If you are a fan of compelling and nail-biting thrillers, then you absolutely need to read the Brad Thor books in order. Thor’s writing highlights modern debates and political dilemmas in an insightful way. His focus is on U.S. politics and security, but his characters travel the world on their various adventures.
His Scot Harvath series has spanned more than two decades, so his writing has included various threats to national security and warfare that reflects the 21st century. The main protagonist has also become a captivating element to Thor’s writing that readers adore.
Who is Brad Thor?
As we mentioned, Brad Thor has been writing his Scot Harvath series for more than two decades now, and his books arrive like clockwork each summer. Time after time, adventure after adventure, Thor selects the main crux and conflict of his novels to be relevant to the political landscape in the U.S.
Some of his writing feels plucked from news headlines, and Thor describes his writing as faction, a blend of fact and fiction. He says that one of the coolest compliments he receives is when fans tell him they keep their laptops open while reading in order to figure out that line between fact and fiction.
His plots are so realistic that Thor was recruited by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to participate in their Red Cell program. The department recruited individuals from various fields of expertise to brainstorm potential unconventional attacks from the perspective of terrorists.
The purpose was to challenge preconceived notions and assumptions. Then, Homeland Security could use the results to strengthen or modify their security efforts.
In addition to Red Cell, Thor also shadowed a black-ops team during a non-direct-action mission in Afghanistan for research.
Collectively, Thor has sold nearly 15 million copies of his books around the world. There have also been talks about adapting his debut publication, The Lions of Lucerne, for a decade. Various scripts have been written and the project has almost come to fruition multiple times, but just never quite reached the finish line.
The latest news from Thor came in the summer of 2021. Although he did not name names, Thor said that he had the best action director in Hollywood, the writer he wanted, and a studio, and that all parties were at the contract stage. However, there has been no press release officially confirming the project.
Brad Thor Books in Order
Like a lot of thrillers, you do not need to read Brad Thor’s books in publication order. Every Scot Harvath book is a standalone and can be read independently from the rest of the series. Each book will have its own story arc and conflict that will be resolved by the book’s conclusion.
However, each book reveals new aspects and depths to Scot Harvath’s complex character. So reading the Brad Thor books in order of publication is definitely your best option. It’s the best way to gain insight into what drives and motivates this quintessential American hero.
There may also be subtle spoilers from previous missions Harvath has worked on that are referenced in the later books. So, the anticipation might be lessened for you slightly by reading the books out of order if you already know how an adventure ends.
However, whether you choose to read the Brad Thor books in order or à la carte is ultimately entirely up to you. The only exception would be to make sure you read the short stories in order of publication. This is because the context from the previous or subsequent book will be necessary.
Scot Harvath Series
Almost all of the Brad Thor books in order follow Scot Harvath. He is a former Navy SEAL, professional skier, and college graduate, but now Scot Harvath is the ultimate secret agent and spy. He is also an ardent American patriot.
Throughout the course of the books, he regularly has to protect America in dangerous missions that tax even his impressive skills to the limit. Brad Thor has mentioned that Scot’s heroic persona and skill set is an amalgam of several Special Ops, Delta Force, and CIA operatives that he knows.
- The Lions of Lucerne (2001)
- Path of the Assassin (2003)
- State of the Union (2004)
- Blowback (2005)
- Takedown (2006)
- The First Commandment (2007)
- The Last Patriot (2008)
- The Apostle (2009)
- Foreign Influence (2010)
- Full Black (2011)
- Black List (2012)
- Free Fall: A Prelude to Hidden Order (2013) (Short Story)
- Hidden Order (2013)
- Epilogue II: A Bonus Chapter to Hidden Order (2013) (Short Story)
- Act of War (2014)
- Code of Conduct (2015)
- Foreign Agent (2016)
- The Athens Solution (2012) (Short Story)
- Use of Force (2017)
- Spymaster (2018)
- Backlash (2019)
- Near Dark (2020)
- Black Ice (2021)
- Rising Tiger (2022)
- Dead Fall (2023)
The only book in Brad Thor’s bibliography that is not a Scot Harvath title is The Athena Project. However, this is a spin-off series, so it takes place in the same universe.
There is currently only one book available in this series; however, with its satisfying conclusion, you can enjoy it as a standalone. The book follows a team of all-female Delta Force members on one of the nation’s deadliest assignments.
Since The Athena Project takes place in the same world as Scot Harvath, it should not be a surprise that fans of Brad Thor’s original series will enjoy the small Scot cameo in this book.
- The Athena Project (2010)
A Summary of Scot Harvath by Brad Thor Books in Order
Since the best reading experience is to follow the publication order, below you will find the descriptions for the first ten Scot Harvath by Brad Thor books in order. These summaries are a great refresher on the beginning of the series if you haven’t reread it in a long time, or are a great way to better understand the scope of Thor’s writing.
1. The Lions of Lucerne
Secret Service agent and former Navy SEAL Scot Harvath miraculously manages to survive an attack that results in thirty other agents dead, and the president kidnapped. The signs are pointing to a Middle Eastern terrorist group being behind the attack, but Harvath’s gut instinct tells him something different.
When his hunt leads him onto the trail of high-ranking officials, Harvath’s life is in jeopardy. Now Harvath is on the run and pursuing his own form of justice.
2. Path of the Assassin
While the president has been rescued safely, Scot Harvath’s mission is not over. He is intent to hunt down every last man responsible for the kidnapping and slaying of his fellow agents. Everything indicates his next target is the most vicious terrorist in the world.
But the real issue is that they don’t know what he looks like. So, Harvath recruits a civilian who has seen him and managed to live. Then the hunt is on.
3. State of the Union
With America under great threat from a brutal terrorist, only Harvath stands a chance to save the country. He has the support of a paramilitary detachment of the CIA and Alexandra Ivanova, an intelligence agent from Russia. The final battle will take place on American soil, but first Harvath will traverse the globe.
Harvath has recently been fired after being caught on camera in an operation that was off the record. But when a new weapon puts America under threat again, the President must call him back.
Terrorists are planning to kill all Westerners in Muslim lands with their newest weapon: The Sword of Allah. The reality of the situation shocks Harvath to his core and he must rely on his training and instincts to overcome this latest threat.
Chaos reigns in the Manhattan streets as the celebrations in the lead up to the 4th of July descend into madness. A terrorist attack has just leveled all entrances and exits to Manhattan.
Inside the terror is a man that the government denies exists, but the search for him is paramount. The world’s deadliest enemy is upon America’s doorstep, and Scot Harvath is fighting his way through the burning streets of Manhattan to track down a terrorist mastermind with the ability to unleash hell across the world.
6. The First Commandment
Five criminals are released from Guantanamo Bay and terror is unleashed. One of the men has his crosshairs on Scot Harvath and those closest to him. So, despite the president’s orders not to pursue the case, Harvath cannot let them walk free.
However, what he finds in his personal investigation will rock the foundations of his patriotic loyalty.
7. The Last Patriot
The Last Patriot traces a mysterious secret throughout time that holds the potential to initiate a ceasefire between militant Islam and Western allies. Allegedly the Prophet Mohammed had a final revelation before he died that holds the key. But there are those who believe that it should stay a secret, and are willing to go to great lengths to keep it so.
8. The Apostle
Scot Harvath has been called in for a dirty mission that the U.S. government does not want traced back to them. He must free one of the masterminds of al-Qaeda from a Kabul prison in response to the ransom for an American doctor.
But once he arrives, Harvath realizes there is much more than meets the eye and he begins to doubt if letting one of the worst terrorists in the world go free is the right call.
9. Foreign Influence
Scot Harvath has just joined a new organization that operates under the guidance of military insiders, far away from the interfering hands of politicians. When American students are killed by a bomb in Rome, Harvath suspects a foe from his past is emerging from the woodwork.
Before he moves, Harvath must ensure his sights are on the right man. Then a hit-and-run across the world in Chicago reveals connections to the Rome bombing and what is to come next.
10. Full Black
A secretive mission goes wrong, which unleashes a series of vicious terrorist attacks and places America under threat. Scot Harvath steps in with a plan to penetrate the terrorist group’s defenses.
At the same time, a filmmaker in Hollywood stumbles across a dangerous secret that puts his life at risk. As Harvath reveals more of the perpetrators, he learns he can trust no one but himself.
Final thoughts on the Brad Thor books in order
The Brad Thor books in order have an addictive quality that will have you racing to the last page. With only one exception, everything Thor has written is part of his Scot Harvath series, which is perfect for fans of Jack Ryan or Jack Reacher. If you enjoy your thrillers to concern U.S. politics and international security threats, then you will enjoy reading Thor’s books.