Friday, June 19, 2015

Under Fire, by Grant Blackwood (part of the Tom Clancy group)

OK, friends, you often see that I have received a book for free in exchange for a review. I kind of wish that had been the case here, but I actually paid for this book. I have always loved Tom Clancy works, so I pay for them. So it is a bit surprising that I only gave this book a three star review. Read further to find out why?

I have loved the Jack Ryan, Jr. and The Campus novels. They have been excellent works in the Tom Clancy fashion. I have felt that Grant Blackwood has been a great asset to the Clancy stable of writers, as I have noted in my other reviews of his work.

BUT, this novel didn't really work for me. My first problem is that it really only had Jack Jr. in the story until about 70% of the way through, then finally Dom Caruso shows up in the field. That misses the mark of what The Campus is about. It is not about lone wolf characters acting on their own and not giving The Campus the full story. So, either Jack Jr. has fallen far from the family tree or he is thinking that he can be the lone wolf hero of political events and spy activities.

Jack Jr. meets with an old friend and finds that he has stepped into a problem in a country that is going to be facing a Coup in the next couple of weeks. Jack Jr. has to figure out what is happening and who the bad guys are and who the good guys are. His friend Seth appears to be having a bit of a break with reality, or is he?

Bottom line, The CIA, British Intelligence and Russian Elite Forces are going to be playing a game of political chicken as the country of Dagestan goes through the upheaval of a political coup as the Minster of Interior takes steps to wrestle control of the country from the President of Dagestan.

Jack Jr. will find himself on the side of the Minister of Interior and will not be sure that this is truly a wise move. Jack Jr. comes off looking tentative at times and not as decisive as his old man would have been in a similar situation.

Jack Jr. will use The Campus assets but not in the way that they should have been used or were used in previous works.

I liked the story, I liked the complex situation with many different intelligence agencies involved, I just didn't like Blackwood taking Jack Jr. and making him a lone wolf on this case.

Next time lets stick with the whole team and get them back involved as they should be.

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