From ‘Lions’ to ‘Tiger’, bestselling author Brad Thor marks 20 years of thriller success

Thor’s new book ‘Rising Tiger’ arrives this week
Brad Thor, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author, joins WECT's Jon...
Brad Thor, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author, joins WECT's Jon Evans to talk about his new thriller "Rising Tiger", the 21st book in the Scot Harvath series.(WECT)
Updated: Jul. 4, 2022 at 5:30 AM EDT
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Bestselling author Brad Thor marks 20 years of success with "Rising Tiger", the 21st thriller in his long-running Scot Harvath book series

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Brad Thor, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, is celebrating twenty years of success by giving fans a new Scot Harvath adventure. Rising Tiger, Thor’s 21st thriller featuring the ex-Navy Seal and Secret Service Agent turned top intelligence operative, arrives in bookstores this week.

“I never intended to write a franchise character to be honest with you,” Thor said when I asked if he envisioned having a two-decade run with thrillers centered around Harvath. “Before I became an author, I was and still am a huge reader, and I was a big fan of Michael Crichton. I liked that Crichton could do a new book with a new protagonist with a different history and all this kind of stuff. So, I never intended to do it. And when I pitched my second book (2002′s Path of the Assassin) to Simon and Schuster, they said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you have to continue with Harvath! You have no idea the amount of fan mail we’re getting and how much the readers love this!’ And so I did, and I’ve been with Harvath all this time, and he’s been incredibly good to me and my family.”

Rising Tiger puts Harvath in the middle of tensions between China and India, as the United States looks to solidify its’ role in that part of the world via an Asian version of NATO. He finds himself teamed with new allies like Vijay Chabra, a Foreign Service National Investigator from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and Asha Patel, a top operative from the Special Operations Division inside the Research and Analysis Wing of India’s Foreign Intelligence Service. Watching Harvath interact and ultimately trust these two characters as he strives to accomplish the mission is entertaining. What I found most interesting, though, is the continuation of the relationship between Harvath and Nicholas. Fans will remember Nicholas, then known as ‘The Troll’, as Harvath’s enemy in Thor’s 2001 debut thriller Lions of Lucerne. Since then, the brilliant tech expert has gone legit, and has become a valuable member of Harvath’s inner-circle within The Carlton Group. Without giving away the details of Rising Tiger, to see Harvath’s reaction when terrorists target Nicholas and his family shows the depth of their evolving friendship. Thor once again does not waste time before putting Harvath into the action. By page ten, he’s involved in an intense gunbattle, and the plot unfolds from there.

“I’ve done 21 thrillers with Harvath, and I say they’re like the (James) Bond movies in that you don’t ever have to have seen another James Bond movie to go to the cinema and see the most current one, you’re good to go,” Thor says. “The other thing is, I love how the Bond movies start with action. That’s an old maxim in the thriller writing world, which is start with action and pay it off later. So, I like people to open the book and just be slammed into the middle of an operation, a helicopter going down above the Arctic Circle as I did last year. I think it’s fun, and you grab readers right from the jump. That’s my job. I’m writing thrillers so I have to thrill from page one.”

Thor has done a lot of thrilling in the two decades since Lions of Lucerne. He’s become a regular on the well-known bestseller lists, in part because Harvath’s hero persona has resonated with readers around the world.

“I think we all want this person to be out there keeping us safe,” Thor says about his protagonist. “I like to say ‘There is no American dream without those willing to protect it’. My dad is a no longer-active Marine, I’ve got friends in the military, law enforcement, the intelligence community, and I think when the bad guys don’t play by any rules, we want to know there is a guy out there, we want to believe there’s someone out there, man and woman, who are willing to cut a couple of corners if that’s what’s necessary to take the advantage away from the bad guys. Good, strong moral code. Does the right thing. Doesn’t always do the easy thing, because that’s not what we’re sending him to do. We’re sending him to do tough, tough work, and he gets the job done no matter what every time.”

To learn more about Rising Tiger, and Brad Thor’s other thrillers, click here.

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