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Book Review: Author Brad Taylor delivers another military thriller with “The Devil’s Ransom,” the latest in his best-selling “Pike Logan” series

Book Review: Author Brad Taylor delivers another military thriller with “The Devil’s Ransom,” the latest in his best-selling “Pike Logan” series
February 2023

The plot is based on recent international headlines

It seems there’s no reprieve for Folly Beach resident and author Brad Taylor as he’s released another book in his New York Times best-selling “Pike Logan” series. This time, his protagonist is tasked with saving the world against the backdrop of Afghanistan falling to the Taliban and a traitorous top-ranking US official who is engineering a ransomware attack on the federal government that would alter the balance of power around the globe.

Since publishing his debut novel, One Rough Man (Dutton) in 2011, the retired US Army lieutenant colonel and former assistant professor of history at The Citadel has written 17 books featuring Logan and his clandestine unit called the “Taskforce,” including The Devil’s Ransom, out this month from publisher William Morrow. 

After Logan receives orders to rescue an Afghan national and American ally who escaped to Tajikistan (“We have intel that Badri 313 Battalion is hunting him. We want to bring him home. The CIA doesn’t have the assets to do it, but you do.”), the pace in The Devil’s Ransom rarely slows as Logan and the Taskforce engage in blazing shootouts, grisly murders, and gun-waving foot chases through city streets, occupied buildings, thick woods, and even ancient castles and secret caves. Sometimes the action requires readers to suspend their sense of disbelief, as when one target escapes his pursuers by diving through a plate glass window without a scratch. 

If anyone is qualified to write The Devil’s Ransom, it’s Taylor. He spent two decades with the Army Infantry and Special Forces, including eight years with the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, popularly known as Delta Force. Taylor participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as many classified assignments around the world, and still serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies. 

The author has said his lead character is not based on him personally but on people he served alongside. “Pike Logan is a fictional character, but he is real. He exists in greater numbers than the public is aware.” That might explain the allure of Taylor’s novels for millions of readers.

The Devil’s Ransom is certain to appeal to anyone who likes military thrillers packed with explosive action and international intrigue. 

In Conversation: Read our January 2022 Q&A with local author Brad Taylor.