Spymaster

You may be familiar with Brad Thor, the thriller writer. He is good, and extremely popular. Like all authors of thriller series, you can begin with the fact that it ain’t Shakespeare. But Thor is one of the masters of the craft.

Thor’s latest book, out last week, is Spymaster, the 18th in Thor’s Scot Harvath series. Harvath is a counterterrorist operative and pretty much a superhero. Most books in the series have found him battling Islamic extremists. But Spymaster is different: the villain is Russia.

Putin’s regime is planning an invasion of the Baltics, and Harvath and his team are tasked with stopping Russia’s plans, thus preventing World War III. Thor has been working on the book for a while, but its plot seems ripped from the headlines. Today, Sweden is preparing for war, the Baltics are on edge, Ukraine and Poland fear going the way of Crimea. In that context, Spymaster offers a plausible glimpse into current Eastern European conflicts.

Brad Thor is known for having extensive contacts in the real intelligence world–as opposed to the James Clapper/John Brennan “intelligence” world. One suspects that his intelligence sources informed what comes across as a realistic (if entirely fictional) glimpse into what may be happening on Russia’s borders.

Does the Democratic Party press care about any of this? Of course not. Its interest in Russia is limited to opportunities to bash President Trump, as in this foolish, although largely positive, review of Spymaster in the Washington Post, written by a far less successful novelist:

Brad Thor may be a regular contributor to Fox News and is a possible presidential candidate, but his new book is way out of sync with the current cozy-up-to-Putin right-wing zeitgeist.

That’s really dumb. I’d like to know what right-wingers–people like us–are “cozying up to Putin.” There are none. It was, of course, Barack Obama who ridiculed Mitt Romney’s assertion that Russia was, as of 2012, America’s foremost geopolitical rival. Romney was right, and Obama was wrong. Obama’s geopolitical ignorance hurt America, and the world, badly. Happily, it appears that in the Trump administration, the 1980s have their foreign policy back again, more or less. Spymaster is very much in that tradition.

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