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The Widow's Strike: A Pike Logan Thriller    by Brad Taylor order for
Widow's Strike
by Brad Taylor
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Special Forces Operative Pike Logan (last seen in Enemy of Mine and once again matched with fellow Taskforce operative Jennifer Cahill) returns for more high octane action in Brad Taylor's latest military thriller, The Widow's Strike.

They're up against terrorists once more, this time a Black Widow (Elina Maskhadov), a female Chechen suicide bomber being prepped to unleash a global pandemic, starting on American soil. Cailleach Laboratories has been researching a vaccine 'outside of normal protocols' and have developed a lethal virus strain 'for testing purposes.' The villain of the piece, Malik, targets a key scientist's son and uses him to blackmail the father into delivering the virus to him.

Complicating matters, the CEO of the conglomerate that developed the virus is Chip Dekkard, who is also a member of the Oversight Council for the Taskforce. When President Warren becomes aware of the danger and the Council meets, Dekkard works hard to keep his organization's role hidden, and generally impedes the investigation - his influence grows even stronger after the president is sidelined with a bad case of flu. And Elina, moving from her home base to Hong Kong and thence to the U.S., though a willing martyr, begins to question her role in events.

Jennifer comes close to exposure to the virus and wonders if she's 'now walking dead.' When it seems like the Council (influenced by Dekkard) is ready to view her as collateral damage, even though she's clearly not infected, Logan goes rogue. Nevertheless he and his team still do what it takes to stop the pandemic. The Widow's Strike is another thrilling read in an adrenaline raising series.

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