Review: Hard Target, a novel from 24′s Howard Gordon

Hard Target novel by Howard Gordon front cover

After nine years of writing for 24, Howard Gordon released his debut novel last year: an action-packed thriller titled Gideon’s War (read our review). He’s back this time with a follow-up book that continues the adventures of brothers Gideon and Tillman.

Hard Target kicks off with a similar premise to 24‘s final season. A shady informant alerts Gideon Davis that there will be a large-scale attack on US soil in the next few days, but is murdered before he can hand over solid proof. The FBI refuses to commit any resources into an investigation without any tangible evidence, so Gideon takes matters into his own hands.

Gideon recruits his brother Tillman to go undercover with the suspect, Jim Verhoven, leader of a white supremacist militia. They secretly receive assistance from Gideon’s ex-girlfriend in the FBI, agent Nancy Clement. She’s the Chloe O’Brian type character in this story and provides the brothers with equipment such as encrypted radios and GPS devices. This adds some additional tension later on when the FBI attempt to reacquire their stolen equipment and risk blowing the entire undercover operation.

The book takes place in several different locations before ultimately converging in one place for the grand finale – the State of the Union Address in Washington DC. The villains plan on wiping out the entire US government in one fell swoop, and Gideon’s fiancee Kate Murphy is also in attendance which adds a personal factor to the threat. Although this requires a massive suspension of disbelief, it’s handled in perhaps the most realistic way possible.

Gordon does a great job of utilizing all of the characters and giving each of them a key moment that is crucial to the plot. Hard Target is a briskly paced thriller that will keep readers in suspense right up until the final pages. It’s available now on Amazon and iBooks among other retailers.

Check out the official trailer below:

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