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  • Steven Hendricks

Black Ice

Author: Brad Thor

Brad Thor delivers another solid spy thriller with Scot Harvath in “Black Ice.” Although the plot is somewhat ordinary, it is original nonetheless, and well executed. It is a reasonable spy story, which takes place in Norway. It is also a mini travelogue of Oslo and some other remote parts of the country. Although low on action, Harvath still exhibits some considerable special ops and spy skills in this ‘frozen tundra’ spy story.

Black Ice has some added romance, some familiar characters and excellent research of the storyline and plot. It is a completely satisfying and entertaining spy thriller. The main incident/plotline is the Russians, and the Chinese are in partnership to subvert U.S. and NATO early warning systems and also to pursue economic control in the Arctic. Since Harvath nurses some old grudges against the Chinese,

I thought this story was going to get real nasty on the ‘violence of action’ side, but it never did. Don’t get me wrong, there was still some action, but not as much as previous novels. For fans of Scot Harvath, this might feel a little less action-packed than previous novels, but this was more of a “reset” for Harvath and him climbing out of the darkness from the previous book, “Near Dark.” In Black Ice, Harvath is back with wit, charm, and less intense lethal action. He’s changed, but he’s still a lethal weapon for the adversaries that he encounters in this story. Lately, some, not all action thriller authors have been unnecessarily padding their books with partisan politics and sensitive topics, but Thor does none of that here.

Black Ice is engaging throughout and very enchanting. Definitely not as much action as I've come to expect from the Harvath series, but still a very worthwhile spy/espionage read. Yes, I know that not all books in a series are as great as the previous ones before, but this one was interesting enough for me to finish and review with favor.

I really enjoyed Thor bringing back characters from previous stories (love the Nichols character and his dogs) and telling new stories about additional characters and filling in their back stories as well. I especially liked the back story about Reed Carlton’s nickname, it was well told/written in my opinion. Thor did an excellent job with character development in this novel. All his books always have great plots, terrific research, and plenty of attention to detail.

Black Ice has all of these and still entertained and captivated me despite the low intense action scenes. Hope Brad Thor continues his summer releases of Scot Harvath thrillers. I always look forward to them…


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