I recently heard Brad Thor describe his novels as “faction,” a portmanteau of fact and fiction.
Rising Tiger begins with a factual battle between Chinese and Indian forces in the Galwan Valley of the western Himalayas, where China and India maintain a tense border. Thor ties the battle to China’s long-term Belt and Road initiative, started in 2013, the design of which is to strengthen China’s economic and military hegemony in that part of Asia.
The fictional part of Rising Tiger is everything else. It begins with the assassination of Eli Ritter, an American working deep under cover in India to form an Asian version of NATO—consisting of Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S.—to counter China’s rising threat. When Ritter is assassinated, the U.S. employs the Carlton Group, a security firm with deep ties to U.S. intelligence and military, to find and eliminate his killer. And the tip of this very sharp spear is Scott Harvath, former Navy Seal, now lead operator of the Carlton Group.
As Harvath investigates Ritter’s death, his path crosses with Asha Patel’s, an Indian intelligence officer investigating a suspicious helicopter crash involving key Indian military personnel. They discover that China is behind both acts and join forces. The only question is whether they will get to the Chinese spies behind these attacks before those spies get to them.
Rising Tiger is Brad Thor’s 21st novel featuring Scott Harvath, but the first I have read. I decided to read it after hearing John J. Miller interview Thor for National Review’s Bookmonger podcast. I read it on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It was a very entertaining read, and I plan to check out Thor’s other books from the library.
Brad Thor, Rising Tiger (New York: Emily Bestler Books/Atria, 2022).
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