Monday, July 29, 2013

Blowback by Brad Thor

Today I finished reading Blowback by Brad Thor.

Blowback was rated #52 by National Public Radio listeners in its list of top 100 Killer Thrillers.

This was the second Brad Thor novel I've read.  One of the characteristics that I've noticed in his novels is his habit of naming obscure government agencies or military units and then referring to them by their initials.

When I finished The Athena Project I wondered, 'is he making this stuff up or is that the real name.'  I didn't like The Athena Project so I didn't give it much further thought.

I read Blowback because of the NPR list.  I was again struck by how much effort Thor goes into establishing all of these initialed agencies.  I remembered reading an offering of research advice by an aclaimed writer to make it up.  It's fiction.  Don't worry about getting it exactly right.

Thor is so precise.  Does he know all this stuff he packs into his novels or is he making it up?  So after I read Blowback, I cranked up Google and began searching.  Sure enough I found multiple obscure government agencies in Wikipedia.  Then I looked up the story of Otto Skorzeny which is highlighted prominently in the novel.  Yes, it was a real story.

Now I'm wondering how much more of the novel is based on fact and how much is fiction?  When I read my next Thor novel I'm going to read with a tablet to list things to look up when I finish reading it.

Blowback is a good read and apparently a lot of it is based on fact.  And because the subject of the novel is Islamic terrorism, it's kinda scary to think about the parts that might really be true.

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