The Scot Harvath series of spy novels offer thrills and intrigue in equal measure, with a wide variety of explosive adventures filled with tension and twists.
On top of that, these exciting books also offer plenty to think about, with political commentary that relates back to real-world problems and dilemmas.
Written by Brad Thor, the Scot Harvath series has been thrilling readers since 2001 and has become one of the best-selling spy series out there, selling millions of copies.
Each book involves Scot Harvath, once a Navy SEAL and now a secret agent, as he battles to save America from a new dastardly plot.
Harvath is a bona fide patriot, with the skills of all kinds of different specialist branches, making him the ideal hero to take on the exhilarating missions that he does.
There are 25 Scot Harvath stories and counting, so it can be difficult picking the best order in which to read them. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you! In our handy guide below, we’ve got a complete guide to these Brad Thor books in order.
About Scot Harvath
A high-risk life has always been on the cards for secret agent Scot Harvath, because his father was a highly decorated veteran of the Navy.
Interestingly enough, though, this isn’t the first path that Scot set out on, because he wanted to become a professional skier when young. Though disappointed that his son wasn’t going to college, Scot’s father allowed him to follow his dreams.
However, when Scot’s father passes away, Scot finally goes to college. While there, he develops an interest in the Navy, at last following in his father’s footsteps. He becomes a Navy SEAL and thrives at the job, especially thanks to his skiing skills.
However, after a few years he needs a change of scenery, and so joins the Secret Service. He protects many profile figures while here, eventually even working for the US President’s family.
This is where we find Harvath in the first novel, and the story goes from there! He’s a man with an astonishing set of skills, and one that frequently makes him the right man to help protect America from various threats.
Dedicated, patriotic, and lethal, Scot Harvath will do anything to save the day. There are various themes across the series, covering everything from patriotism and loyalty, to political issues and moral dilemmas.
Brad Thor Books In Order: Scot Harvath Series
This is the very first Scot Harvath novel, and the series certainly starts with an exhilarating bang. We’re introduced to former Navy SEAL Harvath, now a highly-skilled member of the Secret Service.
The President of the United States has been kidnapped while on the snowy slopes of Utah, and all but one of his Secret Service detail have been killed. The one survivor? Scot Harvath.
Harvath is told that terrorists from the Middle East are behind the kidnapping, but he doesn’t believe it for a moment, and sets out to find the real culprit. However, Harvath is soon framed for murder, making his search even more frantic and fraught with danger.
He travels to the icy chills of Switzerland where he must team up with a female member of the Swiss Federal Attorney’s Officer, the two going up against a cabal of professional killers on a search for the truth – and the President.
- See where Scot Harvath’s wild adventures began
- The plot is sometimes predictable
After the high-stakes thrills of the previous book, Scot Harvath is intent on hunting down every last person who was responsible for the President’s kidnapping.
He works his way through the list, but soon finds that there’s one name more prominent than them all, and that’s the world’s most lethal terrorist. However, hunting him is understandably not so easy.
For one, neither he nor the CIA know what this terrorist looks like. The only way around this is by using one of the man’s few survivors, a civilian woman who made it out of a vicious hijacking of his alive.
With her unique insight, Harvath is taken on a globe-trotting spree of revenge, from North Africa to Rome. Will he be able to kill the terrorist before he strikes again?
- It has a page-turning, fantastic pace
- Harvath is a bit too superhuman for some readers
In the third entry in the Scot Harvath series, the United States is attacked by a threat they long thought dead. One of the most lethal threats they’ve known has returned, and it’s taking revenge on the superpower.
In a conspiracy involving nuclear briefcases and secret defense systems, Scot Harvath is called to get to the bottom of things and prevent the Russian threat that’s bringing the United States to its knees.
Paired with a Russian Intelligence agent known as Alexandra Ivanova, as well as a highly-trained CIA team, Harvath must once again travel around the world in an attempt to save the day from this sinister enemy from America’s past.
- Very hard to put down
- Some find it slow at points, then rushed at others
Despite his astonishing track record, Scot Harvath’s career with counterterrorism has come to a sudden end, thanks to the work of a ruthless senator with big ambitions.
However, when the United States faces a new and deadly threat, the President has to call Harvath back into action. He’s the only hope they have. The enemy?
A secret organization is planning to use a recently-unearthed ancient weapon, once designed to destroy the Roman Empire, but now easily applicable for destroying America too.
Scot Harvath is caught in a race against time, hurrying across exciting European locations to beat the shadowy organization to the all-powerful weapon. Will he secure it in time?
- Plenty of fascinating history to learn about
- However, the history doesn’t always service the story
That most sacred of American holidays is attacked: the July 4th weekend. As thousands of travelers are making their way out of Manhattan after the Independence Day celebrations, a devastating and deliberate terrorist attack occurs, leading to tragedy and death.
During the chaos, a team of foreign professional operatives is looking for one of their comrades. Who? Well, someone that poses such a threat, and is so powerful, that the US government won’t even admit their existence.
With the threat brought right to America, Scot Harvath must battle his way through the devastated streets of Manhattan and prevent the mightily powerful, invisible terrorist genius who threatens to take his destruction to a global scale.
- Great action writing
- It could be shorter
The sixth exhilarating adventure involving Scot Harvath sees things take a more personal turn. Six months previously, five of the most lethal prisoners at Guantanamo bay were freed suddenly and released back into the world in civilian clothing.
Now, in the present, an assassin is deliberately targeting people close to Scot Harvath. However, the President won’t let Harvath investigate, because the case is too close to home. But who is this assassin?
And why do they have a personal vendetta against our hero? Unable to let it rest, and leave the people he cares about in further danger, Harvath is forced to undertake his own covert operation to get to the bottom of the case.
He soon discovers that the assassin is connected to the groups let free from Guantanamo, leading Harvath to question the very organizations and country that he has spent his life battling for.
On top of that, Harvath is directly disobeying his government by taking on the case, so the famous secret agent is truly a man against the world in the most personal Brad Thor adventure yet.
- Full of unexpected twists and turns
- Some find the ending underwhelming
The seventh entry in the series sees a thrilling mystery that goes way back through time, all beginning in 632 AD. Back then, in Mecca, the Prophet Mohammed was ready to share with his dearest followers a startling, final revelation.
However, the secrets are not to be shared, because he is assassinated soon after. Jumping forward more than 1000 years, to 1789, we then see a US Minister discover a shocking revelation himself, all about Islam.
Back in the present day, Scot Harvath has tried to leave the secret agent life behind. However, he is thrown back into that explosive world when he saves somebody from a car bomb in Paris.
There’s more to the attack than meets the eye, though, and Harvath soon finds himself part of a race to uncover a secret so powerful that it could defeat militant Islam.
Naturally, the United States wants that information, and there are plenty of other parties that wish Mohammed’s final revelation to stay buried. Harvath must battle to save the day, while globe-trotting his way around exciting locales.
- The use of history is fascinating
- Not quite enough action
Scot Harvath finds himself a man out of water, and a man without a job, when a new American administration brings new approaches to dealing with the superpower’s threats.
However, when an American doctor is kidnapped and ransomed in Afghanistan, the President has no other options but to bring Harvath back. The ransom request is for an al-Qaeda mastermind, and so our secret agent must infiltrate a high-security prison and free the man.
However, it’s an operation rife with secrets, and Harvath struggles to justify freeing one of the biggest threats in the world. Torn between loyalties, and reflecting on his storied career of counterterrorism, Harvath finds himself questioning his country like never before.
- A rapid-moving thriller
- Some sections of the story are lacking compared to others
Scot Harvath is now part of a new spy agency created within the Department of Defense. Its missions are simply to locate and kill America’s biggest enemies, without any of the bureaucracy or impact of self-serving US politicians hampering their results.
Harvath has just completed his first mission for them when a Rome bombing kills some American students. Signs suggest that the attacker is someone from Scot’s past, and that they’re going to strike again – and far deadlier.
At the same time, a woman is “accidentally” killed in Chicago, but the investigation recommends a shocking connection to the Rome attacks.
- Full of gripping action and suspense
- The ending is too abrupt
When a completely secretive mission goes wrong, it begins a wave of awful terrorist attacks, all with the eventual goal of completely collapsing the United States of America.
Thankfully, Scot Harvath has a plan to stop the terrorists, plotting to infiltrate their network and defeat them from within. However, at the same time, a foreign professional wet work unit has been sent to find a famous Hollywood filmmaker. Why?
Well, the director has been making a documentary that unknowingly revealed one of the world’s most powerful power brokers, and one that despises America. Harvath must battle to save the day from all these threats in this explosive, landmark tenth entry in Brad Thor’s series.
- Fascinating political parallels with real life
- A little too long
There’s a secretive list known only to the President and a small team of advisors. On it? The names of certain people. And those names are only removed when the people are dead.
The problem is, Scot Harvath’s name has just been added to the list, throwing the counterterrorism agent into a messy web of threats and secrets.
Harvath must fight for his life against the various teams sent to kill him, while also fighting to find the truth of who put him on that list in the first place – and why.
- Full of fascinating real-world details and organizations
- Not enough action
This is the first short story in the Scot Harvath series, and it acts as a prelude to set up the events of the next full novel, “Hidden Order”.
In this thrilling and tight adventure, Scot Harvath parachutes onto a supertanker that’s been overtaken by Somali pirates. Harvath must fight the threat of the pirates and free hostages.
- An interesting prelude to the next novel
- It’s a very short story
The events of the short story pass into “Hidden Order” in surprising and exciting ways. This, the twelfth novel in the Scot Harvath series, is all about a secret American organization that holds extreme power and works without accountability.
However, the five people being considered to head up this secretive agency have gone missing, and so it’s up to Scot Harvath to track them down so that the organization may be in control once again.
The issue is, though, that the candidates start turning up dead. This makes it hard to keep Harvath’s operation secret from the public, adding an even greater urgency to find out what’s really going on here.
The stakes grow ever-higher as Harvath finds himself entrenched in a fascinating conspiracy, and one involving a secret cabal that could date all the way back to the 1700s.
- Includes loads of detail about each character’s skills
- There are too many characters – it becomes confusing
Just as the thrilling “Hidden Order” had a prelude in the form of a short story, it also has an epilogue short story that readers can enjoy too. Fans of the main novel will be especially happy with this story, because it gives them a little more of an ending to that exciting novel.
Though the novel already had an epilogue, this is a second epilogue, which helps to give the story an even more fitting conclusion. Better yet, it also leads a little into the next Scot Harvath story, “Act of War”!
- An additional ending to the main novel
- Some will wonder why this isn’t in the main book
The United States is under attack once more, with a dizzying array of strange happenings going on. For one, a CIA agent has mysteriously died abroad, and his asset has come out with astonishing claims.
On top of that, a political asylum-seeker has been arrested, six exchange students have gone missing, and two plane passengers have swapped places. What do all these strange events have to do with another? What’s really going on?
Counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath finds himself brought back by the new American president for another thrilling mystery full of secrecy, conspiracy, and action.
- Full of special ops lore and detail
- Some dialog is clichéd
One of the most powerful organizations in the world houses a secretive committee with a dangerous agenda. On top of that, its members are the elite of the elite, protected like nobody else and considered untouchable.
However, when a brief and sensitive video clip is captured and anonymously sent to Washington DC, a threat and a mystery is set into motion. The man for the job? Scot Harvath!
The famous counterterrorism operative is thrust into a world of political intrigue and espionage the likes of which he has never seen, finding himself entrenched in high-stakes mysteries and shady characters.
- Packed with intricate, well-researched details
- Some story elements are getting repetitive
In the Russian Caucasus, Moscow has a terrifying special agent up its sleeve. After enduring an awful horror as a child, their agent has grown up with one thing and one thing only on his mind: vengeance against America.
He lives only to take down Americans, making him an incredibly deadly threat to the United States.
However, an American operations team gets ambushed near Syria, setting Harvath on a path that uncovers another threat altogether: a shady figure who has been trying to covertly draw America into awful conflicts.
Harvath must tackle both threats in another deep, knotty web of intrigue and betrayal. His adventure takes him all around the world, from Syria to Berlin, and everywhere in between, as it pushes himself to the limit in order to protect his country – and the world.
- Suspenseful writing and pacing
- A little formulaic
This next entry in the Scot Harvath saga by Brad Thor takes the form of another short story, offering readers a bite-sized adventure with the character they know and love.
Originally published in an anthology of short stories, but now revised and subject to a bonus afterword, this tale centers around an all-powerful weapon that has fallen into the wrong hands.
A US ambassador for Greece feels that he must do anything to get the weapon back, but this dedication leaves him dead, and the weapon still very much at large. Thankfully, Scot Harvath is on the case!
Our skilled agent must hurry to get rid of a terror cell that’s about to sell the highly sought-after technology to Iran, as well as face off against a traitor.
- A short burst of action and excitement
- The story lacks conclusion
While a storm is powering its way across the Mediterranean Sea, a strange distress call is made to the Italian coast guard. Just days later, a body is found washed up on the shore. It’s soon identified as a terrorism suspect who’s been missing.
On top of that, it’s a very high value suspect. Naturally, the CIA are worried. Where had the suspect been going? What had he been planning to do? Who else might have been involved?
There are plenty of questions, and no answers. To get to the bottom of it, the CIA hires Scot Harvath on a blank contract, meaning that they have complete deniability should things go wrong.
Harvath uses his shady contract to do what needs to be done, breaking rules and diving into an intriguing web of terrorist conspiracy.
- Fans will enjoy some returning characters
- Frustrating product placement
In the next Scot Harvath novel, the famous counterterrorism operative must step up in a way he’s never had to do before. All over Europe, a secret group has been attacking diplomats.
Then, over in America, a foreign ally of the United States has been demanding the identity of an invaluable covert asset.
Somewhere between these two issues, the ingredients are in place for a potential all-out war, and that’s something that Scot Harvath has to prevent. However, his mentor is now out of the business, leaving Scot on his own.
Even worse, Harvath now has to step up to the plate and fulfill a role he’s never wanted. Under the intense pressure of recent events, can he assume the position? And will he fulfill it in his own uniquely cunning, ruthless way?
- The world is entirely believable thanks to thorough research and detail
- It’s drawn out in some places
The next Scot Harvath book is perhaps the most explosive and action-packed yet, because it strips it all back to focus on Harvath himself in a very tough, very personal fix.
As readers will know by now, Scot Harvath is one of those men that shouldn’t be crossed. These types of figures have existed all throughout history, whether they’re going by the name of samurais, spartans, or something else altogether.
These are highly-trained men who can strike from the shadows, and their very presence strikes fear into their enemies. However, now Harvath has been crossed.
Far from home and far from safety, Harvath is totally exposed, and enemies are surrounding him on all sides.
The famous counterterrorism operative has no choice but to battle his way out, and it’s a battle that will test every single one of his skills. This is the battle of Scot Harvath’s life.
- It has an exciting Cold War feel to it
- Harvath is too superhuman at points
After the personal, tough experience of the last book, Scot Harvath finds himself once again being personally targeted. How? Well, he’s just had the largest bounty in the world placed on his head.
Naturally, a bounty like this not only places you under constant threat, but it also makes it impossible to know who to trust. When money like that is involved, it’s enough to turn your dearest ally against you. On top of that, the people closest to Harvath have already been killed.
With few options, Harvath finds himself working with a female Norwegian intelligence operative who turns out to be something of a kindred spirit for the desperate agent. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and troubled, just like Harvath.
- The romance elements are a refreshing addition
- There are so many characters that some readers find it confusing
When the next Scot Harvath story begins, the highly-skilled agent is taking some well-earned time off. After years of threatening missions, he’s finally relaxing and enjoying a great summer.
He’s got his new girlfriend, a lovely cottage, and not an enemy in sight. However, vacation time is running out, and Harvath is going to have to decide whether he’s returning to duty or retiring altogether.
Unfortunately, he’s left with little room for choice after he sees a ghost from his past appear in Oslo. This is a man he killed years ago, in an entirely different section of the world.
How did he live? And what is he up to? Harvath will have to return to duty whether he wants to or now, and fight his way to the bottom of this fresh mystery.
The following adventure turns into far more than a personal issue, with the fate of the United States and its allies thrown into the mix too. The stakes are high – and Harvath is running out of time.
- Harvath’s personal faults really add depth to his character
- The story isn’t quite as gripping as previous adventures
A new, powerful threat has slowly been gaining momentum, with the United States long aware of its growing danger. However, they’ve left it too late, and now the threat is fully-formed on the world stage.
As is often the case with problems like this, it’s time to bring in Scot Harvath. However, the odds seem especially stacked against him this time, with a threat the likes of which he has never experienced and personal attacks piling up against Harvath.
Will he be able to dive into this new web of intrigue unharmed? And will he do so in time to stop this immense threat from putting the whole world in danger? Readers will have to find out.
- The story builds very well
- It jumps around too much for some readers
In the latest Scot Harvath thriller from Brad Thor, the story takes on an especially authentic real-world setting, with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Somewhere on the war-affected border between Ukraine and Russia, a Russian military group has turned rogue.
Even worse, it’s a team that was assembled from the worst of the worst, with the most psychologically-scarred, criminal, and violent members imaginable.
With the disguise of the rest of the war, and the world being focused on the frontlines, the rogue Russian team uses this as their opportunity to wreak havoc in all the other areas.
They make their way through the villages of Ukraine, committing awful war crimes and leaving chaos in their path.
At the same time, a unit of Russian mercenaries has been sent by the Kremlin to work their way through all the museums, private houses, and churches of Ukraine on a looting spree.
They’re stealing all the art and treasures they can find, and taking them back to Russia. Scot Harvath enters the battle when some American aid workers working in the Ukraine are killed.
However, Harvath soon finds himself in a land that’s large and alien to him, and also finds himself in the middle of these two threatening Russian teams.
- Another tense situation for Scot Harvath
- The real-world Ukraine war might be a little too fresh
We’re mentioning this additional Brad Thor book last, because it’s a spin-off that the author wrote within the same world of Scot Harvath and high-stakes espionage.
In fact, the spin-off offers a radically different approach to this world, because it’s all about female agents this time. More specifically, it involves four members from an all-female program known as The Athena Project.
When a Rome terrorist attack leaves over twenty Americans dead, the four specific members of The Athena Project are sent to find the arms dealer who provided the deadly attack with its explosives.
However, extra mysteries arise, such as an underground US governmental secret on the verge of discovery by a foreign spy, and a strange monolith laden with symbols in South America.
What is going on? How is it all connected? The four women will need to dig deep, and fight hard, to save the world from a great threat.
- A spin-off in the Scot Harvath world, but with female protagonists
- It’s a shame that Brad Thor hasn’t written more spin-offs
The Scot Harvath spy series by Brad Thor is absolutely packed with thrilling, authentic adventures – and it’s still going strong today. Thor has a propulsive style of writing and great pacing, which helps each novel to be a page-turner full of gripping twists and turns.
On top of that, Thor’s writing is filled with well-researched details that make the stories feel truly real – and therefore truly threatening!
Readers are also taken all over the world, and even across history in some instances, sending them on adventures that are totally exhilarating, varied, and fresh. Though each adventure is mostly isolated, it’s best to read the series in our order!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Scot Harvath Book?
Every fan will have their favorite, but many actually agree that “The Lions of Lucerne”, the very first novel, is the best. It’s fresh, thrilling, and a great introduction to a now-iconic character!