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Under Fire by Grant Blackwood
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I liked this book a lot when I was reading it. Now that I am thinking about it, there are things that bother me. First: the author wanted Jack Jr's new girlfriend to be involved. There was some rolling eyes parts. Nothing against her, but the author had her drive someone off the road and go into dangerous situations, where she had ZERO training or skill to do those things. She also came up with important information by checking phones several hours/days after they got the cell. You'd think the highly trained/paid Campus would have found that data. I do enjoy those Tom Clancy's.
4/12/2019; 83 members; 3.19 average rating ( )
  mainrun | Apr 12, 2016 |
If anything, Tom Clancy's books are not boring. This is the first one where Jack Ryan Jr is the main actor. He sure doesn't seem to be as smart as his father but I'll read more. I recommend this work as a fast moving, giddyup tale in which the bad guys are often the good guys but sometimes vice versa. At least Clancy has used a new area of the world (for me) so my geographical understanding of the area has been broadened. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Nov 4, 2015 |
Under Fire, Grant Blackwood
Jack Ryan Jr., son of Jack Ryan, the President of the United States, is in Teheran working for The Campus, an organization that reports directly to the President. While there, he meets up with an old high school friend, Seth Gregory, who is supposedly working for Shell Oil. From out of nowhere, he is suddenly visited by two men, one from Britain and one obviously from the United States. They are obviously engaged in covert operations. They are aware of who he is, but still they present him with veiled threats if he doesn’t cooperate with them in their investigation of his friend. They refuse to tell him why they are investigating him, however, but they do intimate that he has been compromised and money has disappeared as well.
During their lunch, Seth had verbally told him his address, which was odd, and even odder, he had surreptitiously left him his apartment key beside his coffee cup. Although warned not to investigate on his own, he has no intention of helping these men until he can find out if the men are legitimate and if Seth is really in trouble. He sets out to find his secret apartment, the one these men did not know about.
Then, Seth disappears, and Jack gets more involved with unsavory characters and an Iranian woman named Ysabel, who is a close friend of Seth’s. Together they try and find Seth, fearful that he is in danger. The two of them develop a very close working and romantic relationship.
At the same time as this is taking place, there is an alternative narrative taking place involving Russia and Dagestan. From Wikipedia, I learned that “it is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea.” Seth is organizing a coup of that small country so that Russia cannot gain further control as they already had in the Ukraine and Odessa.
This Tom Clancy story is read well by the narrator, but it is very confusing and convoluted. It contains so many unknown and unrecognizable foreign words that I highly recommend the print version of the book, instead. The plot seemed contrived and the twists and turns were too frequent without being fully engaging. There is romance, kidnapping, murder, conspiracy and betrayal, but it never comes together of a piece and sometimes, sorry to say, it did seem utterly ridiculous. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Sep 1, 2015 |
This was not a good book. Look, I've been more than willing to suspend some disbelief and give the authors of these books a bit of leeway in how they deal with Jack Ryan, Jr. Obviously it makes no sense for the son of the President of the United States to be acting as a covert agent. But hey, this is fiction that is intended to be fun, right? So I'll go with that premise and try not to think too hard. And I'm OK with that. At least I am until the author insults my intelligence. And that is precisely what happened in this book. Again and again and again. First, do we really think that the son of the President of the United States, even were that son not a spy, would be allowed by the US Government to go to Iran, even if just on investment business? And, if so, don't you think that there would be so much protection (both from our government and Iran's) that he would be unable to get himself into any sort of trouble, let alone gun battles and so forth?

Then, are we really supposed to believe that MI6, even via a potentially rogue agent, would be actively conducting operations both against US interests and that could result in the death of the son of the US President? Really?

Look, I could go on and on and on, but it's not worth the effort. This was clearly and by far the worst of the Tom Clancy continuation novels. This story should probably be expunged from the canon as if it didn't happen. Definitely not worth reading unless, like me, you're a completist that just has to read all of the stories in order. Sigh. ( )
  MSWallack | Jul 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039917575X, Hardcover)

On a routine intelligence gathering mission in Tehran, Jack Ryan, Jr., has lunch with his oldest friend, Seth Gregory, an engineer overseeing a transcontinental railway project. As they part, Seth gives Jack a key, along with a perplexing message.

The next day Jack is summoned to an apartment where two men claim Seth has disappeared—gone to ground with funds for a vital intelligence operation.  Jack’s oldest friend has turned, they insist.

They leave Jack with a warning:  If you hear from Seth Gregory, call us immediately. And do not get involved.

But they don’t know Jack. He won’t abandon a friend in need. 

His pursuit of the truth will lead him across Iran, through the war-torn Caucasus, and finally deep into territory coveted by the increasingly aggressive Russian Federation. Along the way, Jack is joined by Seth’s primary agent, Ysabel, a enigmatic Iranian woman who seems to be his only clue to Seth’s whereabouts. 

Jack soon finds himself lost in a maze of intrigue, lies, and betrayal where no one is who they seem to be—not even Seth, who’s harboring a secret of his own that harkens back to the Cold War. A secret that is driving him to the brink of treachery.

Racing against the clock, Jack must unravel the mystery: Who is friend and who is foe? Before it’s over, Jack Ryan, Jr., may have to choose between his loyalty to Seth and his loyalty to America.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:57:20 -0400)

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