Friday, August 15, 2014

Tom Clancy's Support and Defend by Mark Greaney

Like the assassin-dodging, terrorist-disrupting protagonists in his cliff hanging spy books, Tom Clancy defies death and outsources himself from the grave.  This is the second novel to land since the authors passing a little over nine months ago.

Mark Greaney is prolific in the spy/espionage genre.  He]s technically teamed up with Clancy on three prior works/  Same presence different person, I guess.  It's the same tense storytelling, special forces-trained characters, and highly detailed descriptions of military stuff, personalities and protocol's.  The same spy-geek of the earlier Clancy books.  It's got the same mojo that hooked millions ever since the debut The Hunt for Red October.

This new one is part of the so-called Campus series, starring  Dominic Caruso, nephew of Jack Ryan, the CIA-Op-turned-U.S.-president who's Clancy’s most famous character.  Here Caruso carries on the family business of bashing baddies - in his case, a rogue ex-U.S. intelligence officer armed with a microdrive of diplomatic secrets. 

It's a bit kitsch to expect spies who are action packed and gun toting, when we know the American intelligence industry  is eternally exposed by the likes of Asange and Snowden, et al.  Still a book about a bunch of suited pen pushers is not exciting.  This one, on the other hand is!  It's pulse-racing a military suspense, well-paced, clean written, and competently told.  The plot never slows. The casual Clancy reader will likely find it largely indistinguishable in style or effect from the Clancy novels of yore.

Which, of course, is the point.  Clancy’s first posthumous novel, Command Authority, also written with Greaney, selling over 303,000 copies (Nielsen (NLSN).  I'm pretty sure Support and Defend will achieved the same. 

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