Friday, 21 June 2013

BOOK: Without Remorse, Tom Clancy (8/10)

Why did I read it?
Time to continue Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. Without Remorse is the sixth book in the Ryan universe but chronologically it leads the series.

What's it all about?
Tom Clancy rewinds the clock to 1969 and tells the origin story of Ryan series character John Clark. Recently returned from Vietnam, Navy SEAL John Kelly loses his wife and finds love briefly in the arms of a another woman, Pam Madden, a tortured, drug-addicted prostitute on the run from her violent drug dealing pimp. Meanwhile the CIA hire Kelly to return to Vietnam and lead a clandestine operation to rescue a group of US POWs. After Pam is taken away from him, Kelly combines the demands of his country with his own mission for violent retribution.

Should you read it?

Without Remorse is probably the most atypical of the Clancy books I have read so far. Even with the Vietnam storyline it's the most domestic, the most personal and the least military based. It's an engaging, very personal tale of one man's retribution against those who wronged him and its interesting and refreshing to have a break from Jack Ryan's learned approach to uncover the back story of the more mysterious Mr. Clark.

The Vietnam side story taking place in parallel to Kelly's Baltimore killing spree is necessary for the sake of Kelly's back story but it is the deliberate planning of his revenge in a manner to a covert operation and Detective Ryan's pursuit of the unknown serial killer that makes Without Remorse a page-turner.

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