Before becoming Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, Chad Boudreaux served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he advised Secretary Michael Chertoff on almost all significant matters facing the newly established department. Before working for Homeland Security, Boudreaux served in several high-ranking positions at the U.S. Justice Department, where he was hired the night before the September 11, 2001 attacks. During his time at the Justice Department, Boudreaux focused most of his time on matters relating to terrorism and homeland security. Boudreaux graduated from Baylor University in Texas in 1995 and from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1998, where he was Managing Editor of the law review.
Chad lives in Hampton Roads, Virginia, with his wife and four children.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Blake Hudson is a young attorney enamored with his job at the U.S. Department of Justice. As Counselor to the Attorney General, he occupies one of the most coveted positions in Washington, D.C. But after a series of horrific terrorist attacks on American soil, and a bad court ruling that could debilitate the government’s ability to protect the nation, Hudson is assigned new responsibilities. He is directed to participate in a small, clandestine group that meets on the eighth floor of the Main Justice building, a dimly lit, concealed floor unknown to most Justice Department employees. Led by an introverted CIA analyst, the group’s membership consists of three others besides Hudson: a superstar from the ranks of Delta Force; a begrudged former CIA operative bent on revenge; and a beautiful but stealth woman, “a shadow,” who engages in covert operations for the government. The group’s ostensible mission, dubbed by its members as Operation Scavenger Hunt, is to help fight terror by surreptitiously bypassing bureaucratic hurdles.
Never truly understanding his role, Hudson grows skeptical of the operation when the group’s members start breaking laws to achieve their ends. After an illegal wiretap leads to operatives killing people on American soil, Hudson becomes critical of the group’s leader and fears criminal prosecution. But things are just getting started. And they grow much worse when terrorists brazenly attack the Main Justice building. The Attorney General’s chief of staff is among those killed in the attack, which triggers increased unlawful activity and aggression from the group. With the presidential election around the corner, the heat is turned up, and things begin spinning out of control. Then one day, with no forewarning, the group disbands. Blake doesn’t understand why. He has no clue what’s going on. He tries to contact the group’s members to no avail. Then someone erases the files on his office computer. At the same time, someone breaks into his house and does something unthinkable.
Hudson is instantly transformed from hunter to hunted. As he tries to piece the puzzle together, people are following him, trying to kill him. Those even tangentially associated with Operation Scavenger Hunt are suffering strange deaths. Blake then learns shocking news. He is the scapegoat. He doesn’t know whom to trust. He doesn’t know where to turn. Who is responsible for ruining his life? Who is tracking him? Is it one of his close friends in the office? Is it a member of the secret group, perhaps the beautiful woman who now holds his affections? Or is it the strange man with several names who keeps popping up everywhere? Could it be the Attorney General, or someone else with a higher pay grade? As he searches for answers, Hudson is fighting to stay alive. In the end, what he finds will not only change the course of his life but also shape the course of his country.
- Chad can discuss his extensive legal and homeland security background that came about unexpectedly. Hired by the U.S. Attorney General the night before the 9/11 attacks at the age of 28, he was working alongside cabinet level secretaries immediately after 9/11 before he was 30 years old.
- In the book, Chad pulls back the curtain in the Main Justice Building in Washington D.C.. He can talk about the secret 8th floor, Robert Kennedy’s Marilyn Monroe room, and more…
- On Chad’s first day on the job at the Main Justice Building (October 2001), Chad met with 9/11 survivors from NYC. It was an experience that forever changed his life. As part of his many duties, Chad went on to help manage for the Department of Justice the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (“9/11 Fund”), led by Special Master Kenneth Feinberg. The story behind the 9/11 Fund was recently made into a Netflix movie titled, Worth. In the movie, Michael Keaton plays Ken Feinberg. (But they left Chad out!)
- Chad’s transition from Justice to Homeland Security: at just 32 years old, he took on a new role as a top advisor to the Homeland Security Secretary (called the Department’s “Texas Wrangler”). In that role, he was no longer in a lawyer role; rather, he had to help manage issues related to starting a brand-new agency with 22 subagencies and 40,000 employees responsible for dealing with terrorism, immigration, and hurricanes.
- The clandestine group in Scavenger Hunt is comprised of some interesting characters from DOJ, Delta Force, NSA, DIA, and CIA. That fascinating assortment adds to the novel’s intrigue. By choosing this cast with these backgrounds, Chad was able to flesh out all the significant and sexy legal, policy, and operational issues in the legal and national security fields. What’s more, it allowed him to demonstrate the palpable, inescapable tension that lawyers, policy wonks, and operators face in the real world of terrorism and espionage.
“An intelligent thriller… Tom Clancy fans will hope for more from Boudreaux.” —Publishers Weekly
“Chad Boudreaux weaves his legal and security expertise into a high velocity tale of counterterrorism and conspiracy that will grip the reader until the very last page.” —Michael Chertoff, Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
“Scavenger Hunt brought me back to my days as an idealistic young prosecutor and that sense of the urgency and importance of doing right. This is a novel that reminds us that there are those who make the decision to fight and do so honorably as the guardians of true justice.” —Frances Fragos Townsend, CBS National Security Analyst and Former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor
“Boudreaux’s Scavenger Hunt is a page-turning, bone-chilling thriller that challenges the limits of national security, effectively captures the aura of the Justice Department, and takes the reader on a wild ride.” —John Ashcroft, Former United States Attorney General
“Boudreaux’s storytelling and character development are superb, but it’s his first-hand knowledge of the Justice Department’s inner workings that really sets this book apart. Strap in for a heck of a fun ride!” —David Hosp, critically acclaimed author of the Scott Finn Series
“Chad Boudreaux, who has been in and around government and complex legal issues for the last two decades, brings intrigue and page turning drama to this spellbinding fictional story at the nexus of law and national security.” —Sigal Mandelker, Former Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the United States