“The Widow’s Strike” by Brad TaylorThe-Widows-Strike-cvr-thumb
E.P. Dutton, $26.95, 386 pp.

Brad Taylor discusses and autographs copies of his new thriller “The Widow’s Strike” at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19 at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande NW, Albuquerque.

By David Steinberg

Consider Brad Taylor’s background.

He is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces. His tenure included eight years with the extra-special Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta.
Taylor, who retired as a lieutenant colonel, is also a novelist.

And he draws on his knowledge of military tactics and strategy to inform his books, all fiction. He’s the author of four thrillers, the newest one – out this month – is “The Widow’s Strike.” Global in scope, the new novel pulls together multiple elements in a coherent, action-jammed, speed-racing story.

There’s a Quds Force general working undercover from a country (think Iran) who is determined to retaliate against international sanctions because of its secret nuclear program. There’s a female suicide bomber of Chechen descent (think the volatile Caucasus region of Russia and its Muslim terrorists/separatists). There’s a mutation of a deadly virus that would cause a pandemic if it fell into the wrong hands. There’s a U.S. government contractor known simply as the Taskforce. The Taskforce’s job is stopping the unleashing of the virus and that effort is spearheaded by Taskforce’s counterterrorism operatives Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill.

There’s a hair-raising scene early in the book where Logan and Cahill are involved in a secret scheme busting a fellow Taskforce operative nicknamed Knuckles out of a Thai prison. First Cahill compromises a key prison staff. Then Logan, posing as a U.S. official, must get into the prison, find his buddy and survive a fight against Thai gangsters before getting Knuckles out. Here is part of the description of the fight: “The tattooed leader clocked me on the side of the head with a wild punch, then leapt onto my back, his arms around my neck, starting to choke me.” Somehow the leg-shackled Knuckles twisted the gangster’s head around “like he was Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist,’ the man screaming in a high-pitched wail.” Logan persuaded Knuckles, seeking revenge for his rough prison treatment, not to kill the man.

btaylor-2l-bioTaylor said he doesn’t rely solely on his military experiences to help shape his novels.

“I watch the news. I keep up on current events, security issues. Something catches my eye and I go from there,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Charleston, S.C.

He researches his books by reading other people’s books, by exploring the Internet, by recalling the knowledge what he learned in the military and sometimes by visiting some of the locates that are in his thrillers.

“Writing does require a lot of research,” Taylor said.

“I flew to Bangkok and Singapore and walked that terrain. Anywhere I can get to I get to. …I did not get to Chechnya.”

Taylor said he’s been a lifelong reader.

“I’m a voracious reader, “he said. “But I learned to write (thrillers) without any formal instruction. I’ve never taken a class.”

His first three Pike Logan books were bestsellers. They were “One Rough Man,” “All Necessary Force” and “Enemy of Mine.”