. From Kenya to Jordan to Europe and possibly here in America they must find and stop ISIS recruits who are Americans with passports that allow them to move freely throughout the world.
Taylor told blackfive.net, “Libya is terrorist central, and I wanted to show the linkage with terrorism. That is why in the beginning of the book I put the quotes from them and allow readers to see how their words are dangerous. These people going to the Islamic State have a love for killing. By and large their policy is to be archaic and do disgusting acts. There is no negotiating with ISIS, since it only values killing people who they see as Infidels. They speak in ‘556,’ that is their language. Since ‘556’ is a military round of an army rifle, it becomes obvious there is no reasoning with them.”
All of the protagonists are strong, independent, and complicated individuals whose sole passion is protecting what is right and good in this world. Israeli agents Aaron and Shoshana are fascinating characters that are brought back from the previous story. The interactions of all these characters make for good and humorous banter. Readers will root for these characters with Shoshana seen as a female Pike.
Taylor noted, “I wanted to find a way to bring the Israeli agents back for this book. I found out how to do it when I discovered through research that the beheaded journalist, Steven Sotloff, actually had dual Israeli-American citizenship. The interaction between these characters makes for an interesting story. Shoshana is a victim of her own violent circumstances, which makes her different than Jennifer who still sees the world through rose colored glasses. Pike likes Shoshana because she is similar to him: not politically correct and will bend the rules as far as she can go, unless given a direct order.”
On the other hand, the antagonists are pure evil. They are based on the 1987 movie The Lost Boys, where a gang of vampires recruits teenage boys. Taylor labels his terrorist group, The Lost Boys, who are young American men that have gone to the dark side by working with ISIS. They are blond haired, blue-eyed with no social media presence, who can slip easily into the US, falling under the radar. Another interesting fact is that a main terrorist is named Ringo, while others are called the Beatles, named after the legendary rock group because of their English accents.
A theme evident in all of Taylor’s books is the how commanders must play Monday morning quarterback. Based on his own experiences, Taylor “wants to show if you make a decision in combat it may not necessarily be the correct one. Sometimes you make a decision and bad things happen, which you must live with and try to learn from.”
The Insider Threat has nonstop action, and a very realistic plot. As with Tom Clancy novels he is able to write about serious dangers in a very suspenseful and intense way. Through well-defined characters and dialogue this novel is a page-turner that is a must read.