Monday, December 29, 2014

Book #51 - Without Remorse

withoutremorseA re-read for me, but one I hadn't gone through in decades. I saw it at the library as an e-book, so I grabbed it. Without Remorse starts the Jack Ryan series, covering the time during the post Vietnam War era and the origins of John Clark.

He's John Kelley in this book, a diver doing demolitions when his wife is killed in an accident. He isn't sure what to do, but he soldiers on, living on an island in the Chesapeake Bay below Baltimore. He encounters a hitchhiker, picking her up and sleeping with her, falling in love a bit in a few days. She helps heal him, and he's unaware she's hooked on barbiturates until he befriends a doctor and his wife. They help him clean her up.

She's part of the drug trade, a witness to a murder of another girl used as a mule. Kelley sets up a meeting to talk to the Baltimore police, but decides to drive by her old neighborhood. They're recognized, he's shot, she's taken and killed, and he's devastated. The rest of the book is his revenge, mixed in with his recall to help rescue POWs from Vietnam.

The book is Clancy, a mix of multiple plots and storylines blended together. We have multiple drug dealers, a crooked cop, Sandra Toole (his nurse), the military brass, a POW, his Soviet interrogator, and Kelley/Clark. We see how they think, and how the various stories slowly merge together. It's a testosterone driven thriller, with lots of the internal struggles and moral choices of a drama.

This is the origin of a secret set of players that work behind the scenes in the CIA to protect America. This is a story that launches lots of others, including the Mitch Rapp and Brad Thor series. We even have Kelly faking his death and becoming Clark at the end. A great

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