I am an easy reader to please, at least in the genre of excitemotainment. Give me an angsty hero and a fanatic set of villains, arrange a series of explosive confrontations in exotic locales, and I will scooch back into my pillows and turn a blind eye on triteness, solecisms, stereotypes, and even (though this requires more forebearance) the occassional dull patch.
My bar for excitemotainment is set low indeed, and yet there are authors capable of tripping over it. Brad Thor pleases millions of discerning fans all over the world with his series of Scot Horvath thrillers, but I am unable to discern what they discern. The novel pictured above, moments before it toppled from the side table into the wastebasket’s maw, came in second, in a competition to hold my interest, to a cobweb of dust dangling in the corner of the ceiling.
What was The Last Patriot about? I think there was an explosion. Yes. Yes, there was. I know there was a secret spy barge on the Seine in Paris where Scot Horvath torments his prisoners. Um. Um. Oh yes! There’s a bit of Da Vinci Code intrigue concerning a lost bit of the Koran in which Mohammed sheepishly admits he made it all up. If the bit can be found, well, oh my goodness, that could change the course of…
Well, who knows what it could change the course of? Reading the Hardy Boys level prose about all these never-walk-when-you-can-run excitable types was like having to listen to a neither very bright nor tidy eight-year-old endlessly detail the plot of a Transformers cartoon show. It’s what unconsciousness was invented for.
The Last Patriot
by Brad Thor
(Pocket Books, Mass Market Paperback, 480pp.)