By J.H. Bográn
Military thrillers are fast-paced, heavy on military equipment, and often offer a glimpse of what action looks like for soldiers. Knowing that the author has a military background, as is the case with Brad Taylor, adds credibility to the tale. Of course it is fiction, but boy, what a thrilling ride!
The Big Thrill had the opportunity to catch up with him and discuss with him his new novel, THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER.
What would be your elevator pitch of THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER?
This is the ninth Pike Logan novel, and through them all I’ve threaded the danger that an organization such as the Taskforce can become for a democracy like America. When I was in the military, we used to fantasize about such a unit – because you’re always fighting one bureaucracy or another to get a mission accomplished – but at the end of the day we knew why those rules existed. In my fictional world, the Taskforce was created to streamline the counter-terrorist fight after 9/11, but even the creators understood the danger it posed, and threaded throughout each novel is an underlying theme that in the wrong hands, the Taskforce could become worse than the disease it was designed to fight.
In THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER, I decided to explore that as a main theme. What do you do when you’ve trained a soldier to a razor’s edge, giving him the skills to operate covertly for the national defense, releasing him time and time again on dubiously legal missions, and then one day he ignores your orders, deciding he alone knows what’s in the nation’s best interest? How do you stop a man who, in his mind, is simply doing what you’ve trained him to do?
What can you tell us about Guy George?
Well, without giving too much away, Guy is a Taskforce Operator at the pinnacle of his skills. His brother is killed in Afghanistan, and Guy himself finds a financial thread from an organization that supported the terrorists who caused his brother’s death. Unfortunately, the organization is also an ally of the United States, and because of it, the Taskforce does not investigate the thread. Guy takes it upon himself to avenge his brother’s death – with the repercussions extending far beyond the battlefields of Afghanistan.
How has Pike Logan changed from his last adventure?
Before now, Pike has operated solely against the terrorist threat, the line between good and evil being black and white. In THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER, his mission is to stop one of his own–and he has no small amount of sympathy for what Guy George is doing. The action forces him to reflect on what he’s done in the past in the name of duty and country. Honestly, though, it’s Jennifer–Pike’s partner in crime, so to speak–who’s changed the most. She’s no longer fighting to become a member of the team, or questioning her place in it, but instead her skills are accepted for what they are, to the point that she ends up mentoring a new male member of the team. She’s embraced who she is, and embraced the mission of the Taskforce.
What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
That’s really two different points, with the first being a massive amount of desk-bound research. For THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER, I dove into the financial problems of Greece, the investment strategies of the Qatar government, and the destruction in Syria and Libya which has caused the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Once I was done with the computers and books, I traveled to Greece for on-the-ground research into what we used to call the “sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield”. If I can, I always travel to the settings in my books to capture the flavor of the location at a granular level. There’s nothing better than getting an email or letter from a fan living in the country mentioned in my book who’s saying I nailed it.
Any promotion, tour or other publicity on the line?
Yes, I’ll be doing a book tour immediately after the December 29th release date. The details can be found on my website, my Facebook page, or in my newsletter. In between I’ll be doing radio and television interviews that my fabulous publicist at Dutton sets up.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently banging away on Book 10, Ghosts of War. I’ve decided to take a turn away from the Islamic Jihadi boogeyman and explore the growing fractures in Europe along the fault lines of the old Iron Curtain.
Brad Taylor served for more than twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Special Forces lieutenant colonel. During that time he held numerous Infantry and Special Forces positions, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta, where he commanded multiple troops and a squadron. He has conducted operations in support of U.S. national interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations.
He holds a master of science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. When not writing, Brad serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
You can read an excerpt of The Forgotten Soldier – or any of his books – through his website,