TOM CLANCY UNDER FIRE by Grant Blackwood

TOM CLANCY UNDER FIRE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Clancy’s gone, but Blackwood (Dead or Alive, 2010, etc.) continues his international action-adventure series by dispatching Jack Ryan Jr. into espionage’s "wilderness of mirrors."

The elder Ryan is now president of the United States. The younger Ryan’s no warrior-statesman. He works instead for Hendley Associates—aka The Campus—a supposed investment group using profits to finance a civilian contractorlike CIA. In Tehran, Ryan’s scoping things out after the election of a moderate president. He meets close school friend Seth Gregory, who’s supposedly in Iran on oil business. The next morning, Ryan is informed by two shadowy characters that Seth has disappeared. He learns that Seth is CIA, and Seth’s father, Paul, was a Cold War "golden boy" of the CIA’s Intelligence Directorate. Paul was branded a traitor and committed suicide. Seth intends to use one of his father’s plans to free Dagestan from a Putin-parody Valeri Volodin, the Russian Federation president. Blackwood’s character development is drowned out by page upon page of pistol and rifle fire—and computer/cellphone phishing—from Iran to Dagestan. Settings are green-screen backdrop maps. Blackwood introduces beautiful Iranian Ysabel Kashani, who rescues (and beds!) Jack. Bad guys are rogue British agent Wellesley, willing to kill to foil Seth’s plan and maintain stability, and Russian Oleg Pechkin, who manipulates both sides under multiple names but mostly offstage. The narrative is continuous action and derring-do, with Jack relying on instantaneous satellite-phone links home to Hendley for intel, all while flying to Scotland to rescue a Dagestan leader’s daughter from kidnappers and then knocking out a "Borisoglebsk-2…specifically designed to take down satellite and GPS systems" to ensure the Dagestan democratic revolution reaches social media.

A complex international adventure that's less military hardware–centric than Clancy solo, but Blackwood uses "notional," which fans will know is homage to the maestro.

Pub Date: June 16th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-399-17575-6
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Putnam
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