Saturday, January 07, 2017

Command Authority: Third Great Book Out of Three

Book Review: Command Authority by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney
Version: Public Library

Command Authority is another great read and in times with today's headlines, published in 2014.

This is the third Jack Ryan character-driven book I've read, which dates before Full Force and Effect  (2015) and Commander in Chief (2016). The latter two were written by Mark Greany after the passing of Tom Clancy (2013). Command Authority was written by Tom Clancy with the assistance of Mark Greany.

This story takes place during a Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Crimea, with Valerie Volodin as the prop character representing Vladimir Putin. It is as real as fiction gets, shadowing the actual Ukraine conflict of 2014. The Russian espionage set up in the story is totally believable when you consider the recent Russian hacking of U.S. political resources and disinformation campaign and a purported attempted Russian hacking of the U.S. electrical grid through a portal in Vermont. Tom Clancy and Mark Greany write with great authenticity, using everyday detail and current events to bring vivid clarity to their plot and settings.

Command Authority also takes us back to events during the Cold War and the break up of the Soviet Union, and how it led up to the creation of the Russian Oligarchs, who ostensibly run Russia now.

Along with accurate historical and current event details, Clancy creates likable characters in Jack Ryan, president in this and the other two books, and Ryan's son, Jack, Jr., and others with whom these main characters work. These all meld together to make the story readable and enjoyable, and propel the reader into a story line that is hard to put down once you become engaged. So it is with Command Authority. As with any story of substance, these characters face dangers and conflicts you can see vividly in your mind as you read, and you care that they succeed or whether they fail, taking you along their journey through to the end of the book not daring to leave the story lest you leave them hanging. It's well written and time well spent traveling along with the characters on their adventure.

Tom Clancy is a dominant writer in this field of suspense and thriller spy writers, and in this series of books you can see why. Mark Greaney ably picks up Clancy's baton and runs well with it, continuing the saga of these well-established characters. Well done, Greaney!

I would rate this and the other two novels five spy daggers out of five.

The next Tom Clancy novel by Mark Greaney is True Faith and Allegiance, out now.

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