Published by Tyndale on April 11, 2023
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Thriller
Buy on Amazon
The man who knows all our secrets has a secret of his own.
When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth--and chances losing himself in the process.
With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.
From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.
How have I not read a Steven James novel until now?! It makes no sense to me whatsoever, because Broker of Lies by Steven James was everything I wanted and more. “Stop the Terrorists” is probably my favorite genre. I have been reading Vince Flynn (now Kyle Mills) and Brad Thor for years; Mitch Rapp and Scot Harvath feel like members of my family at this point. Thor and Flynn’s characters, however, often face enemies abroad—or international terrorist groups acting on American soil. While Broker of Lies does have national actors, it features other elements I rarely see: a domestic terrorist group, a believable nuclear threat, and the importance of cybersecurity.
Steven James is a mastermind; it is as simple as that. I am no subject matter expert, but I probably know a bit more about terrorism than the average reader does. With novels like Broker of Lies, I analyze the accuracy of everything. Could this actually happen? If the answer is no, books often lose their appeal. I imagine it is similar to a lifelong police officer watching a dramatized television show about street cops. You roll your eyes, say “Absolutely not,” and change the channel. Broker of Lies by Steven James was not like that. The circumstances James creates could be real—and that is what makes this novel scary.
Most “Stop the Terrorists” novels feature a “super soldier”-like hero (e.g., Scot Harvath and Mitch Rapp). An unstoppable force of manly strength who is quick and accurate with a firearm. Travis Brock is not that. He has burn scars, wears glasses, works in a basement, and dislikes guns. He is not your average “Stop the Terrorists” hero, and I loved him for it. Broker of Lies does have a couple characters with more of these stereotypical qualities…but I won’t go further into that due to spoilers. They juxtapose Travis Brock flawlessly, and James uses them to provide much needed comedic relief along the way.
Broker of Lies has cyber elements. James is not overly technical, and he never gets into the weeds. He emphasizes cybersecurity without hammering it. I wish, however, that Broker of Lies had more cyber than it did. I never thought I would say that, as cyber is a topic I typically abhor. The only other thing I did not like came close to the end of the novel. The Department of State has a designated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). James mentions the FBI designating a group as a domestic terrorist organization. This does not exist for a long list of reasons I will not bore anyone with. Just know that while domestic terrorism does exist, federally designated domestic terrorist organizations do not.
The cover of Broker of Lies says “A Travis Brock Thriller,” and the last chapter of the novel sets up for a sequel. All I have to say is: I CAN’T WAIT. Bring it on, Steven James, because I am on board with my seatbelt buckled. My only regrets: I can’t read Broker of Lies again for the first time…and I undoubtedly have to wait longer than I want for the next book!