True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney

True Faith and Allegiance by Mark GreaneyTrue Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney
on January 1st 1970
Genres: Technology, Thriller
Format: Ebook

True Faith and Allegiance is the latest book in the continuation of the Jack Ryan universe – originally started by Tom Clancy, and continued after his death by others, including the Mark Greaney. Over time the series has evolved from focusing on Jack Ryan, to the activities of his son, Jack Ryan Jr who now works as an intelligence, cum paramilitary operative at an off-the-books spy agency.

In this latest episode, the United States is under attack (well, duh) by devious operatives of the Islamic State, who are using intelligence from an unknown source to target members of the military and intelligence community who have had some involvement in the war on ISIS in the middle east. The opening salvo is the murder of the captain of a ship by a Russian student as revenge for the sinking of a submarine in a previous book. (I must admit, it has been a while between drinks and I only vaguely recalled the incident.

What I have always really enjoyed about the later (i.e. non-Tom Clancy) books is the up-to-date nature of their plotlines. The world is no longer facing the same old bogeymen of the 1990s, so military thrillers need new and credible threats if they are going to stay relevant in the current age. While the big bad guy in this story lies in wait behind the scenes, we are introduced to a range of lesser bad guys, including the Islamic State leader in America, and the Romanian computer hacker behind it all.

Mark Greaney’s writing is tight, having previously written a number of these Tom Clancy books before, and whether through good editing, or his natural style, this book flows easily into the rest of the series. The main characters who work at The Campus are all familiar, although they’ve evolved in their own way. This book reminded me a lot of Patriot Games, and the action scenes are well-written and engaging.

If I had a criticism of the book, it would be how the bad guys seem to contribute heavily to their own downfall through incompetence. Thinking about the evolution of the various bad guys in the book – only some of whom are mentioned above – their credibility seems to devolve throughout the novel, which leads to the good guys probably looking better than they should be through happy coincidence more than anything. This is a spy novel, and Americans can’t lose in spy novels, that wouldn’t fit the trope.

At the end of the day, this is an extremely well-written novel, with a plotline that is very realistic. While there are some problems, as mentioned above, this is an entertaining read for fans of the series, and the military thriller genre in general.


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