“The Insider Threat” by Brad Taylor is a realistic thriller. As a retired lieutenant colonel and a veteran of the U.S. Special Forces, he writes from his experiences and insights, creating a great premise. Although this story is fiction, it is also a chilling reminder of 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.
“Libya is terrorist central, and I wanted to show the linkage with terrorism,” Taylor said. “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.
“I wanted to find a way to bring the Israeli agents back for this book,” Taylor said. “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 and blue-eyed with no social media presence, who can slip easily into the U.S., 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 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, Taylor 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.