1) In the opening pages of HIDDEN ORDER Claire seeks and finds escape and revival on Sea Island. Where and how do you escape and recharge? What places and traditions comfort you?
2) Scot asks his Somali ally Mukami why he works with pirates, which Mukami suggests he does “[for] money.” Economic conditions have similarly led Scot Harvath and Reed Carlton to be less selective with the cases/missions they take on. What would you never do “for money?” What might you do for money that might surprise those who know you well?
3) Brad writes, “By and large, most of the rules Harvath lived by served him well.” What rules do you live by? Which are the most difficult to adhere to? Which have served you well?
4) Throughout HIDDEN ORDER, there is a refrain: “The world is filled with people who felt the rules don’t apply to them.” (When) have you experienced this? What is the impact on society when people shun rules and responsibility?
5) Cordero attributes this quote to St. Augustine,”Patience is the companion of wisdom.” What does that mean? What challenges your patience? How does your level of patience affect your wisdom?
6) Lydia Ryan’s former team held certain criteria for selecting hotels. She asserts, “Never changing…[is] a bad trait in the espionage game.” What are some of your unchanging habits and routines? How did they become your standards? What do you do to get out of a rut?
7) Harvath recognizes that Cordero drops her “armor” on they way home as she transitions from “take-no-prisoners cop” to mother, daughter, and person. What is your “armor?” When/how do you “drop” it?
8) Jacobson’s forecast for an imminent economic and cultural future of the United States is dire. What do you think of his assessment? What are the greatest threats on the horizon? How are you preparing?
9) At the end of HIDDEN ORDER, the President says the United States needs to allow the financial systems to fail. He says the industry is not “too big to fail,” and no person is “too big to jail.”Do you agree or disagree? Pick a side and make your case.
10) In his trademark “faction”, Brad includes in HIDDEN ORDER an important insight from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson. Adams identified “people’s ignorance when it came to money, credit, and circulation,” as one of America’s weaknesses and threats to our democracy. How do you think the situation has evolved since the days of Adams and Jefferson? Are people more or less aware of these matters? What did you learn in HIDDEN ORDER?